A Sydney, Australia-based engineering company, the Grosvenor Engineering Group, has launched a program to train all its technicians in natural refrigerant technology, citing the growing demand and cost benefits of natural refrigerants as reasons for the move.
The company aims to be able to provide a dedicated natural refrigerant technology service. “We have been observing market trends overseas and the exponential growth towards using environmentally friendly HVAC&R solutions which deliver significant energy savings,” said Nicholas Lianos, Managing Director at Grosvenor.
Grosvenor is the first major technical services company in Australia to introduce such a dedicated program in the commercial office market, according to the company’s website.
The low environmental impact and energy efficiency of natural refrigerants, as well as Australia’s HFC phase down, are also factors behind the program, according to Grosvenor. Unlike HFCs, HVAC&R systems utilizing natural refrigerants have “reduced energy costs, in some cases up to 60%, lower maintenance costs and can sustain a reduced carbon footprint,” explained Lianos.
The company currently employs 400 HVAC technicians, and it will “train all of them in natural refrigerant technology within the next 12 months,” according to Grosvenor’s website.
12-month training plan
The Australian national curriculum for refrigeration and air conditioning does not cover natural refrigerants in detail, and thus “licensed technicians are not aware of the hazards or requirements when using or installing systems containing A2/A2L (R32) or hydrocarbon refrigerants,” says Grosvenor Director and National Engineering Manager Peter Souflias, speaking to HVAC&R News.
Grosvenor technicians will therefore take courses in handling hydrocarbon and A2/A2L flammable refrigerants in the New South Wales-based Superior Training Centre (STC), according to HVAC&R News.
Having completed the course, they can then apply for the Green Scheme accreditation from the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC), which allows technicians to work with hydrocarbon, C02, and ammonia-based refrigerants, as well as HFO 1234yf.