Editors Blog


Murphy's Law: Refrigerant Change Is Plentiful

June 8, 2009
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A recent front page story (The NEWS, May 25) described an acceleration of the transition from HFC refrigerants to even more environmentally friendly carbon dioxide or hydrocarbon (HC) alternatives. And, this, before many contractors have begun to comprehend the nearing transition of HCFCs to HFCs.

The sky isn’t falling, but the speed at which industry changes are hurtling around the world really is astounding. Change, such as that which is occurring in Australia, may seem like it is merely on the other side of the globe, and not worth paying attention to; however, world events are creating pressures in the United States more quickly than anticipated.

The Australian Minister for Education and Training recently announced “280 refrigeration and air conditioning technicians will receive free training so they can service equipment using environmentally friendly carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon refrigerants.”

In a nutshell, the Aussies believe that “The use of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon refrigerants in air-conditioners and refrigerators will give long term energy savings for consumers, and they have very low greenhouse warming potential and zero ozone depletion when compared to the current synthetic refrigerant gases.”

The bottom line is that environmentalists, the world over, are convinced that whatever is in air conditioning systems today is leaking (or being vented) to the atmosphere. The more benign are the refrigerants to be leaked, the better, in their estimation.

Coming to a neighborhood near you, and sooner than you think - natural refrigerants.

Here is the entire story from an Australian government press release:

The Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, today announced 280 refrigeration and air conditioning technicians across regional New South Wales (NSW) will receive free training so they can service equipment using environmentally friendly carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon refrigerants.

Firth said the training is part of the Taking Natural Refrigerants to Regional NSW project, which is co-funded by the NSW and Australian governments.

“This program will be a boost for the environment, as well as jobs in regional NSW,” Firth said.

“Technicians, including final year apprentices, in regional NSW can now register their interest in participating in this training on the Refrigeration and Air conditioning Contractors Association (NSW) (RACCA-NSW) Website www.raccansw.asn.au/ for a free in-depth nationally accredited training program in natural refrigerants systems and safety.

“The use of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon refrigerants in air-conditioners and refrigerators will give long term energy savings for consumers, and they have very low greenhouse warming potential and zero ozone depletion when compared to the current synthetic refrigerant gases.

“By using greener refrigerant gases and smarter green work practices we can help to remove harmful substances from the environment.

“The in-depth training for technicians will enable a wider rollout of refrigeration and air conditioning technologies operating on the greener refrigerants in NSW.

“The Taking Natural Refrigerants to Regional NSW project will provide professional development for TAFE teachers to up-skill them to deliver training in hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon dioxide (CO2) self-contained cabinets.

“This means these greener refrigerant gases and smarter green work practices can be incorporated into mainstream apprenticeship training.

“The project will also run information sessions for 700 regional technicians in nine regional locations across NSW to raise awareness about the use and applications of natural refrigerants, and their handling and storage.”

The RACCA-NSW is the industry proponent for this initiative. RACCA has been able to gain industry support from a number of companies who want to encourage the use of greener technologies in the refrigeration industry.

Firth said the Rees Government held a Green Skills Summit on Feb. 27, 2009 to look at creating green jobs.

“This government is serious about attracting green investment as well as generating and promoting jobs in green industries,” said Firth.

“The Taking Natural Refrigerants to Regional NSW project will up-skill the existing technicians in environmentally friendly technologies, so suppliers will bring more of this technology into Australia and it regional locations, and this will create more green job opportunities.

“The government has also created a Green Skills Taskforce, which is currently developing an action plan to drive the training of the state’s workforce in green skills and drive green jobs.”
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Green Refrigerants changeover

joe maurer
June 8, 2009
Sounds like the Aussies really are a couple of steps ahead of their American counterparts. Who knows maybe the laggards will catch up eventually.

Green Refrigerants Changeover

Murph
June 16, 2009
One can only hope!

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