Training For Refrigeration Technicians In Use Of Non-Ozone Depleting Substances

Jamaica News: The National Ozone Unit at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is working to have local technicians of cooling equipment trained and licensed to handle the alternative substances to be used in refrigeration.

Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to which Jamaica is party, ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in air-conditioning and refrigeration have been phased out.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), used as alternatives, are being eliminated and HCFC substitutes, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), will be phased down for preferred natural refrigerants.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank, Project Manager in the National Ozone Unit, Vivian Blake, said that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is helping Jamaica implement the first stage of its Phase-out Management Programme of HCFCs.

“We are examining what it is that is going to be necessary to put in place, the framework for the certification and licensing of our refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians, and that is work that is under way.

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“We have to ensure that with each coming generation of alternatives, our technicians who do the servicing and installation of cooling equipment have to be trained, because there are, with these new generation of gasses, health and safety concerns,” he noted.

Already, Jamaica is ahead of the national target for the phase-out of HCFCs, with 55 metric tonnes of imports in 2018. The target was to reduce imports to 241 metric tonnes by 2025.

The new generation of preferred gasses includes natural refrigerants such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrocarbons such as propane and isobutane.

Some of these are already on the Jamaican market, and while they are not ozone-depleting, they could have toxicity and flammability properties.

“That is why you have to have trained individuals within the refrigeration/air-conditioning sector who do the installation and servicing of the equipment. There is always a risk in using chemicals, but these risks can be minimised with the due diligence that is applied in each and every case,” Mr. Blake said.


Source: JIS News

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