CO2 installations have seen an exponential increase in France since 2005

CO2 can be used in both industrial and commercial refrigeration appliances, as well as in transport and heat pumps, and as IFFEN highlights, given its broad application sphere, there has been a marked increase in installation numbers. In 2005 only 10 installations could be found in France, but 9 years the number had increased to 30.

Although the expansion in the use of this technology is unquestionably a positive development, it in turn generates a need for skills and specific know-how. Appropriate training methods therefore need to complement this market demand. This is becoming increasingly important for distributors and servicing companies in France and beyond, as IFFEN maintains.

Binding legislation for training on alternative fluids 

Although the newly implemented EU F-Gas Regulation does require regular inspections for refrigerant leaks and maintenance of equipment, the training provided to technicians to obtain certification is not sufficient to specifically deal with alternative refrigerants such as CO2. IFFEN suggests that binding legislation is needed to ensure the best possible education and training to complement the process of phasing down traditional refrigerants. 

With the accelerated use of alternative technologies in reducing the use of HFCs in refrigeration equipment, both short and long term problems are coming to the surface in terms of installers’ professionalism in dealing with alternative technologies such as CO2. Equally crucial is consumer safety, in addition to the quality of design, installation, use and maintenance requiring specific know-how.  

Putting theory into practice

Current refrigeration training methods often remain highly theoretical. Given that CO2 can be used in a variety of applications from heat pumps, to drinks cabinets, refrigerators and air conditioners, there is a heightened need for training methods allowing technicians to learn to use the equipment in question as well as become aware of the risks involved, for example become aware of the safety measures to take in the case of leakages. 

According to a 2014 study by the Assocation Francaise du Froid (AFF), the training offer in relation to CO2 refrigerants remains insufficient, given the significant increase in its use in France in recent years.

While the use of CO2 is positive development, it differs from other refrigerants in a number of ways:

• The triple Point occurring at -56.6°C at a pressure of 5.2Bar
• Critical Point occurring at the low temperature of 31°C at the relatively high pressure of 73Bar
• Operations at high pressure
• High refrigeration volumetric capacity
• High heat transfer characteristics

These differences make it necessary for technicians and end-users alike to be met with training methods that combine both theoretical and practical approaches to learning. 

Spring 2015 CO2 training courses in France

Positive developments are still visible, however, with both the Sneffca (Syndicat National des Entreprises du Froid et du Conditionnement de l’Air) and RPF both offering CO2 training courses May 2015.

Sneffca is offering technical based training in the coming months:

  • The fundamentals of CO2 – from theory to practice: for installers and technicians to gain a better understanding of the refrigerant.

Paris, 10 April 2015
Lyon, 21 May 2015

The RPF, also in collaboration with sneffca is organising training for distributors to improve sales techniques in order to provide complete knowledge to customers.

  • How to promote and sell CO2 products 

Paris, 9 April 2015
Lyon, 20 May 2015