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.

Monday, October 29th, 2018: Members of the Grenada Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA) agreed to a new date for the election of officers to serve on its executive.  The decision was taken at the recently held Annual General Meeting (AGM) on October 24, 2018, after a quorum of twenty (20) financial members in good standing was not present for the elections to be held.

The last election of officers was held some six (6) years ago when a special General Meeting had to be convened for similar reasons.  The association has been dormant for a period of approximately five (5) years and efforts are now underway with support from the National Ozone Unit to re-organise and return it to full functionality.

The new date that us set for the General Election of the Association is Thursday January 17th, 2019.  The sitting executive is urging all members to regularize their membership.  A special appeal is also made to potential members to join the Association. Membership registration forms are available at SNJ Electrical, H A Blaize Street, B L International, Frequente, Cooling Tech Limited, Dusty Highway and the National Ozone Unit, Financial Complex, Carenage, St. George’s

20181024_175709[1]Friday October 26th, 2018:  The Grenada Refrigeration, Air Conditioning ad Ventilating Association (GRAVA) concluded a very successful Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday October 24th, 2018 at the T A Marryshow Community College.  Over forty (40) refrigeration and air conditioning technicians, representing all sectors of the industry, attended the approximately ninety (90) minutes meeting.  This has been the first AGM since October 2012. The AGM of GRAVA is constitutionally due by the last  Thursday of October and has been organised by the sitting executive to rejuvenate the association.  GRAVA at one stage was ranked among the most active RAC associations in the Caribbean.  President, Mr. Lenard Frank in his address encouraged the members to join forces for a collective effort to re-position GRAVA as the most preeminent association in the region.

Also addressing the meeting was National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith, who lamented on the need for a very close  working relationship between GRAVA and the National Ozone Unit. “Refrigeration and air conditioning is the target area in the NOU’s work portfolio; the NOU is prepared to extend additional support in assisting the Association to return to full functionality”, Mr. Smith said.


Dr. Telesford: GRAVA AGM

The highlight of meeting was the feature address delivered by Dr. John Telescford of the T A Marryshow Community College.  Dr. Telesford who is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is also an Honorary Member of GRAVA.  Dr. Telesford addressed the technicians on the topic: “Building Our New Energy Future, Together”. He informed the technicians that global environmental issues such as ozone depletion and climate change are among the  the key driving forces that is shaping the RAC industry today. He went on to say that “this new thrust therefore makes us not just RAC technicians, but individuals and organizations offering energy related solutions to our clients and customers. Our new future therefore is about energy! In fact, we seem to be going ‘back to the future’ to shape our ‘new energy future’”. Sending a very stern message to the association members, Dr. Telesford reiterated that GRAVA needs to get past the ‘Forming Stage’ and to aggressively transition to the ‘Storming’ and ‘Norming’ Stages in order to get to the ‘Performing’ stage in the organisation’s developmental process. In so doing, he identified a number of benefits the members can derive from the association.

The meeting also included reports from the Secretary and Treasurer and discussed core areas that the members would like  GRAVA to address for them in the 2019 business plan.

April 2019
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