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F-Gas training split into four

The F-Gas Directive is likely to demand up to four levels of training for air conditioning service and maintenance, it has been revealed. Joop Hoogkamer, secretary general at the European air conditioning and refrigeration association AREA, outlined the likely requirements at the Sanyo air conditioning conference held in Hungary last week. He said that category one for applications using less or more than 3kg of refrigerant and covering leakage checking, recovery, installation maintenance and service was likely to demand knowledge of: * Basic thermodynamics; * Environmental impact ODS and GWP; * Commissioning; * Safe handling of the system during installation, maintenance servicing & recovery; * Wide component knowledge covering compressors, air and water-cooled condensers, air and water-cooled evaporators as well as thermostatic expansion valves * Welding, brazing and/or soldering Category two for applications of less than 3kg of refrigerant would also cover leakage checking, recovery, installation maintenance and service. This would demand a similar level of skill to category one, however, the component knowledge could be more limited, he added. Category three for refrigerant recovery applied to systems containing less than 3kg, would require a knowledge of basic thermodynamics, the environmental impact of ODS and GWP, as well as the safe handling of the system during recovery. Category four would cover leaking checking without breaking into the system and would demand a knowledge of basic thermodynamics, the environmental impact of ODS and GWP, along with commissioning skills. “AC engineer certification has been a contentious issue during the drafting of the F-gas Regulation,” said Mr Hoogkamer. “The European Commission is now considering the multi-tiered approach, followed by a final proposal at the end of August and a final vote of Member States scheduled for October 2007. “However, to make the F-gas a success not only does the individual AC engineer need to be qualified but his company also needs to be certified in order to guarantee that the management takes responsibility; that there is commitment to environmental protection; implementation of good working procedures; effective refrigerant control; and adequate service equipment and instrumentation.”