Experts at ATMOsphere Europe in Italy agreed that training is key to triggering wider uptake of natural refrigerants.
Anders Juul, Danfoss at ATMOsphere Europe 2018.
Training more HVAC&R technicians to install and maintain natural refrigerant-based HVAC&R technologies holds the key to broadening their uptake in Europe, heard participants in the ATMOsphere Europe 2018 conference in Italy yesterday.
“New customers and new companies are becoming interested in sustainable refrigeration: we need to train them and introduce them to CO2 technology," Manfred Mahnert, regional technical manager, Germany at Advansor, told the event, held at Lago di Garda from 19-21 November.
Manhert said Advansor had already trained more than 1,000 people in the last two years, thanks to activities in different countries and languages all around the globe. Course participants receive a certificate stating the contents of the training received.
Anders Juul of Danfoss presented the Danish multinational’s wide training offer, which includes “Refrigeration Week,” a series of webinars explaining the advantages of using CO2, ammonia and hydrocarbons. “Whenever we transition to new things, in our case natural refrigerants, we need to understand them well,” Juul said.
Training activities are beneficial for Danfoss staff too, Juul argued, since “by giving training you always learn more about the market”.
SCM Frigo Managing Director Nicola Pignatelli presented the Beijer Ref Academy, which opened in Padua last spring. Approximately 120 engineers have passed through its doors to receive theoretical and practical training on CO2 to date.
This figure is expected to increase in 2019, with 15 training sessions already planned throughout the year. “The more people we train, the better it will be for the uptake of natural refrigerants as a whole,” he argued.
Universities and research centres are also involved in natural refrigerant training activities.
Ingrid Camilla Claussen, research manager at SINTEF, shared the results of training sessions held under the EU-funded SuperSmart project aimed at increasing the expertise on energy-efficient supermarkets among technical and non-technical staff members.
With the purpose of removing non-technological barriers to efficient heating and cooling in the European food retail sector, more than 300 people have so far been trained in more than 30 events around Europe. “Knowledge has no value if it is not utilised,” she said.
Silvia Minetto from the Italian National Research Council called for multidisciplinary training and awareness-raising to be made available to HVAC&R engineers. “Out of the box thinking is needed to pick up new opportunities and win technical challenges,” she argued.
“The more people we train, the better it will be for the uptake of natural refrigerants as a whole."
– Nicola Pignatelli, SCM Frigo