National Ozone Unit, Carenage, St. George’s Grenada. May 19th, 2019. The National Ozone Unit (NOU) was the host of a special meeting with the GIZ to discuss matters relevant to  two projects that the NOU and GIZ are partnering on; the Cool Contributions fighting Climate Change (C4)  and the Sustainable Phase Out of Ozone Depleting Substances (SPODS) projects.

20190520_122525-1The team from the GIZ that met with the National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith included GIZ Technical Advisor, Ms. Marion Geiss and Technical Consultant on the C4 project, Mr. Curllan Bhola.

The objective of the meeting was to evaluate the progress made, review and update the work plans for both projects and to discuss new initiatives. Among the many issues discussed under the C4 project included, the RAC national inventory report, the AC pilot project on natural refrigerants, Cool Training and the national cooling strategy.  With regards to the SPODs project, discussions were held on the ODS banks inventory, a strategy for disposal and a communications strategy for the NOU. The meeting also discussed an AC case study at the Belmont Estate Chocolate Factory.


May 10th, 2019, St. George’s, Grenada:  The National Ozone Unit (NOU) of Grenada continues to intensify  its approach  in ensuring that the capacity of refrigeration and air conditioning technicians on the island is enhanced to handle flammable refrigerants – hydrocarbons.  The use of hydrocarbons in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector is increasing rapidly in Grenada, particularly in domestic and small commercial refrigeration and unitary/split air-conditioning systems.  Hydrocarbon refrigerants (R-600a, R-290 and R-1270) have been identified as a suitable replacement for the high global warming flourinated gases (HFCs). These natural refrigerants have zero ozone depleting potential (ODP), negligible global warming potential (<3) and are very energy efficient.  However, they have a safety classification as A3, meaning that they are non-toxic and flammable.  Therefore it is extremely important that RAC technicians are trained in the safe installation, servicing and maintenance practices when handling these refrigerants.

20190509_094432.jpgThe National Ozone Unit in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) organized a two-day training on Wednesday May 8th to Thursday May 9th, 2019 at the T A Marryshow Community College, St. George’s, Grenada for RAc technicians.  This training was geared for RAC technicians with at least three years’ experience in the field. The focus of the training was on the safe handling of flammable refrigerants. Day one of the training covered the theoretical aspects and day two was used for practical sessions. Several local technicians, workshops and companies were invited to participate in the training. Over the two days a total of 32 technicians including 28 males and 4 females participated. Over 60% RAC technicians in Grenada have received some level of training in hydrocarbon refrigerant technology.

Two (2) local RAC trainers and the National Ozone Officer were used to conduct the training. Some of the major topics covered in the training included:

  • Properties of hydrocarbons
  • Risk assessment
  • Legislation, policy and standards
  • Fire and electrical safety
  • Charge limitation and room size calculations
  • Personal protective equipment and specialize tools and equipment required for installation and servicing
  • Leak detection
  • Installation, servicing and maintenance practices
  • Brazing and pipe connections

20190509_123109.jpgDuring the practical training, the participants were required to demonstrate their competencies in brazing, flare joint connections, leak and pressure testing, evacuation, venting and charging of refrigerants.

During the evaluation participants were asked to give their overall rating of the training. Out of 27 respondents, 18 viewed the training as been excellent, 8 as very good and 1 as good.

At the end of the training, certificates of participation were presented by the Chief Planning Officer in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation to all participants.


Participants at the training

Last Friday, the first Natural Refrigerant air-conditioning system was installed in Grenada on commercial basis by Grenz Concept. The recently establish business seized the opportunity to fulfil the need for highly efficient, climate friendly air conditioning systems in Grenada and the region.

The first environmental issue with the cooling sector was its impact on the ozone layer through the use of halocarbon refrigerants (chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HCFCs). Now most of these units are phased out but they were replaced by others using Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), which do not affect the ozone layer but have a greenhouse gas potential or sometime over 14,000 time that of Carbon Dioxide. Cooling devices are also using a lot of energy (estimated to 40% of Grenada’s energy bill by Grenlec). This, coupled with a world-wide increase in cooling product demand, has a tremendous impact on global warming.

In a drive to reduce global warming from human activities, the cooling sector developed cooling products (air-conditioning, fridges, freezers, etc.) that are more energy efficient and use “natural refrigerants” such as propane (R290) which has both low ozone depletion and greenhouse gas potential.

Kelly Cyrus, managing director of Grenz Concept said: “Currently we have a stock of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for sale in Grenada. Our units are 40% more energy efficient than the air conditioning systems using R22 as refrigerant. This means that by changing to the R290 systems, you can cut you energy usage almost by half. Our R290 systems running at an optimal temperature of 25 degrees Celsius only use an amperage of 2.9 amps.  This figure shows the efficiency of our systems. Based on your energy savings the payback time for a R290 12000 BTU system is approximately 14 months. Other features of the units is that they are very quiet and that the compressors are gold Nano quoted to prevent the rusting.”

Mrs. Henry, who benefited of the first installation by the company on Friday said: “I am extremely pleased with the unit. It is powerful and yet very quiet. The room cools down within a couple of minutes. I run it at 25° and it is an ideal temperature for my baby daughter’s bedroom. It also makes me feel good to think that I am not destroying the future world for my daughter by trying to keep her cool at night.”

Until recently, Natural Refrigerant air-conditioning system were not imported to Grenada due to the lack of regulations for installation and maintenance of these units. However, the National Ozone Unit with the support of the C4 global project paved the way to enable Grenada to import these units through implementing technician trainings, developing standards and the installation of 30 units under a pilot projects to test their efficiency.

Grenz Concept took advantage of this opportunity to position itself as a market leaders. Grenz Concept’s installation team has more than 20 years in the RAC sector in Grenada and are trained in the installation and the servicing of the R290 systems.



L-R: Leslie Smith, Nicholas Joseph, John Campbell

St. George’s, Grenada, April 02, 2019: The two refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) technicians, Mr. Nicholas Joseph and Mr. John Campbell, who recently participated  (March 25-29) in a study tour on natural refrigerants in Costa Rica, paid a visit to the National Ozone Unit (NOU) on their return. They met with the  National Ozone Officer (NOO), Mr Leslie Smith to report on their experiences as well as to provide recommendations for consideration for the local RAC sector.

Mr. Campbell, who is the Public Relations Officer of the Grenada Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA) and a senior technician at the St. George’s University (SGU), views the experience as “eye opening” and was particularly impressed with the design, layout and workmanship of the facilities visited. He was also impressed with the details and emphasis that were placed on safety and maintenance, since the refrigerants used at the sites have either high levels of flammability or toxicity. He reiterated, that the support from Government in establishing the necessary legislation and enabling environment is critical for the application of these technologies in Grenada. He sees hydrocarbons as a feasible option for Grenada in the unitary air-conditioning sub-sector.

Mr Joseph, who is also an executive member of GRAVA (Asst. Secretary) and a businessman in RAC equipment, viewed the experience as very educational and one that has broadened his knowledge on natural refrigerant technology. He encourages young and senior technicians to make an effort to participate in opportunities like these, whenever possible. When asked about the business potential for R-290 systems in Grenada, he response was ,” I see a great opportunity for R-290 (hydrocarbon) systems in Grenada, not only because of their environmental benefits, but mainly because of their energy efficiency and savings, in terms of dollars and sense”.

Both  participants expressed their gratitude to the NOU in facilitating their participation in the study tour and indicated their willingness to share their experiences with other technicians and to support the initiatives of the NOU in promoting natural refrigerant technology. The tour to Costa Rica was facilitated under the Sustainable Phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substance (SPODS) project. the SPODS project is co-financed by the European Commission and the Government of Germany, through the GIZ as the implementing agency.

Natural refrigerant technology (hydrocarbons, ammonia and carbon dioxide) is one of the RAC technologies that is promoted by the NOU, as a replacement for the ozone depleting and/or high global warming potential refrigerants currently used in Grenada. Natural refrigerants have zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) of less than 3, while at the same time delivering better energy efficiencies than other refrigerants.



Hugo Sealy

St. George’s, Grenda, March 25th, 2019: Hugo Sealy, assistant refirgeration and air-conditioning technician in the Fisheries Division of the  Ministry of Climate Reselience, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is the latest beneficiary to receive overseas training in natural refrigerants for the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector. Mr. Sealy who has also received hydrocarbon technology training in Grenada is currently in Japan attending a four (4) weeks training programme in natural refrigerants, with particular focus on their application in the fisheries sector.

In Grenada there are three (3) fisheries plants (two government owned and one privately owned) that operate with the natural refrigerant, ammonia. However, there is very limited technical capacity on the island to adequately, install, maintain and operate these systems. Ammonia refrigeration systems require higher levels of safety measures, mainly due to the toxicity of the refrigerant. The training will focus heavily on energy efficiency, water conservation, ozone and climate friendly natural refrigerants as well as renewable energy – solar photo voltaic. The program includes theoretical  and hands-on practical sessions as well as study tours to major fisheries establishments that use ammonia and carbon dioxide.

The training is organised by Marino-Forum21, a Japanese based company engaged in technical development related tot he fisheries sector. This training will be conducted from March 24th – April 19th, 2019.  Funding to facilitate Mr. Sealy’s participation is provided by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

St. George’s, Grenada, Monday March 25th, 2019: Two members of the Grenada Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA) left the island on Sunday March 24th for San Jose, Costa Rica, to participate in a ‘Technology Road Show on Natural Refrigerants” and to attend the “Network Meeting of the Green Cooling Initiative (GCI), from March 25th – 28th, 2019.

This event is part of a series of capacity building measures on natural refrigerants, aimed at decision makers and technicians in the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector, in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The week in Costa Rica is organized by the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and is supported within the framework of the Green Climate Initiative II project that is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.  Additional funding is provided through the Sustainable Phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances (SPODS) project, co-financed by the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Co-operation and Development. Grenada is the only English-speaking Caribbean country participating in the SPODS project.

The main objective of the study tour/roadshow is to visit different sites where technology using natural refrigerants are used as climate and ozone friendly alternatives and with  improvements in energy efficiencies.  Among the sites to be visited are: establishments with cooling systems that use ammonia and CO2, commercial and industrial refrigeration sites that use R-290 refrigerants and the first HFC–free company in Costa Rica that uses R-290 refrigerants in chillers and industrial refrigeration systems. The participants will also have the opportunity to visit hotels using R-290 AC systems and participate in discussions and training sessions on natural refrigerants.

During the Network Meeting of the Green Cooling initiative, the technicians will interact and discuss with decision makers on policies, technology development, standards and energy efficiency and on the lessons learnt during the cooling technology roadshow.

The National Ozone Unit – the local executing agency for projects aimed at protecting the ozone payer has adopted as a policy; to leap-frog the transitional high global warming potential (GWP), HFC gases and to move directly towards natural refrigerants with zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) and negligible GWP (<3).  Already there has been very positive response from stakeholders to the R-290 AC demonstration project under the “Cool Contributions fighting Climate Change (C4)” project. RAC equipment importers have started introducing these units to the local market.


Left: Nicholas Joseph, (Right) John Campbell

The two technicians currently in Costa Rica are Mr. Nicholas Joseph, assistant General Secretary of GRAVA and Mr. John Campbell, the Public Relations Officer (PRO). On their return, the technicians would share the knowledge and experience gained from the study tour with other technicians and more importantly provide technically and economically feasible recommendations to the NOU on what aspects of natural refrigerant technology can be applied in Grenada.

The National Ozone Unit (NOU) supported by the projects “Cool Contributions fighting Climate Change” (C4) and “Sustainable and climate-friendly Phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances” (SPODS), requests you save the date for a training workshop targeting the financial and energy sectors in Grenada on “Bankable Calculations, Analyses and Financial Modelling for Sustainable Energy Projects (Focus on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Projects)”dubbed “COOL FINANCING”.

The training will be conducted by technical consultant, Mr. Jan Bleyl from Germany, during the period March 26th – 28th, 2019, at the Public Workers Union Building.
Save the date. More information and official invitations to follow soon.

June 2019
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