During the three days of FRIGAIR, a series of free-to-attend seminars were hosted on the exhibition floor of Hall 5, drawing massive crowds for the informative talks by industry experts from around the world.
By Ilana Koegelenberg, Ntsako Khosa, and Candace Sofianos King
The South African Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (SAIRAC) decided to reintroduce the conference element of FRIGAIR and successfully hosted a well-attended free-to-attend seminar programme from 6 to 8 June.
The talks went so well that when the first speaker (Marius La Grange) began his presentation, extra chairs had to be brought in to accommodate the audience.
Have a look at who took to the podium and what they spoke about.
Wednesday, 6 June
Presenter: Marius La Grange (Energy Partners)
Topic: Review of application tools to make accurate line sizing of a refrigeration system
Summary: Manufacturing manager at Energy Partners Refrigeration Solutions, Marius La Grange, provided an insightful technical look at application tools and the importance of accurate line sizing when it comes to a refrigeration system. He highlighted that every line needs to be sized for every condition. “It’s all about basic fluid dynamics,” said La Grange. He added that ambient conditions differ and that we need to design for the worst-case scenario. La Grange looked at various standards and regulations, ending off with a few practical considerations.
Presenter: John Ackermann (SARDA)
Topic: The impact of the Montreal Protocol on RAC will last for decades
Summary: Industry veteran John Ackermann, chairman of the South African Refrigerated Distribution Association (SARDA), presented an enthralling history lesson regarding the progress of the important Montreal Protocol, which has had a lasting impact on the overall industry. “It’s the most effective international agreement ever implemented,” said Ackermann. Ackermann addressed the crucial need to reduce harmful gases that have a negative impact on the ozone layer.
Presenter: Ron Burns (Qfire Dot Engineering)
Topic: Smoke barriers — why they are critical and EN 12101:1
Summary: Ron Burns, owner of Qfire Dot Engineering, highlighted the system benefits achieved through the installation of smoke curtains in shopping malls. He established the principles using warehouse projects as the starting point. Moving on to single-level malls, he highlighted the importance of correct positioning when aligning with building separating elements. “The effect on overall system cost and equipment saving, as well as associated life safety and emergency supply products through the correct application of smoke curtains and smoke channelling screens, brings an overall financial saving to developments, reducing lifetime maintenance costs whilst facilitating emergency exit from buildings.” (For more detail, check out Burns’s recent RACA Journal contributed articles on the topic.)
Presenter: Erick Melquiond (Eurovent Certita Certification)
Topic: Understanding European certification and labelling for HVAC&R products
Summary: Erick Melquiond, president of Eurovent Certita Certification, presented on understanding European certification and labelling for the HVAC&R products. His presentation focused on breaking preconceptions about the usefulness of certification. “Certification is not marketing, it is a tool to make wise decisions. It is the assurance choosing the most suitable product,” he shared. Attendees learnt about the process to getting a product certified by Eurovent. Melquiond welcomed questions and directed interested parties to their stand for more information.
Presenter: Barney Richardson (SARACCA)
Topic: Registration of authorised refrigeration gas practitioners
Summary: Barney Richardson, director of SARRACA, went into the history of the organisation and described benefits of registering as an authorised gas practitioner and being an official card holder. Based on profession, cardholders are categorised accordingly. They are split into semi-skilled, skilled, and engineering practitioners. A registered refrigeration gas practitioner has the authority to issue a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) that certifies that the installation is technically correct and safe. He urged everyone to comply with the regulations and be safe. (Read Richardson’s regular RACA Journal contributions for more detail on the topic.)
Presenter: Allan Cuninghame (Nitro-Gen)
Topic: Nitro-Gen for fire protection of cold and freezer rooms
Summary: Allan Cuninghame from Nitro-Gen Africa started with a short company profile, highlighting how the company provides engineered solutions for fire protection to cold and freezer rooms. He then went into the kinds of projects they have under their belt, from temperature-controlled rooms (such as IT server rooms) to perishable foods bulk storage and distribution rooms. The company installs a fire prevention system from the Netherlands that has over two decades of experience in nitrogen production and 12 years’ experience in fire prevention application.
Thursday, 7 June
Presenter: Francesco Scuderi (Eurovent Association)
Topic: An insight towards the European regulatory timeframe for HVAC&R products and the work of the Eurovent Association
Summary: Scuderi, deputy secretary general of the Eurovent Association, came all the way from Brussels for his talk, which started off with more information about the association and the types of members they have. He also spoke about the Eurovent product groups and their activities, as well as how the association supports the industry internationally. He then moved on to looking at Eurovent Certification and the Eurovent Market Intelligence reports before moving on to the European regulatory timeframe for HVAC&R products. His talk ended off with a discussion on the European seasonal efficiency approach.
Presenter: Amir Naqvi (Honeywell)
Topic: Refrigerant alternatives to R22
Summary: Amir Naqvi, strategy and business development manager for EMEA at Honeywell, spoke on all things refrigerants, starting with a brief history lesson before moving on to a look into global trends. His talk also covered an introduction to HFO refrigerants and looking at how various alternative refrigerants weigh up against what we currently use. He looked at the Montreal Protocol and what the Kigali Amendment means for refrigerants, talking about the HFC phase down globally. Naqvi looked at alternatives for R22 specifically, sharing information on the options that Honeywell has available in their Solstice refrigerant range. From commercial refrigeration to industrial, he also shared some case studies on successful retrofit projects.
Presenter: Carsten Dahlgaard (Danfoss)
Topic: The formula for efficiency in hot gas defrosting within industrial refrigeration; effective and cost-efficient hot gas defrost methods; and future trends in industrial refrigeration
Summary: Dahlgaard, who is the senior director: sales for Danfoss in Europe, Middle East and Africa, was in town from Denmark to deliver his talk. He kicked things off with more information about Danfoss and its international market share, before moving into the specific segment of industrial refrigeration. He looked at innovation highlights from the past 14 years, and discussed opportunities for improved efficiency, particular to industrial refrigeration. He shared a few case studies and looked at how ammonia and CO2 systems compares. He also looked at the challenges we face today in terms of natural refrigerants in industrial refrigeration.
Presenter: Dawie Kriel
Topic: Refrigeration outsourcing
Summary: Kriel is the head of EP Refrigeration, a division of Energy Partners, and started his talk with a look at what exactly outsourcing is and how it works. He then looked at why outsourcing is a good idea, covering the new service level agreement and life cycle costing in particular. Next he looked at the cooling meter EP has developed and how this works to determine the cost of cooling for clients. Kriel then showed examples of outsourced plants already running in South Africa, sharing examples both from the retail and the industrial sector. He ended off by looking at the benefits of the outsourced cooling model.
Presenter: Charel Marais
Topic: Ducting installation: good practice and applicable standards
Summary: ACRA trainer, Charel Marais, spoke on a topic he is very knowledgeable about: duct manufacturing and installation. “The purpose of this presentation is to show all how important quality workmanship is, by following various duct standards — local and international standards,” he said. “The goal is to have all consultants, contractors, and manufacturers implement and apply quality standards. Together we can make a difference.” His presentation included a vast number of pictures taken on site, showing the good, the bad, and the ugly. With some practical tips and valuable dos and don’ts, Marais summarised a very extensive topic concisely, urging everyone to take pride in their work and up the quality on site.
Friday, 8 June
Presenter: Wynand Groenewald (CRS)
Topic: Global trends in CO2 refrigeration systems
Summary: Groenewald is the technical director of Commercial Refrigeration Services (CRS) and spoke on his extensive experience with natural refrigerants, focusing on CO2 in particular. He kicked things off with looking at the global movement towards naturals, touching on global regulations, and the effect these are having on refrigerant prices. He looked at the size of the CO2 market in the world, highlighting the number of systems in various countries (South Africa has 102) and taking a quick trip through the history of this development. Groenewald then spoke about the future of natural refrigerants and the estimated growth potential globally, before moving on to recent CO2 developments, highlighting how the system compares to various synthetic alternatives currently in use.
Presenter: Grant Laidlaw (SAIRAC)
Topic: New QCTO qualifications for artisans in the HVAC&R sectors
Summary: The session of Grant Laidlaw, president of SAIRAC, was overflowing with attendees. He gave a breakdown of the new Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) qualifications for artisans in the air-conditioning and refrigeration sectors. Laidlaw said that this is a South African first, having an air-conditioning mechanic qualification. Being heavily involved in setting up the new curriculum, he explains that the qualification is three to four years and is on par with international standards. “We worked really hard to ensure this. After going through the course, individuals will qualify as a refrigeration mechanic in ammonia,” he said. He encouraged attendees to speak to the association. “Let’s get the youth educated.” (Read more about this topic in Laidlaw’s recent RACA Journal contributed article on the matter.)
Presenter: Jaco Botha (Solareff)
Topic: Energy storage – an enabling and disruptive technology that is changing the energy landscape
Summary: Jaco Botha, CEO of Solareff, was the last speaker of the day, discussing energy storage and how it is an enabling and disruptive technology that is changing the energy landscape. He used the Clearwater Mall project as an example. “The system at the mall saw energy demand decrease significantly,” he said. He gave a comparison between nuclear, coal, and solar, citing that solar has more environmental benefits. According to Botha, if solar is installed on roofs in Gauteng and surrounding provinces, these can supply electricity to the world.