14 Refrigeration Technicians From Francophone Africa Learn About Natural Refrigerants in Germany

14 Refrigeration Technicians From Francophone Africa Learn About Natural Refrigerants in Germany

14 Refrigeration Technicians
The participants of the Cool Training in front of the training center Bundesfachschule Kälte-Klima-Technik (BFS), Picture credit: Green Cooling Initiative webpage

A total of 14 participants from Francophone (French-speaking) African countries Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Mauritius recently engaged in a two-week comprehensive “Cool Training” program organized by German environmental group GIZ Proklima at the vocational training institute Bundesfachschule Kälte-Klima-Technik (BFS) in Maintal, Germany.

These training sessions provided insights into the use of natural refrigerants, including CO2 (R744), ammonia (R717) and propane (R290).

Thirteen participants attended under the auspices of the ROCA project, sponsored by the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Development and Cooperation (BMZ). An additional participant from Mauritus was from the HCFC Phase-Out Management Plans (HPMP) initiative, likewise supported by BMZ.

The ROCA project promotes ozone- and climate-friendly cooling technologies in four African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, and Senegal. It started in April 2021 and will run until March 2024. The HPMP initiative provides services like policy advice, training on the safe handling of natural refrigerants, recommendations for the recovery and recycling of HCFCs and technology transfer in different countries.

The Cool Training program prioritized experimental learning, providing participants hands-on experience to deepen their technical expertise under the direction of veteran trainer Reiner Mayers. They became acquainted with the equipment, understanding the nuances of safe and efficient operation of systems that employ natural refrigerants.

These technicians, equipped with newfound skills and expertise, aren’t just students. They are poised to become team leaders of change in their respective countries. Team leaders, trainers and entrepreneurs are expected to disseminate their learnings, furthering the cause of sustainable refrigeration practices in Francophone Africa.

Trip to logistics company

Another significant part of their learning was a field trip to Nordforst, a German logistics firm that uses ammonia refrigeration systems. The participants observed first-hand the working of an active ammonia refrigeration system, gaining insights into its maintenance, operation procedures and safety measures.

The anticipated knowledge dissemination from this project is designed to catalyze the adoption of energy-efficient, environmentally friendly refrigeration practices in Francophone Africa.

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