Making Use of Natural Refrigerants in Vietnam

Date: 01 June 2024
Making Use of Natural Refrigerants in Vietnam
Making Use of Natural Refrigerants in Vietnam
Making Use of Natural Refrigerants in Vietnam
In September 2019, Vietnam ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, committing to phasing down HFCs by 80% by 2045, starting in 2024. To support Vietnam in this transition of promoting the use of natural refrigerants and energy efficiency, the Green Cooling Initiative (GCI) III project has implemented different interventions centered around three main areas: policy advise, technology transfer and capacity building. GCI III is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) under the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the synthetic gases commonly used in cooling and refrigeration, are a rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming. To address this, natural refrigerants like carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and ammonia offer sustainable alternatives with zero or minimal global warming potential.

As part of its capacity-building activities, the project recently organized a series of hands-on training courses on Green Cooling Approach and Safe Use of Natural Refrigerants. With the focus on developing practical skills for the safe handling of natural refrigerants, particularly R290 in refrigeration appliances, the programmes were to provide skill-based practices to trainees, improving both their technical and tactical skills. Besides knowledge sharing session about international and national management policies on phasing out ozone-depleting substances, technical practices on four main skills such as: (i) Tool Proficiency, (ii) Pipeline Operator, (iii) Substance Recovery and (iv) Weldless pipe connection technique were well developed to properly perform diverse specific tasks and tools.

Enhancing Expertise in Green Cooling Technologies

From October 2023 to March 2024, four practical training courses were conducted at the Hanoi College of Electronics and Electro-refrigeratory Technics (HCEET) and the Hanoi Industrial Vocational College. Each course enrolled 15 students, including vocational trainers, trainees, and practitioners in the cooling sector. The training aimed to provide professionals with the opportunity to enhance their expertise in green cooling technologies. Given the inevitable trend towards green transformation, there has been a significant demand for skilled workforce in sustainability practices, particularly in urban areas.

The training received positive feedback and high ratings from all participants. The program covered key areas such as environmental issues, standards, and safety measures for the use of hydrocarbons, leak detection, and the application of propane (R290) as a refrigerant, aligning well with their expectations and career aspirations. Many recommendations for expanding similar training programs to other vocational colleges and universities were made by both trainees and trainers.

“As the planet continues to warm, refrigeration equipment plays a crucial role across various sectors. Consequently, safety has become more critical than ever. Governmental agencies such as MONRE anticipate close and intensive collaboration with our international partners and vocational colleges to offer more training courses in the near future. This will undoubtedly contribute to meeting the demands of the future market,” shared Ms. Nguyen Dang Thu Cuc, National Ozone Office Coordinator at the Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Furthermore, the cooling sector has traditionally been perceived as male-dominated. To promote greater participation of women in this field, the organizers of the training are keen to tailor vocational programs to better accommodate female participants. The inclusion of female professionals in the Training of Trainers (ToT) course held in March was widely acknowledged and valued. Moving forward, the GCI III project aims to actively promote gender mainstreaming across all its interventions and activities.

Source
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