Cold Link Africa July/August 2019 - Page 3

ISSN 2412-7779 REGULARS CONTENTS INCORPORATING COLD CHAIN VOL. 04 - NO. 08 | JULY/AUGUST 2019 20 REGULARS 3 Editor’s column 43 Products 47 Word search NEWS 4 5 7 9 11 13 Farewell to refrigerant landmark In memory of Jock Badenoch (1933 – 2019) Request for HFC import/export data from government Improved access to Eurocool Cape Town branch Air Products invests R100m in upgrade Global Cold Chain Alliance sets foot in Africa 25 33 INTERNATIONAL NEWS FEATURES 15 25 Refrigerated warehousing and storage – refrigerants matter 33 Functional effectiveness and energy efficiency: ripening to perfection! 34 Future legislation on HCs – who is responsible? 37 Avoiding refrigeration injuries 41 Reciprocating vs. screw compressors – how do you choose? ASHRAE’s refrigeration page now online PROJECTS 16 Imperial Logistics’ healthcare business invests in its cold chain EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS 20 23 24 Less than two years to FRIGAIR – book your spot! Metraclark puts customers first Six new ammonia graduates for OTTC EDITOR’S COLUMN Phase-out or phase-in? I once received a call from a reader complaining that he was tired of reading about refrigerants. My first reaction was to laugh but he was serious. And he wasn’t the only one who was struggling with the constantly changing regulations and seemingly endless new alternatives hitting the market. It was (is) confusing, to say the least. But this is one of those adapt-or-die situations; we really don’t have a choice when it comes to chucking out the old, harmful refrigerants and building more environmentally-friendly refrigeration plants instead. The clients (and the planet) demand it. It doesn’t really make it easier for the industry though – especially not when clients don’t really want to pay more for their system. Another contractor told me that it used to be much easier when charging an HVAC&R plant with refrigerants in days gone by – you really had a few options. Now only the experts and manufacturers can really keep up with the new R-something-somethings hitting the market. How many times have we heard the line “there is no one-size fits all anymore” or “there is no silver bullet for replacing X, Y, or Z”? As we are forced to phase out HCFCs and are constantly reminded that an HFC phasedown is imminent, it seems “going natural” is our only option. It seems like the perfect solution – efficient, green, cheap to manufacture (some of them)… But we all know how expensive those systems really are and the lack of skills argument and the dangers this results in, sounds almost like a broken record by now. Lack of skills is generally a problem in our industry and when it comes to natural refrigerants, the risk is much higher. Now that the charge limit for hydrocarbons has been increased to 500g, we’re going to see a great increase in commercial systems charged with refrigerants such as propane and isobutane. As you (should) know, these are highly flammable and could potentially be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Ammonia has been around since the beginning of time and everyone is aware of the dangers of this potentially poisonous gas. CO 2 is on the rise and the dangers of unskilled workmanship could also be potentially fatal. So, what do we do? Wait out the HFC phase–down deadline in 2024 and make this someone else’s problem? The number of times I’ve heard guys say that the plant they’re building will last until the phase–down and then the next person can worry about working with the more environmentally friendly refrigerants… If we don’t futureproof our systems, this is going to bite us in the you- know-where. Shouldn’t we rather look at working on the skills problem that the whole industry likes complaining about? (By the way, it’s not just us – this is a global issue.) Doesn’t it make more sense to increase our training and capabilities, rather than pretend that this problem doesn’t affect us? It’s not like the training isn’t available. I recently attended an ammonia technician graduation ceremony at OTTC where they’ve trained hundreds of students over the years to a world-class standard. CRS recently got their accreditation for CO 2 training. ACRA has expanded to KZN as well. Techniskills has been reaccredited. The list goes on. The private sector training providers are more than equipped to train industry and take us to the next level. But we don’t want to send people for training because of the age-old argument I hear so often: “If I train them, they will just leave and go work somewhere else.. It reminds me of that post I always see shared on LinkedIn: “Would you rather train them and lose them than not train them and have them stay?” If everyone trained their staff, we’d have a pool of skilled labour to choose from and the new refrigerants wouldn’t scare anyone. With so many subsidies and grants available, there really is no excuse. That all being said, it’s exciting to see so many new ammonia and CO 2 plants going up in commercial and industrial applications around the country. When I was doing my feature on cold storage do’s and don’ts, refrigerants were the main focal point in terms of trends (read more on page 25). There is no escaping refrigerants in this industry (even if you’re tired of hearing it). The only question is whether you’re going to adapt to the times, or inevitably admit defeat as the rest of the world phases out the gas you’re still putting in. The time has come. CLA Ilana Koegelenberg Editor | [email protected] COLD LINK AFRICA • July/August 2019 www.coldlinkafrica.co.za 3