New UL Standard Prompts Automotive Manufacturers to Proactively Specify Rittal Now

June 14 2021

Market Insight

New Heating and Cooling Equipment Standards: What’s Changing

UL Standard 1995 and CSA Standard C22.2 No. 236 are currently scheduled to sunset on November 16, 2022 and November 30, 2022, respectively. With this in mind, facilities across industries are preparing for the next generation of climate control standards.  

When these two standards are withdrawn, the latest versions of the bi-national, ANSI-approved UL/CSA Standard 60335-2-40 will become effective, and this new standard will be mandated after January 1, 2024. Part 2-40 covers electrical heat pumps, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers and is expected to broadly affect industrial facilities that have invested heavily in automation, such as automotive plants. For these facilities, it is essential to be proactive and specify compliant products today to help ensure that new product lines are in compliance when the new standard goes into effect. 

New UL/CSA Standard 60335-2-40 is All About Safety

Regulatory trends continue to move in the direction of reducing emissions. For instance, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted legislation that prohibits the use of high-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants for USE and ULE equipment effective January 1, 2023 and chillers effective January 1, 2024. New Department of Energy standards will take effect within the same timeframe. These standards aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants.

At the same time, low-GWP refrigerants tend to be more flammable. For this reason, we’re also seeing a trend toward regulations like UL/CSA 60335-2-40, which focuses on the safety of the cooling unit. And while UL/CSA 60335-2-40 is a binational standard that applies to the U.S. and Canada, it’s based on the international IEC 60335-2-40 standard, which is currently being used to certify HVAC equipment using low-GWP refrigerants in Europe and around the globe.

One of the main requirements of UL/CSA 60335-2-40 is that climate control systems be outfitted with smart leak detection systems if they use flammable refrigerants. Among other specifics, these systems’ sensors must have setpoints that are factory-set, and they must run self-test protocols every hour. Learn more about UL/CSA 60335-2-40

One solution is to invest in climate control solutions that don’t use flammable refrigerants to begin with, such as Rittal Blue e+ chillers. But if your current cooling solutions do use flammable refrigerants and don’t yet have smart leak detection systems, now is the time to either retrofit or upgrade. 

The Benefits of Early Compliance with UL/CSA 60335-2-40

Although UL/CSA 60335-2-40 won’t be mandated until January 1, 2024, many automotive facilities, which rely heavily on industrial automation and the cooling systems that keep plants running, are transitioning their climate control solutions now to help ensure they are ready. What’s more, many are turning to cooling technologies that don’t use flammable refrigerants at all, such as Rittal’s Blue e+ chillers and cooling units. 

The benefit to transitioning to climate control solutions that are UL Certified to UL/CSA 60335-2-40, such as Rittal's Blue e+ line, now is that you can reduce your energy usage, decrease the time you spend on maintenance, and lower your energy costs immediately, representing a significant reduction in carbon emissions — and substantial cost savings — between now and 2024.

Automotive Plants Get Energy and Cost Savings with Climate Control 

Energy-efficient industrial and IT climate control solutions like Rittal’s Blue e+ cooling units are helping organizations reduce energy consumption and energy costs. The Blue e+ line features cooling capacities up to 6,000 watts and can be used in environments ranging from -4°F to 140°F. Its powerful cooling capabilities are key, but the real game changer is that the Blue e+ delivers up to 75% energy savings thanks to its patented heat pipe technology, an innovative hybrid process that relies upon two parallel cooling circuits working together, depending on temperature difference. 

The integral heat pipe dissipates heat from the enclosure as soon as the ambient temperature falls below the setpoint, providing passive climatization. Active climatization is achieved via the compressor’s cooling circuit with speed-controlled components for demand-based cooling. This unique inverter technology provides cooling output that is always exactly the amount needed at the time. Not only is energy consumption far lower than with conventional technology, but the improved cooling leads to longer service life of the components inside the enclosure and the cooling unit itself.

UL/CSA 60335-2-40 notwithstanding, automotive manufacturers were already making the switch to Rittal’s energy-efficient climate control solutions for the energy and cost savings alone. With many corporations setting aggressive, public-facing sustainability goals, retiring older or underperforming units in favor of Rittal units is a win-win. In fact, one major North American automotive manufacturer recently added Rittal’s Blue e+ cooling units and chillers to its global specification. 

Not sure where to start? Work with us on a climate control efficiency analysis. Our energy efficiency experts can come to your facility, inventory and audit your existing cooling units, and help you put together a plan for reducing carbon emissions using products that are already UL Certified to UL/CSA 60335-2-40. Request your climate control efficiency analysis today.