Staycold International, a South African manufacturer of self-contained commercial fridges and freezers, ensure that all units they manufacture are tested and fully comply with stringent international safety standards. This includes their latest range of even more environmentally friendly coolers which utilise flammable hydrocarbon R290 refrigerant. Staycold therefore have their Letter of Authority (LOA) that is issued by the National Regulator of Compulsory Standards (NRCS) in South Africa.
There are no independent, 3rd party testing laboratories in South Africa that offer full IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) testing of hydrocarbon refrigerant units to IEC 60335, so Staycold have to send their cabinets to SGS’s laboratory in Turkey for it to be assessed and tested to this requirement. Without this test report confirming their compliance, Staycold would have been unable to obtain their LOA from the NRCS.
One of Staycold’s hydrocarbon units, their HD1140-HC cooler, last year was listed in the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency’s (EIA) Pathway to Net-Zero Cooling Product List. The product list has been designed to support and accelerate the race to zero emissions by 2050. The flammable refrigerant (R290) used in the HD1140-HC and its sister products is a net-zero compatible alternative to more common HFC-based systems. Safety measures and compliance to internationally recognised standards are paramount in these products, to safeguard the public and other users of these coolers throughout their lifespan.
Retailers, corporates, and independents alike are thus encouraged from a procurement due diligence perspective to ask suppliers to provide evidence that their products comply fully to a recognised test standard as well as provide a valid LOA from the NRCS at the same time.
The context to this move to Hydrocarbon refrigerants and the subsequent safety compliance of cabinets which include this flammable gas, is in relation to the global warming emergency that exists and the contribution of refrigerants to the presence of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol requires a HFC (hydrofluorocarbons) refrigerant Phase-down – HFC’s such as R134a have been the prevalent gas used in refrigeration since the phase out of CFC refrigerants in the late 80’s and early 90’s. South Africa is one of the 150 countries that have signed the Kigali Amendment, and have agreed to reduce HFC consumption by 80% by 2047. SA has an initial freeze date of 2024 and the first phase down step then follows in 2029. It aims to have 80% phased out by 2045 and if achieved globally, this could avoid more than 0.4C of global warming by the end of the century. Hence Staycold’s R&D department have been working on this urgent transition to hydrocarbon and making all their units safe.
Lena le Roux, Staycold’s MD had this to say, on the topic that is gaining momentum: “Staycold units are manufactured in our ISO 9001:2015 certified factory in Parys, and are fully compliant and registered with the South African regulatory body as well as tested to internationally recognised safety standards, giving our customers peace of mind as always.”
A background note, is that refrigerants are compounds typically found in either a fluid or gaseous state. It readily absorbs heat from the environment and can provide refrigeration or air conditioning when combined with other components such as compressors and evaporators. CFC’s was a refrigerant found to be depleting the ozone layer, but the effort get rid of CFCs resulted in many chemical manufacturers choosing to replace them with two groups of chemicals with a different problem – hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These refrigerants break down ozone molecules far less, but are extremely potent greenhouse gases. The transition to the more climate friendly hydrocarbons is now accelerating but brings with it additional safety measures to consider.
For more information on Staycold’s safety measures their coolers and freezers have undergone, contact them on 056 819 8097 or visit their website on www.staycold.co.za or LinkedIn page on https://www.linkedin.com/company/staycold-international-pty-ltd/