System operators and service technicians around the world face ever greater demands due to environmental and efficiency regulations, new refrigerants and electronic components. BITZER has therefore set up training centres across the globe for new refrigerants and innovative applications. ‘BITZER training is provided at state-of-the-art facilities in São Paulo, Brazil; Beijing, China; Sydney, Australia; and Germany. The central BITZER training facility, the SCHAUFLER Academy, was inaugurated in Rottenburg in 2016. The 3,500 m2 training centre comprises five classrooms for theory seminars and three for practical exercises,’ says Volker Stamer, Director SCHAUFLER Academy. The training courses involve experienced BITZER application engineers teaching small groups of participants. The courses, which usually run for two days, bring together theoretical and practical training, and are held in English and German and in other languages upon request.
Innovative technology and training go hand in hand
‘Installing an environmentally friendly and efficient system featuring a natural refrigerant is only half the story – it obviously also has to be operated professionally,’ emphasises Volker Stamer. ‘But the lawmakers have not created opportunities for training in new technologies, so BITZER is doing pioneering work here with the SCHAUFLER Academy.’
This is well received by the participants: Ren Jupi-Igbeka, Head of Contracts and Assets at Geoscape Limited, Lagos, Nigeria: ‘I couldn’t be happier that I was able to attend the BITZER International Refrigeration Seminar. The course was very well organised, the concept coherent and the content enriching. Because the course directors had prepared the information to be practical and easy to understand, I was able to learn a lot, including about the ECOSTAR condensing unit, BEST Software and performance statistics in general.’
Ammonia – a refrigerant with a future
Ammonia is one of the natural refrigerants that experts attach a great deal of importance to with regard to modern systems. BITZER therefore offers not only compressor packs, compressors and other accessories for ammonia applications, but also a number of NH3 training courses. ‘As HFCs are phased out around the world, ammonia will be used as the refrigerant in a lot more refrigeration applications than before – in particular, because ammonia refrigeration systems stand out with their excellent efficiency,’ forecasts Andreas Schulaks, Head of Industrial Refrigeration Sales at BITZER.
‘As HFCs are phased out around the world, ammonia will be used as the refrigerant in a lot more refrigeration applications than before – in particular, because ammonia refrigeration systems stand out with their excellent efficiency.’
BITZER Head of Industrial Refrigeration Sales
BITZER ammonia training
BITZER is once again offering two NH3 training courses in 2019, which will be led by Per Skaerbaek Nielsen. The industrial refrigeration expert already ran a one-day course on the topic of ammonia for contractors and planners, engineers and operators in February and will be giving a two-day seminar at the SCHAUFLER Academy on 3 and 4 June. Among other things, this will cover new ways in which to improve existing systems and boost system efficiency and also optimum oil management. The English-language R717 training courses with Per Skaerbaek Nielsen cost just EUR 71.70 per person per day.
Installers and refrigeration technicians also have the opportunity to receive theoretical and practical training and to network at other BITZER ammonia training courses being held at the SCHAUFLER Academy in Rottenburg this year. BITZER application engineers will be explaining the thermodynamic properties of ammonia, the refrigerant’s safety aspects and much more in two-day courses being held on 7 May and 12 June (both times in English).
System operators feeling economic pressure
The F-gas phase-down already had a noticeable impact on users in 2017. ‘With manufacturers discontinuing or reducing their production of refrigerants that will no longer be permissible in the future, these have been getting more expensive for years. The cost of R404A (GWP of 3,922) and R507 (GWP of 3,985) increased by 225 per cent in the space of just three months at the beginning of 2017, even though both of these refrigerants are approved for use until the end of 2019,’ says Volker Stamer. ‘Due to the higher costs, there’s increased economic pressure on system operators to use lower-GWP refrigerants. These have special thermodynamic properties, however, and call for specific knowledge and safety precautions. And this is precisely what we teach in the BITZER retrofitting training courses.’
‘Eco-friendly and innovative solutions coupled with optimally trained staff – system operators can play it safe with this BITZER combination.’
Member of the Management Board and Chief Technology Officer at BITZER
A wise interim solution: retrofit refrigerants
A natural refrigerant isn’t always the only solution. ‘Our advice for the operators of existing systems with R404A and R507A is this: start by switching to R449A and R448A as an interim solution,’ suggests Rainer Große-Kracht, member of the Management Board and Chief Technology Officer at BITZER. These may be used until 2021 and the systems require only minimal conversion work because the refrigerants have similar properties. ‘Eco-friendly and innovative solutions coupled with optimally trained staff – system operators can play it safe with this BITZER combination,’ Große-Kracht emphasises. After all, the regulations continue to be tightened. From 2022, refrigerants must have a GWP rating of less than 150.
Successful retrofitting project in Canada
Etobicoke is a district in the west of Toronto, right by Lake Ontario. The subsidiary of Cogeco Data Services, a Canadian telecommunications provider, based here recently replaced its old competitor compressors with two modern BITZER compact screw compressors. ‘Following a leakage and a compressor failure, Cogeco wanted to improve the reliability and efficiency of its entire system. It therefore opted for BITZER compressors,’ says Andrew Tosh, Managing Director BITZER Canada. In addition to the compressor quality, the customer was won over in particular by the very good technical support, the assistance given with control integration and the tailored solutions offered by BITZER Canada.
‘To make sure the dimensions and the operating requirements of the tube evaporator were perfect for the system, we developed the components specifically for Cogeco,’ explains Andrew Tosh, Managing Director BITZER Canada. ‘The compressors were installed by our partner Wintech Air Systems, with whom we have been working for years.’ BITZER Canada is highly successful in the area of retrofits and replaced around 250 compressors in all sorts of application areas in 2018. Among others, this included ECOLINE reciprocating compressors, compact screw compressors and ORBIT scroll compressors.