On March 1, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) moved its new CO2 safety standard to public review. Titled the “Safety Standard for Closed-Circuit Carbon Dioxide Refrigeration Systems,” the standard will be open for public review until April 15. John Collins, Industrial Sales Manager for Zero Zone, Inc. and chairman of the IIAR CO2 Task Group, presented the new standard at a panel and at the closing forum for the 2019 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo.

CO2 continues to gain momentum across the refrigeration industry with thousands of CO2 systems operating worldwide. However, the industry lacks a definitive, detailed standard to guide engineers and contractors. As a standards developer accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), IIAR is equipped and positioned to fill this need for natural refrigerants. Many members of the CO2 Task Group have contributed to other safety standards. They also partnered with the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) as they branch into regulations for commercial refrigeration.

The CO2 Task Group and the NASRC have developed the standard to cover the full life cycle of a CO2 refrigeration system, including design, installation, startup, inspection, testing, and maintenance. The standard establishes minimum requirements for a safe system, defining baseline requirements for the proper application of CO2 refrigeration.

After April 15, the CO2 Task Group will sort through the public comments, respond to them, and revise the standard as necessary. Speaking from experience with the process, Collins says it is common to have additional public reviews, whether of the whole safety standard or excerpts of it. After that, the standard will be evaluated, voted on, and submitted for approval. After approval, it will be published as an ANSI standard, which will become a resource for commercial and industrial CO2 systems.

Collins has served as the chairman of the IIAR CO2 Task Group since the project formally began in 2016. He has also served on the IIAR CO2 committee, the standards committee, and as a board member.

Collins describes the work as “gratifying” because they can see the interest across the industry. “Now is an exciting time for CO2 refrigeration. New and old contractors want to gain experience with working on CO2 systems,” he explained. This CO2 safety standard will provide the necessary guidance.