Valuable transfer of knowledge: High interest in natural refrigerants
A total of three interactive theme days under the motto “Natural refrigerants in application” were organized by cci Dialog GmbH with the VDKF and other partners in October and November. About 190 guests visited the events at selected locations in Leipzig, Stuttgart and Recklinghausen.
The participants were awaited by presentations on the topics of promotional measures, relevant directives and safety standards as well as various workshops in which the characteristics and properties of the individual natural refrigerants, such as R290 (propane), R744 (CO2) and R717 (ammonia), were elaborated. Especially when it came to the subject of propane, the famous caravan was mentioned again and again. Inside the caravan, two 11 kg bottles of propane are often driven around and nobody questions this. This example showed how double standards are applied when it comes to safety concerns about flammable refrigerants – another reason for organizing such interactive theme days in the spirit of education. Among others, Karl- Heinz Thielmann, President of the German Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Association (VDKF), Bonn, spoke about the general market situation with natural refrigerants and their special requirements for planners, plant manufacturers and operators. In addition, the participants could choose which of the four sub-topics industrial refrigeration, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration and operator obligations they wanted to deepen in their own workshops. The partners from the industry took the opportunity to explain their solutions and experiences with the application of natural refrigerants both in the workshops and in the discussion breaks. It became apparent that there is still a relatively widespread scepticism, especially towards flammable refrigerants. In the workshop on the subject of operator obligations, planners, system builders and system operators were asked to work out the standards and guidelines that they consider to be valid and worthy of consideration. At the end of the group work the results were summarized. One result is that the requirements for the operation of a refrigeration plant with natural refrigerants only differ in two essential aspects (ATEX regulation and Federal Immission Control Regulation BimSchV) compared to the operation of a refrigeration plant with synthetic refrigerants. By dividing the participants into different, smaller working groups, the speakers from the partner companies Ecogreen, Cooltec Systems, Bureau Veritas, Efficient Energy, GCM German Chiller Manufacturer, Jaeggi Hybrid Coolers, Johnson Controls, L + R Kältetechnik, Menerga, Rivacold CI and Skadec were able to answer many of the participants’ specific questions. (RE)