A-Gas, CRS help major shopping centres keep cool and green

Commercial Refrigerant Solutions (CRS) of Johannesburg recently used the Rapid Recovery high-speed refrigerant recovery solution from A-Gas South Africa on a range of major projects.

The two companies have been collaborating successfully for a year, ranging from Woolworths in Alberton to the Southgate and Brooklyn shopping centres, with Eastgate on the cards this year as well. CRS MD Stephen Spence explains that, while Woolworths has been a long-standing client, it has subsequently expanded further into the supply-chain industrial market over the past decade.

CRS was established in 1976, focusing initially on refrigeration installations using the latest technology. In 2010, it launched its first carbon dioxide (CO2) only refrigeration system, followed by its innovative booster system in 2012.

Upgrading a Woolworths store, for example, to a CO2-based system, or one based on the latest refrigerant, requires that any existing refrigerant gases be removed first, which is where A-Gas South Africa’s Rapid Recovery service comes into play, Sales Manager Michael Labacher highlights.


Rapid Recovery is a high-speed refrigerant recovery solution from A-Gas South Africa

“Our service ensures that companies like CRS have a total solution that encompasses all technical, compliance, and legal considerations when it comes to refrigerant recovery. This, in turn, gives CRS’s major clients such as Woolworths peace-of-mind that they are up to date with the country’s environmental laws, while downtime is reduced to a bare minimum,” Labacher stresses.

“Our equipment recovers refrigerant ten times faster than traditional systems on the market, at a rate of about 500 kg to 700 kg per hour,” Labacher reveals. This recovered refrigerant is packaged safely in cylinders, and then sent for reclamation, whereupon a compliance certificate is issued. This certificate is the end user’s guarantee and proof that the recovered refrigerant was handled in an environmentally-responsible manner.

CRS Business Development Coordinator and Marketing Director Jocelyn Kettle elaborates that the company elected A-Gas South Africa as a partner due to its strict regulatory protocols and highly-effective and speedy Rapid Recovery service. “We operate within tight timeframes and deadline restrictions, as any downtime for major retail outlets such as Woolworths has major cost implications.”

Another benefit for CRS is that A-Gas South Africa has the necessary fully-qualified technicians to carry out its Rapid Recovery service, which not only facilitates the entire process in a professional manner, but assists in mitigating the risk for the company at the end of the day.

“Sometimes we encounter problems such as different refrigerants mixed together in a system. However, the detailed information contained in the compliance certificates allows us to go back to the source, and perhaps provide additional training and awareness for the technicians on-site who handle these gases, as well as inform the end client about the due diligence requirements for selecting a contractor,” Kettle explains.


Rapid Recovery recovers refrigerant ten times faster than other systems

A-Gas South Africa is also able to advise CRS on the latest developments in the refrigerant field, which focus mainly on the Global Warming Potential (GWP) and ozone-depletion characteristics of these gases. The A-Gas Rapid Recovery service assists in this regard by preventing refrigerants venting to the atmosphere from badly-maintained or leaking equipment that requires repairs to retrofitted systems and decommissioned systems.

Labacher highlights that recovering and reclaiming these refrigerants back to AHRI700 specification effectively means they re-enter the market, which reduces the quantity of new refrigerant that needs to be produced, thereby lowering the total global footprint.

Kettle adds that, by affiliating itself with an industry expert like A-Gas South Africa, CRS is in an even stronger position to advise its major clients about carbon offsets, which can be used to reduce any carbon tax liability as determined by the Department of Energy. “An added bonus is that the A-Gas Rapid Recovery service includes a buy-back programme for the recovered refrigerant,” she concludes.

“At the end of the day, the proper recovery and reclamation of refrigerants is of major benefit not only to industry, but to South Africa as a whole, which is a key element of important greenhouse gas reduction frameworks such as the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment,” Labacher concludes.

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