Supporting the future of our industry

Written by: Mel Summers, Marketing Manager, Climalife UK

 

Climalife has a good history of supporting the new generations of engineers coming into the industry, offering technical documentation and training material as well as some product to colleges and competitions such as SkillFRIDGE. Climalife had the pleasure of working with a Hampshire based college earlier this year, to support them with their refrigerant choices for the future.

 

Eastleigh College, based a few miles from Southampton on the South Coast of England, runs many courses for students, spanning trades from hairdressing,  catering, IT, bricklaying to electrical and plumbing. The college has a turnover of about 20,000 students.


The college has its own specialist Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump (RACHP) department delivering both the new Apprenticeship Standard qualifications, full cost NVQ level 2 courses as well as the new City & Guilds 6090 level 3 qualification to students of all ages. The college also delivers short courses such as F-Gas, Hydrocarbon/ Flammables and Pipework and Brazing courses.


This year, the RACHP department has around 150 students attending the college across various day, night and block release programmes of which 85% are on apprenticeship programmes. It also runs teaching to apprentices and engineers at Heathrow Airport.
 

First year students at the college work on mobile training rigs whilst learning everything from attaching and removing gauges, setting up pressure switches, pre-commissioning, commissioning and de-commissioning systems.

 

In the second year, the students work on split AC systems, ice machines, display cases and various other equipment before moving on the to the more complex systems in year three of the qualification.

 


The college offers invaluable knowledge to the engineers that will be joining us very soon and carry us into the future world of cooling.


 

Looking for more environmentally friendly refrigerants

 

 

Back in January 2020, we met with Shaun Creech from the college. Shaun is the Chief Assessor within the RACHP Department and his job sees him travelling around the South of the UK visiting students across different sites. Shaun also gives lectures within the college and at the Heathrow Airport Training Academy.

 

Shaun was looking for some advice and spoke to the Climalife UK Technical Director, Peter Dinnage about selecting the right refrigerant gas for use when training at the college.

 

Historically the college had been using R-404A and R-134a but as Shaun explained, the college was keen to move away from using high GWP refrigerants; particularly from an environmental perspective.

 

Shaun also wanted to give his students the opportunity to be working with the newest gases on the market in a training environment.

 

The college had some experience of using R-449A and R-513A and both Shaun and Peter agreed it would be a good idea to use these refrigerants. Climalife were happy to donate a supply of gas to the college to support their future training needs along with all the necessary product safety information.

 


Shaun Creech, RACHP Chief Assessor at Eastleigh College:

“The benefit to the college for having these gasses donated is phenomenal as it gets our students working on the newest gasses the industry has to offer and ultimately frees up some of our very limited budget to purchase more basic tools and equipment for our students. Being able to move to R-449A and R-513A has meant that we have seen a substantial drop in the CO2EqT of gas being held and used at the college.”


 

Continued learning

The refrigerants were delivered within a few days of the conversation and the new gas transferred quickly into the training cylinders so that it can be charged and recovered to the same cylinder whilst training. The college were then able to continue their training programme as planned.