Unit will provide training for natural refrigerant systems, with an eye toward creating a technician certification program.
Australian Refrigeration Association (ARA) President Ian Tuena presents at AIRAH Refrigeration 2019.
The government in the Australian state of Victoria has issued a $2 million grant for the design and construction of a mobile training module for refrigeration systems using ammonia, CO2, and flammable refrigerants.
The announcement was made on 15 March by the Victoria State Government's minister for training and skills, Gayle Tierney, according to Australian Refrigeration Association (ARA) President Ian Tuena.
Tuena gave a presentation about the grant at the recent AIRAH Refrigeration 2019 conference, held on 25-26 March in Melbourne at Marvel Stadium.
Tuena said that the grant was the result of an effort led by industry associations ARA and the Australian Refrigeration Mechanics Association (ARMA), which originally pitched the mobile training concept.
The concept has already received endorsements from several other major industry associations such as the Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH), the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC), as well as leading end users such as Coles.
The lack of trained technicians in Australia is widely recognized as one of the biggest barriers to the uptake of natural refrigerant-based technology in the country.
"We hope it will eventually become a part of a nationally skills-based qualification which will underpin what we would like to see in the industry as a statutory licensing regime nationally throughout the country," Tuena said.
The mobile training units are also being designed locally, led by Jonathan Hare — Refrigeration Engineer for Australia-based contractor Natural Refrigerants Company, which represents Advansor in the country.
Training is slated to begin in 2020.