HPAC Magazine

Refrigerants, Controls Top Of Mind At AGM

October 1, 2014   By KERRY TURNER

The Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) held its 46th Annual General Meeting and Conference in Montreal, QC, from August 20-23. HRAI, which is in the final year of implementing its three-year strategic plan, opened the conference with its State of the Association briefing. Key HRAI personnel provided updates on their respective areas of responsibility.
A highlight of the event was a panel discussion that attracted a full house titled The Future of Refrigerants: Get Ready For Changes. Wholesalers, manufacturers, contractors, and ultimately end users, will be impacted by the move to low GWP refrigerants.

“The EPA is moving to de-list some replacement refrigerants. Some of the newer refrigerants are flammable or even toxic or high pressure in comparison to the relatively benign older refrigerants,” said Jim Flowers of Linde Canada, moderator of the discussion and 2014-2015 HRAI chairman. He then introduced panelists Dennis Kozina (Copeland/Vitter Emerson Climate Technologies), Tom Boutette (B&B Trade Distribution Centre), Rob Flipse (Gordon Latham Ltd.) and Ron Vogl (Honeywell Fluorine Products) who tackled different areas of concern for manufacturers, wholesalers and contractors.
“What happens in the U.S. will have a great impact on what happens here,” said Kozina. With the pressure to move to low GWP refrigerants and stakeholders looking for options he noted that, “30 per cent of the systems in Europe are propane. Propane is an option-it is similar to R404.”Ammonia is abundant, a great refrigerant in terms of the environment. After petroleum it is the most produced chemical. In large industrial apps it makes a lot of sense,” noted Kozina.“There won’t be one solution. Consider true environmental performance,” said Vogl. He also briefly discussed The Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program–a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiative to evaluate and regulate substitutes for the ozone-depleting chemicals that are being phased out under the stratospheric ozone protection provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA). (CAA authorizes EPA to identify and publish lists of acceptable and unacceptable substitutes for class I or class II ozone-depleting substances.) Boutette noted that with the number of available options,  labeling will be an issue. “Are the systems being labeled properly? As we move forward labeling and record keeping have to be a priority. “Contractors will need to carry more refrigerants–meaning larger trucks,” added Boutette. “Rather than carry 65 different refrigerants, determine the best option to carry,” advised Flipsi. “Contractors should develop an R22 replacement strategy,” said Flipse. “Should you convert an old system? Just as a  system can perform as well or better [with the replacement  refrigerant] some will perform just as poorly. He noted that there is a lot of technical support out there and suggested contractors “do their homework ahead of time.”

In addition to refrigerants, other hot topics at the conference included training and retention; Net Zero; system
design; and controls. As Roy Collver put it during his session on combo systems, “It’s all in the controls.”

The 46th Annual Meeting and Conference wrapped up with an energized Chairs’ Banquet with everyone on their feet enjoying what could best be described as a revival-like atmosphere. The 47th Annual Meeting and Conference will be held at Caesars Windsor from August 26 to 29, 2015 in Windsor, ON. We will see you there.  <> www.hrai.ca     www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/ 

2014-2015 HRAI Board of Directors

Jim Flowers (chairman)

Linde Canada, Aurora, ON

 Marc Gendron (past chairman)

Les Enterprises MLG & Fils Inc., Westmount, QC

Denis Fraser (vice chairman)

Groupe Deschenes Inc., Montreal, QC

Peter Steffes (secretary/treasurer)

Ideal Heating and Cooling Ltd., Windsor, ON 

Rick Ellul
(chairman–manufacturers division)

Belimo Americas, Mississauga, ON

 Peter Sung 

(chairman–wholesalers division)

Ecco Heating Products Ltd., Langley, BC

 Warren Heeley (president)

HRAI, Mississauga, ON


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