The A-Gas Rapid Recovery service began life in the US to provide an outsourced refrigerant recovery service to contractors. A-Gas bought the company last year after it recognised that offering a similar service in other parts of the world can make a big difference to the way the industry operates.
The Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol on the phasedown of high GWP (Global Warming Potential) HFC refrigerants set out a blueprint to lead the world towards safer and more environmentally-friendly place.
Particularly in Europe with the advent of the F-Gas Regulations, restrictions on the consumption of virgin refrigerants have left the cooling industry with little alternative but to reclaim much of what’s already out there.
Rapid Recovery was launched in the UK this year (2017) and within months was recognised by industry commentators as an innovative service and product – winning the Retail Initiative of the Year and the Refrigerant Product of the Year at the Cooling Awards.
America leads the world in mobile refrigerant recovery and Rapid Recovery has been at the forefront of this. The system’s recovery rates are impressive – approximately ten times faster than traditional units – but the main benefit to contractors is that they are able to outsource this work to someone who is a specialist in this field.
The recovery process can take a great deal of time and so anything that speeds it up is welcomed by engineers. Much time can be wasted moving recovery cylinders to and from refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, but A Rapid Recovery brings cylinders to the job. The equipment is independent of services like power, is portable and with 200ft hoses can reach RAC units wherever they are. Contractors are reporting a much quicker turn around on jobs.
A-Gas is now exporting Rapid Recovery to other parts of the world including Europe, South Africa and America. It has also been receiving inquiries from customers in mainland Europe who have heard of its successes in the US and the UK.
Due to this positive response, A-Gas is looking to roll-out Rapid Recovery across the entire group of A-Gas companies worldwide. The recent purchase by A-Gas of the Dutch reclamation business BTC has put in place the building blocks to allow it to launch Rapid Recovery in Europe.
Rapid Recovery has already shown its value in South Africa where it has helped extract CFCs from a cooling system at a gold mine. The best part of five tonnes of refrigerant were extracted safely and reliably from disused equipment.
The HFC phasedown gathers pace in Australia in 2018 with reductions in the availability of high GWP gases including R404A and R507C – the main supermarket refrigerants – taking place. This will undoubtedly lead to shortages of virgin gases and in turn this will place a greater emphasis on recovering refrigerants. A-Gas believes there will be much for Rapid Recovery to do as the effectiveness of its equipment allows it to remove refrigerants from supermarket systems much faster than its competitors.
The next stage in the process is what happens to the refrigerant after it is recovered and this allows Rapid Recovery to dovetail into the other services that it offers as a group worldwide. This has been highlighted by the recent acquisition of the Texas-based refrigerant gas reclaimer and supplier Diversified Pure Chem.
By adopting a holistic approach to the way it offers services to the cooling industry, A-Gas has shown that it can make an impact on the way people live their lives.
“It’s not just about supplying refrigerant but a focus on every stage in between.”
Ken Logan, A-Gas Group Commercial Business Development Director