UNEP webinar: Greater use of naturals requires more technician training – Part 1

By Huiting Jia, Mar 22, 2013, 13:47 2 minute reading

In a webinar organised by UNEP OzonAction, panellists from UNEP Ozone Units, stakeholders shared their experiences in the training and certification of technicians in the European refrigeration and air conditioning industry. The main message: training and certification in natural refrigerants will be needed more and more to accompany their increasing use. In Part 1 of our webinar coverage we look at the presentations from UNEP and AREA.

The UNEP OzonAction webinar organised on March 19, 2013 and titled: “Training and Certification Schemes for Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Technicians” featured speakers from UNEP OzonAction, industrial associations and researchers across Europe. They shared their experiences and the challenges faced with regard to training and the certification of HVAC&R technicians.
Training and certification: a worthy investment for future competitiveness
Mr Halvart Koppen, coordinator of the UNEP Regional Ozone Network in Europe & Central Asia presented on the current situation for the training and certification of refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 
Mr Koppen stressed that the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could not be achieved solely by selecting the most energy efficient, climate and ozone friendly refrigerants, but would also require proper servicing and maintenance to ensure equipment operates at maximum efficiency. It is therefore very important to provide training and certification to technicians. In terms of investment, Mr Koppen said that the: “certification and training of technicians is the investment of companies to stay in business and to remain competitive in future. The training and certification scheme to technicians also provides new business opportunities for providers of trainings, e-learning and system services.”
According to Mr Koppen, as a result of the European Union F-gas regulation, countries in the region have already begun to adopt suitable policies and legislation to facilitate the implementation of the HCFC phase-out Management Plans (HPMP). Croatia, which is supposed to join the EU on 1 July 2013, is aiming for an early phase-out of HCFC consumption to match the relevant EU legislation. Although the Montreal Protocol allows the use of HCFCs in Article 5 countries until 2030, Turkey also aims to phase them out by 2015 (except for servicing needs).
The increasing use of natural refrigerants requires more training in CO2, hydrocarbons and ammonia
Mr. Marco Buoni, Vice President of AREA presented AREA’s experiences and ideas concerning training and certification schemes. Mr Buoni said that the European Commission F-Gas Regulation revision could include measures in favour of a decreased use of HFCs in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment. Such measures would, in turn, result in an increased use of alternatives, namely low GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants, and in particular the so-called “natural refrigerants” (CO2, hydrocarbons and ammonia).If the use of HFCs is legislatively decreased and consequently the use of natural refrigerants is pushed, there will be a gap between the training offered and training needs, resulting in a shortage of trained contractors, said Mr Buoni.
During the webinar, Mr Buoni also introduced the related EU F-Gas Regulation requirements for training and certification, as well as national refrigeration, air conditioning and heating courses organised by Centro Studi Galileo in Italy. According to Mr Buoni, every year about 3000 technicians attend over 300 such courses in Italy. 


By Huiting Jia

Mar 22, 2013, 13:47

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