A specialist commercial refrigeration and CO2 awareness training day was held at Panasonic UK HQ in Bracknell with distributor Hawco and some of its customers.
Attendee, David Jupp, director of Castle Fridge who has been in the commercial refrigeration industry since 1982, commented: “The training day was very informative, I learnt a lot and believe the future is exciting for commercial refrigeration and the use of CO2. Over the next five years I think that we will start to see colossal changes within the industry with the adoption of more natural refrigerants such as CO2.”
Laura Fleming, area sales manager North with experience in commercial refrigeration in the UK for Panasonic, informed attendees about the 10-year history in CO2 commercial refrigeration that Panasonic has with its range of condensing units. The range was first launched in Japan in 2001, with now over 10,000 units sold (as of the end of November 2018).
Attendees were reminded of the EU F-Gas Regulations and the phase out that will be coming into force in 2022 which will ban certain refrigerants for use in new installations. These regulations are being driven by environmental concerns, where legislation is requiring the increased adoption of ‘alternative’ refrigerants of which CO2 is one. CO2 is a very attractive natural alternative with a zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and a Global Warming Potential (GWP) equal to one.
Indy Tharnvithian, technical specialist manager for CO2 at Panasonic, added: “When installing the Panasonic CO2 range just two settings are required – vacuum mode and evaporating setting – everything else is pre-set.
“Obviously if need be, settings can easily be modified with alarms that will indicate any wrong settings. If installers register on the Panasonic Pro-Club website, they will have access to commissioning tools that includes a cooling capacity calculator, pipe calculator and EEV quick selection tool.”
Ms Tharnvithian further provided insightful tips on safety issues when working with CO2 and the importance of the sub-critical and transcritical pressure testing required along with the smaller pipe sizes in addition to looking over a unit in operating mode.
Ms Tharnvithian also stressed the importance of attending a certified CO2 training course to ensure confidence when working with CO2 and to future proof installer businesses as CO2 is more widely adopted as a commercial refrigerant.
Mr Jupp further added: “I will most certainly be looking to complete the recommended CO2 City and Guilds training. Due to the complexities of installing CO2, installers will have to have a higher level of training and will thus hopefully remove some of the current issues around bad installations. Installers would be foolish not to receive the appropriate training and may be left behind if they do not invest in CO2.”
Mervin Chumun of Hawco highlighted to attendees: “Hawco has access to the complete package for installing the Panasonic CO2 range, whereby we are currently offering free commissioning plus support to help with compliance to ensure the units are correctly installed. Furthermore, Hawco are able to supply evaporators with compatible controllers for a complete system.”
The team at Hawco offer design and in-depth product knowledge, helping customers to improve efficiency, minimise energy consumption and move to lower GWP refrigerants.
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