19th European Conference: Great Success For The HVAC/R International Leading Event

The United Nations have involved the major leading RAC experts from every corner of the world; a historic collaboration agreement between Europe and Africa was thus signed during the event.
Final group greetings, live from Milan and remotely, at the end of the 19th European Conference

Great success for the 19th European Conference United Nations / Centro Studi Galileo:
five sessions, 43 technical presentations and more than 250 leading experts connected remotely, live from over 40 countries
(Photo).

Thanks to its new hybrid modality, the event took place in the Polytechnic University of Milan while being broadcasted live via Zoom. Jointly organized by Centro Studi Galileo with the United Nations – UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), IIF-IIR (International Institute of Refrigeration), AREA (Air condition and Refrigeration European Association), ATF (Italian Association of RAC Technicians) and REI (Renewable Energy Institute), the congress was showered with great appreciation by all expert attendees; the possibility of a remote participation further allowed the United Nations to invite all the main technical authorities in the world to join the Conference, making it a success on global scale.

GREAT SUCCESS FOR THE HVAC/R INTERNATIONAL LEADING EVENT
Jim Curlin (UNEP), connected remotely with the Politecnico of Milan.

For the first time in more than forty years, the European Conference took place with a hybrid modality: thirty participants joined the event personally in its historic location, the Politecnico of Milan, while the remaining large group of Technicians and leading HVAC/R Experts were connected from all over the world using the Zoom platform: this guaranteed not only great interaction between the participants, with lively debates and Q&A sessions that awoke much interest, but also the possibility for participants to have their voices heard thanks to the five polls (one per session), and make use of the shared contents both in English and Italian, thanks to the simultaneous translation service available for the participants.

The choice of combining presentations both on-site and on-line was made to meet the health requirements with relation to the Covid-19 pandemic; this sensitive topic was thus discussed extensively during the fifth session dedicated to the Cold Chain, probably the most complex and delicate element of any vaccination campaign worldwide. As concluding remarks, CSG Director General Marco Buoni, together with the founder Enrico Buoni, announced the dates of the next, 20th edition of the European Conference, which will take place on 8 and 9 June 2023.

FIVE SESSIONS, FORTYTHREE PRESENTATIONS

The 19th European Conference’s five sessions faced all the most relevant and topical themes that are currently part of every debate for the HVAC/R sector, from technological developments to cold chain management, new refrigerants, new green strategies and regulatory updates. In particular, at the end of the last Q&A session, a complete report of the Conference’s main outcomes was presented in a concise but exhaustive way:

First Session: Technologies, Equipment and Components

  • Renewable energy will be essential in the de-carbonization, Solar thermal, Solar Photovoltaic, Heat Pumps
  • Many components are already available for CO2 and Low GWP refrigerants, but the R&D should not stop
  • R290 is appearing in some air conditioning applications providing that EN378 is satisfied, in particular where the unit is external to the building. Customers are asking this application
  • Safety devices are becoming more important in the selection of the components
  • IOT, Remote servicing will be the future, the pandemic made it quicker to happen

Second Session: F-Gas Regulation and refrigerants components

  • Refrigerant options are finite number and will be all mildly or highly flammables with few exceptions
  • CO2 is a standard for supermarkets as R290 for commercial refrigeration
  • Comparisons in energy efficiency and energy consumptions between CO2 systems and A2L in same commercial refrigeration system (supermarkets) are still controversial
  • HAT applications still require synthetic refrigerants in the short/medium term

Third Session: Green Cooling and Energy Efficiency

  • Moving to Integrated System Performance instead Conventional COP might be good solution
  • Renewable energy will be increasingly integrated in HVACR systems
  • Heat pumps is one of the solution to de-carbonization
  • Dumping of obsolete or inefficient retired equipment should be avoided

Fourth Session: Regulations & Certifications Globally

  • Experience from F-Gas regulation development and update shows that we need to look at HVACR within the context of buildings
  • Leakage control should be extended to all refrigerants
  • Market Surveillance is essential to ensure that regulations have teeth
  • Managing emissions and servicing equipment with extended lifetime is crucial for EU as well other countries
  • Illegal Trade is increasing emissions and decrease government profits, measure seizures ongoing in EU
  • Safety is crucial for the future of HVACE industry. It need to be encompassed in regulations, standards, certification and training programs
  • In some places around the globe, there still barrier and gap between HVACR standards and building codes especially fire frightening standards
  • Need to share the knowledge about regulations, standards and codes with different stakeholders
  • Amendment needed to F-Gas certification to amend F-gases definition to include GHGs, add leak detection, minimum competencies matrix, and others

Fifth Session: The Cold Chain

  • COVID-19 policy measures relevant to Cold Chain includes allowed logistics services and movement of products during lockdown, arranging special corridors, making infrastructure investments, and code of practice
  • The 2021 UN Food Summit, and its Pre-Summit, can be good opportunity raise the profile of cold chain and bring to the table of policymakers
  • Phase-out projects under Montreal Protocol demonstrate to have positive impact to several SDGs when it comes to cold chain applications
  • The importance role of local associations to facilitate the spread of knowledge and practices for selecting sustainable technologies, reducing emissions during service, limiting food loss and maximizing EE
  • The sensible temperature control required for vaccines storage and transportation needs special attention by cold chain industry in the years to come with increased demand on vaccines due the recent pandemic.
  • Without good practices, even good cold chain equipment can’t secure the validity of vaccines. WHO reports show 70% of vaccines face challenges in temp control during storage and transportation.
HISTORIC MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN AFRICA AND EUROPE
Europe’s and Africa’s RAC Associations Presidents: Madi Sakandé (left) and Marco Buoni (right)

At the Polytechnic University of Milan, alongside the Conference on Friday 11th June was thus signed a collaboration agreement that will boost Africa’s RAC sector, supporting the continent’s development – focusing on the exchange of resources, training and capacity building.

FAO estimated that in Africa food loss per year concerns approximately 25-30% of livestock products and 40-50% of roots, tubers, fruit and vegetables. The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIF-IIR) declared that, in developing countries, 23% of food is lost due to the absence of cold chain and proper food storage. Worldwide, the 50% of foodstuff could last longer – if well stored. In many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, the Cold Chain is up to now completely inadequate, if not even non-existent, except for some industries that export their products

The collaboration between AREA (the Association that represents all European RAC Technicians) and U-3ARC (the Union of Associations that represents all African Actors in RAC) has deep roots. The Pan-African Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, in fact, was born taking inspiration from the homologous European reality, adapting the idea of ​​a large continental entity capable of supporting and promoting the work of Technicians at all levels in all member countries, while acting as a fundamental reference point with which the authorities can interface.

On 11 June, in the frame of the 19th European Conference of the United Nations and Centro Studi Galileo – the leading HVAC/R training institute, the two Presidents Madi Sakandé (U-3ARC) and Marco Buoni (AREA) signed an historical agreement, which marked the beginning of the relationship 2.0 between the European and African RAC sectors.

The Memorandum of Understanding will guarantee great benefits to both associations, with the establishment of new partnerships and exchanges of skills. This includes the willingness to mutually attend events giving presentations, to exchange information on the best practices adopted by their member Technicians, to work together on the development of new standards and the enhancement of training and skills development, of green and energy saving strategies, as well as pursuing the phase down of HFCs with high environmental impact.

The decision to proceed with the signature during the 19th European Conference carried a symbolic meaning: Marco Buoni, being the President of AREA and the Secretary General of ATF (Italian Association of RAC Technicians), is thus Director General of Centro Studi Galileo, for which and since years Madi Sakandé is one of the most appreciated Expert Trainers, being responsible for the Italian branch in Bologna and for numerous courses held in Africa, including in Burkina Faso – his homeland. The Mayor of Casale Monferrato (CSG’s headquarters), Federico Riboldi, who’s also collaborated with CSG over the years, was also present at the signature and furthermore in this newly founded union between the two continental Associations.

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