German manufacturer Bitzer and three Danish companies have provided a training R744 system to the Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering (Aarhus Maskinmesterskole) in Aarhus, Denmark, hoping to help attract more young engineers to refrigeration and natural refrigerants, according to a Bitzer press release.

The Danish companies include OEM JF Køleteknik, consultancy Cool Partners, and wholesaler H. Jessen Jürgensen. All the companies involved in the design and installation of the system, funded by The Danish Maritime Fund, have offered their components and resources at a “minimum price.”

The system was installed in the basement of the college in late 2019. It will be used to give both the school’s own marine engineering students, and interested external parties, hands-on experience working with natural refrigerant systems; this will include control, operation and troubleshooting of a CO2 system.

The companies are hoping to alleviate the lack of qualified refrigeration technicians and make their own recruitment easier.

“We are always looking for engineers who have good knowledge about refrigeration and CO2 systems,” said Kim Kirkegaard, Regional Manager at H. Jessen Jürgensen. “When we support such a facility for educational use, we hope that more young engineers will catch interest for refrigeration. In this way, we can recruit more qualified workers in the long run.”

The fishing industry has also requested more knowledge about larger CO2 industrial refrigeration systems for maritime use, according to a press release from Bitzer, and Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering is happy to oblige.

“This interest is very important for Aarhus Maskinmesterskole,” said Søren Skøtt Andreasen, Head of Research at Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering. “In the long term, we must deliver the competencies that the market demands, including applied research.”

Six Bitzer compressors

Bitzer’s contribution to the system includes six compressors – three subcritical ECOLINE ME reciprocating compressors as well as three transcritical ECOLINE+ reciprocating compressors. The compressors have a Line Start Permanent Magnet Motor and VARISTEP capacity regulation; the system is also equipped with Bitzer’s IQ module.

The IQ module monitors the condition of the compressors and gives historical as well as current data on energy consumption, allowing the students to give suggestions for the optimization of the system’s operation. Helping them do this is Bitzer’s Electronic Service Tool (BEST), which can be accessed by the students via smartphones or tablets.

The rack was built by JF Køleteknik, which has previous experience with educational systems. It has worked with CO2 since 2009, and installed more than 130 CO2 racks, all equipped with Bitzer compressors.

“The facility is built for students to see and understand how things are connected,” said Lars Astrup, Marine Engineer and Teacher at Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering. “At the same time, they now get the possibility to work with a CO2 unit of highest quality. That’s also very helpful for the teaching.”

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