Technical services company Grosvenor Engineering Group has introduced a dedicated natural refrigerant technology service for HVAC&R systems. Through the service, the company hopes to help the Australian commercial office market reduce its carbon footprint by providing a green alternative.
“The opportunity for the use of natural refrigerants is broad within the commercial market,” says Grosvenor Managing Director Nicholas Lianos, Affil.AIRAH.
“The energy savings to be derived by commercial property owners through upgrading larger HVAC systems to natural refrigerant technology is material, and strong ROI business cases can be made.
“Presently we are working with a large shopping centre owner to upgrade a significant number of 70kW rooftop R22 package units that are at end of life. We are also working with two of Australia’s largest commercial property owners to utilise natural refrigerant technology chillers within the various office towers and other buildings that they own.”
Grosvenor is moving to address the use of all applicable technologies including hydrocarbons, CO2 and ammonia, assessing the most suitable technology for the application at hand.
Grosvenor employs more than 800 staff, 400 of whom are HVAC technicians. It plans to train them all in natural refrigerant technology within the next 12 months. More than 30 technicians were expected to have finished the specialist accreditation, which also includes the safe handling of R32 refrigerant, by the end of June.
“As both A2/A2L (R32) as well as hydrocarbon refrigerants are flammable, and were never taught throughout Australia in the national curriculum for refrigeration and air conditioning, licensed technicians are not aware of the hazards or requirements when using or installing systems containing A2/A2L (R32) or hydrocarbon refrigerants,” says Grosvenor Director and National Engineering Manager Peter Souflias, M.AIRAH.
“Grosvenor realised that these refrigerants could create potential problems to our business if we delayed in upskilling our staff, so for that reason, we started to train our personnel.”
The staff will complete nationally recognised courses in handling A2/A2L flammable refrigerants and hydrocarbon refrigerants through Superior Training Centre (STC). Students will receive a statement of attainment and then apply to the ARC for Green Scheme accreditation.
The training is designed to meet technicians’ needs as more installations begin to use lower-GWP refrigerants.
“We have been observing market trends overseas, and the exponential growth towards using environmentally friendly HVAC&R solutions that deliver significant energy savings,” says Lianos.
“European equipment sales of natural refrigerants in HVAC&R equipment, and a focus on these products at major global trade shows and events, further validates that the natural refrigerants market is in a significant growth phase.
“Market research also highlights that there is a gap in the Australian market for technical people that can properly and safely handle, install and maintain natural refrigerant solutions. We will soon have a dedicated team of highly experienced and accredited staff equipped to implement natural refrigerant technology in commercial buildings.”