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Cool Talks keeps engineers updated

The Cool Talks breakfast briefing in Leeds, run by the Institute of Refrigeration (IoR), took place at Beijer Ref on 26 April with over twenty people in attendance. The group of attendees was primarily made up of contractors and engineers who heard short ten minute talks from four speakers.

Neil Roberts of Chemours talks refrigerant gases.

The morning started with breakfast, coffee and hot bacon butties before IoR president Steve Gill introduced the Institute to those who are not already members. He highlighting some of the groups that are a part of the Institute such as Women in RACHP.

Andy Kemecsei of Martindale Electric spoke about electrical safe working. He pointed out that 16% of workplace fatalities are electricity related. Penalties for electrical safety violations therefore became tougher in 2016 with average fines trebling over the last twelve months. 

He emphasised the fact that employers are responsible for ensuring that employees have the correct equipment, know how to use it, are in fact using it and that it's fit for use - he particularly highlighted that these things should never be assumed by those responsible in the company.

He looked at selecting the right test equipment for the right applications, and warned of the dangers of using 'one size fits' all devices such as multi meters, where there is the likelihood of using the wrong setting which could produce an incorrect 'safe' result or cause damage.

Steve Taliadoros of Lu-Ve talked about efficiency in cooling, specifically to do with heat exchangers. He talked about the importance of selecting the correct cooler and then went on to look at considering the room layout. He pointed out that lights may seem inconsequential, but even the smallest can interfere with air throw.

He spoke about the importance of installing correct drainage to get rid of the  condensate from the defrost cycle as far away from the unit and cold room as possible with down sloping pipe work and a P-trap to prevent the warm air from outside coming in. Ultimately, he urged the audience to make sure that heat exchangers are kept clean.

Neil Roberts of Chemours explained the manufactures position regarding the refrigerant gas price increases over the last year. If a company can legally sell either half of refrigerant A, or three times more of refrigerant B, then the price of A will go up. In part this is because demand will be higher, and in part because of the need to persuade people to move to B in order to preserve what stock there is of A for where it's needed most.

He spoke about refrigerants across suppliers and pointed out that the A1 replacements still have high GWPs of over 1000 which will not be practical in the longer term of phase down where the average GWP of refrigerants in 2030 should be around 400. The A2L replacements more realistic inasmuch that they have low enough GWPs, although the A2L status does limit the applications where they can be used.

The next Cool Talks is on 21 June, hosted by Bitzer in Milton Keynes.

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