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.

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Participants at the training

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