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Training session on low-charge systems at Turner Dairy, Memphis, Tenn.

Can Low-Charge Systems Ease Technician Crisis? The safety and relative simplicity of low-charge ammonia packages could make them a better fit for an industry with a shrinking supply of qualified technicians – By Elise Herron


t has been widely acknowledged that the number of technicians trained to handle natural refrigerant systems is dwindling.

But the advent of small and standardized low-charge ammonia packaged systems, which can be used instead of traditional massive ammonia plants or synthetic refrigerant systems, will make it easier to train and maintain enough qualified technicians. This was the contention of Mike Chapman, director of process safety management (PSM) compliance for Stellar, and Kurt Liebendorfer, vice president of Evapco, in a presentation at the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA) conference, held in Hershey, Pa. in September. “There is a deficit of qualified technicians in our industry,” Chapman said to begin the presentation, titled “Low-charge ammonia packages and safety.” “It is a technician’s market with regard to getting work.” Chapman and Liebendorfer pointed out that low-charge ammonia packaged units (coolers and chillers) are inherently safer than conventional ammonia-based refrigeration systems, which lessens the training requirement.

Accelerate America 

  Nov - Dec 2017

Accelerate America #30, November December 2017  
Accelerate America #30, November December 2017  

30 Leading End Users of Natural Refrigerants