7 December, 2017. The Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC), Mr. Paula Pouvalu Ma’u opened a three-day workshop on Refrigeration and Air Condition (RAC) Technicians on Good Serving Practices for Longer-Term, Low-GWP Alternatives in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Sector, this morning at Tonga Institute of Science and Technology.
Hosted by the National Ozone Unit of the Department of Climate Change in collaboration with the Tonga Refrigeration Engineering Association (TREA), the three-day workshop aimed to provide specialized training for technicians on flammability, needs to be done in order to ensure that only well-trained technicians service and install HC based equipment, since the risk associated with flammability and the thermodynamic properties of these refrigerants have not always been taken into account.
Mr. Ma’u said, “As signatories to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, Tonga and other parties are called upon to introduce longer-term alternatives with low-Global Warming Potential (GWP) and greater energy efficiency.”
“The phase out of ozone depleting substances (ODS), specifically in the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector has resulted in the introduction of some alternatives that have relatively high GWP and contribute to global warming,” he added.
Refrigerant manufacturers are now moving towards the production of alternative refrigerants with zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) and very low GWP, such as hydrocarbons (HCs). However, these HCs are flammable and must be handled under the strictest safety conditions.
The three-day workshop is funded by the Multilateral Fund for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol and is being implemented by UN Environment, with MEIDECC as the executing partner.