Even the tiny leaks from air conditioning and refrigeration systems can cause long-term harm to the environment.
Apart from greenhouse gases getting loose through sneaky leaks that may pass unnoticed for some time, a lot of electricity is used up as compressors have to work harder to compensate for the lost efficiency of major plant.
“In fact small leaks just a few dozen microns across can be the worst environmental offenders, because they build up progressively and they are often the hardest to track down,” says HVAC and refrigeration specialist Gary Oborne.
“With a big leak in an industrial or commercial building plant or truck or boat refrigeration system, the cause is often pretty obvious or easy to find when you do the routine checks.
But if it is a little leak or a series of little leaks, you can spend hours and hours doing detective work even tearing out floors and walls to replace entire piping systems,” says Mr Oborne.
His company, GO Distribution, is introducing to Australasia a HVAC/R sealant Super Seal, which has been proven internationally in applications ranging from food and primary production processing and packaging plants to factories, shops, office buildings and commercial kitchens.
A variety of the product is also highly effective in automotive, truck and ship plants.
Super Seal works by sealing refrigerant leaks from the inside out reacting with the moisture in ambient air after being carried in solution with oil and refrigerant to the point where the leaks exits.
When the refrigerant carrying the solution exits into ambient air through the leak, it forms micro droplets of water that react with Super Seal to form a low tensile crystalline barrier that prevents further losses.
The permanent seal formed is effective for single or multiple leaks up to a maximum size of 300 microns, which covers a wide range of leaks that are hard to find and cause major and expensive losses in energy and service calls, says Mr Oborne.
“In the old days leaks of this size could lead to entire plants being scrapped,” he said. “Sometimes people would try to put up with them rather than having to rip their plant apart.
But that approach is no longer necessary as energy becomes more expensive and as greenhouse gases deplete the ozone layer at a steady rate of about 4 percent per year since 1980.
Furthermore, according to the Department of the Environment and Water Resources, inefficient use of energy contributed 68 percent of the nation's total greenhouse emissions in recent years, making it the dominant source of greenhouse emissions in the country.
“Refrigerant leaks that displace oxygen are no longer commercially or environmentally acceptable, especially when a solution can be readily available in many cases,” says Mr Oborne.
Super Seal, made by Cliplight Manufacturing Co of Toronto, is especially formulated to permanently repair leaks in evaporators, condensers and pipelines.
Proven internationally in professional applications ranging from commercial and hospitality and property maintenance to food and automotive manufacturing, the HVAC refrigerant sealant is available in three varieties, for systems from 0.7 kW to 5.3 kW; 5.3 kW to 17.6 kW; 17.6 kW plus. (1/10hp to 7hp; 7hp to 23hp; 23hp plus).
The product is suitable for all air conditioning and refrigeration applications and is compatible with all oils and refrigerants. Super Seal will not interfere with compressor valves, capillary tubes or TX valves and will remain stable within the refrigerant stream.
“We also know from experience gained with the product that it can be used to revitalize equipment that could otherwise end up prematurely in the junkyard,” said Mr Oborne.
“Whether it is applied to a walk-in freezer or a complete HVAC system, it has proven potential to save users hundreds and thousands of dollars.”