International speaker shares lab expertise

SAIRAC Johannesburg held a second technical talk in February where an expert from Trox in Germany presented a critical look at the design of lab and clean rooms in terms of HVAC. 

The technical talk took place at the ACRA training academy in Chloorkop Johannesburg on 21 February and was well attended by South African Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (SAIRAC) members and visitors alike.

The usual formalities preceded the talk, including the handing out of new member and course certificates. Centre chairman Jaco Pieterse said a few words on the upcoming centre events while SAIRAC president, Grant Laidlaw talked about the benefits of joining the association and what it does for its members.

The floor was then handed to Patrick Unterdorfer, global sales manager for labs and cleanrooms, Trox Germany, who has been doing lab control for more than seven years.

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Guest speaker Patrick Unterdorfer (left) with SAIRAC president Grant Laidlaw.

Unterdorfer looked at what is possible in terms of lab and clean room control design from the HVAC point of view, sharing case studies from across the world to show off the equipment. He also covered typical applications and highlighted some new technology and products that is really considered ‘cutting edge’ in the market. The talk was highly technical and quite high level, but still very interesting.

Unterdorfer stressed the importance of not simply going for the cheapest option as it could work out quite expensive in the end.

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Jaco Pieterse, SAIRAC Johannesburg chairman (right), with candidates who recently completed SAIRAC courses and received their certificates on the night.

“What about the hidden costs not included in the purchase price? Today it is common practice to cherry-pick different components for your HVAC system, depending on the price. With this approach, you might reduce the purchase costs for your components but now you need to bring them all together to work as a system. But now you spend at least double of your savings for the integration,” said Unterdorfer.

“If you consider the total cost of ownership, you can reduce your total costs when using innovative high-tech system components. Therefore, before designing your HVAC system, take a moment to evaluate the total invest costs including the system integration and then add the cost of operation.”

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SAIRAC Johannesburg welcomed more new members to the association before the talk commenced.

Finally, Unterdorfer looked at five examples on how to save energy before taking questions from the floor.

Drinks and snacks followed where guests had the opportunity to further pick Unterdorfer’s brain.



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