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First Training on the Safe Use and Handling of Natural A/C Refrigerants Launched in Thailand

September 10, 2019
To men training refrigerant safe use
Image: © GIZ Thailand

Natural Refrigerant Safe Use Training

Bangkok, August 2019 – King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB), the Electricity Authority of Thailand (EGAT), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH joined up to launch the “Grand Opening of First R Training: Safe Use and Handling of Flammable Refrigerants” at KMUTNB. The event marks the official start of a training of trainers series on the use of natural refrigerants in refrigeration and air conditioners in Thailand with the aim of reducing both energy consumption and global warming.

The training programme is part of the Thailand Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (RAC NAMA) project implemented by GIZ. The project’s mission is to promote natural refrigerants for energy efficient and climate-friendly cooling technologies in Thailand. One critical component of the project is to build the capacity of the service sector for the safe use of natural refrigerants. The RAC NAMA project together with the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineering Technology (RAET), College of Industrial Technology, KMUTNB, are therefore holding training-of-trainers courses on the safe use and handling of flammable refrigerants to prepare trainers for the switch to greener cooling technologies. RAET will provide knowledge and techniques for the safe use and handling of natural refrigerants. The training centre receives funding from the RAC NAMA Fund implemented by EGAT. EGAT will support training equipment for the establishment of training facilities while GIZ will cooperate on the development of training in collaboration with overseas experts.

Ms. Margaret Tongue, Deputy Head of Mission, the British Embassy Bangkok said: “Through the founding of the innovative financing instrument known as the NAMA Facility, the UK and Germany have put in place an important initiative that provides both the policies and fiscal measures to support Thailand transformational change towards low-carbon development. With today’s launch of the training, we are underlining our commitment to tackling global warming through promoting the production and use of natural refrigerants or “Green Cooling” in refrigeration and air conditioning. This commitment reflects our intention to deliver “net-zero” emissions in the UK as well as at the international level, where we partner with countries like Thailand. With total financial support of 0.5 Million Euro (approximately 17 Million Baht), the training will pave the way to the development of a highly skilled labour force able to safely apply “Green Cooling” technologies, which focuses on reducing energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas emissions.”

Mr. Jan Lars Scheer, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany said: “Germany is recognised in many countries for its excellent engineering skills, particularly in the automotive, mechanical and electrical industries. Over the years, Germany has provided a great deal of assistance to Thailand. For example, KMUTNB is a technical university established by a German vocational education project over 60 years ago and has been a leading institution in the field of technical education ever since.”

“While we continue to cooperate in the education sector by collaborating with academia and the private sector to improve the quality of vocational training in Thailand, we are today also putting a strong emphasis on combatting climate change. One element is the promotion of energy efficiency in the cooling sector, as well as the elimination of the use of harmful substances that are already being eliminated elsewhere in the world. We want to support Thailand to stay an industrial cooling hub in the whole ASEAN region and to serve as an example for energy efficiency and sustainability.” Mr. Jan Scheer added.

Prof. Dr. Suchart Siengchin, President of KMUTNB said: “KMUTNB is committed to developing human resources in science and technology through knowledge, morality and capacity to innovate so as to contribute to the country’s economic, social and environmental development. We recognise that emissions of greenhouse gas are becoming increasingly problematic and that resource-efficient production is necessary. For this reason, natural refrigerants or “Green Cooling” are being introduced as a key technology in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) sector. We already have the strength in terms of technical knowledge and practical training and welcome the training support we are receiving from the RAC NAMA project. Through this cooperation, we plan to train RAC trainers and chief technicians in Thailand to be able to work with flammable natural refrigerants in accordance with international safety standards and to disseminate the lessons learned to other RAC technicians throughout the region. We will therefore be able to supply qualified trainers for the air conditioner market and move towards an eco-friendly society.”

Assoc. Prof. Chatchan Thongjub, Project Leader and Head of RAET, KMUTNB said: “Using R290 Green Cooling for air conditioners is recommended throughout this training as it has less Global Warming Potential (GWP) which helps reduce Global Warming. It also can reduce up to 5-25% of energy consumption and has an excellent heat transfer property, leading to the development of high-quality air conditioners that are energy efficient and thus help save on electricity bills.”

“This first training course will see the participation of 16 RAC trainers from 16 provinces. In terms of theoretical knowledge, the participants will learn about various types of refrigerants, the refrigeration cycle and the brazing theory, including risks and precautions in operational safety. They will gain more experience through hands-on practice at every step of work, from installation, brazing, operation and leakage testing to labeling, reporting and delivery. Finally, the latest tools used in Europe and internationally as well as the application of tools available in Thailand will be shared among them.” Assoc. Prof. Chatchan added.                 

Mr. Tim Mahler, Country Director of GIZ Thailand and Malaysia said: “The training curriculum on safe use and handling of flammable natural refrigerants is developed by international experts with the support from GIZ and KMUTNB. In partnership with the Office of Vocational Education Commission (OVEC) and the Department of Skill Development (DSD), 8 training centers in Thailand have been selected as training centres for the safe use and handling of flammable refrigerants, namely KMUTNB, Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, Yasothon Technical College, Krabi Technical College, Uttaradit Technical College, Lampang Regional Institute for Skill Development, Suphanburi Regional Institute for Skill Development and Rayong Regional Institute for Skill Development. In total, the project will have organised 13 training courses with more than 200 trainers trained all over Thailand by the end of 2020. We fully believe that the RAC NAMA project will help the trainers and head technicians in the RAC sector to see the benefits of Green Cooling and better understand how to use it safely.”

RAC NAMA Project

RAC NAMA project is funded by the NAMA Facility on behalf of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It is being implemented through the cooperation between the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) and the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE). It aims to support Thailand in achieving its target of energy saving in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Plan and its target of greenhouse gas reduction pledged at the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).