Technical training for the safe handling of R290 (propane) air conditioners builds competency in system brazing, leak detection and vacuuming for the 89 students, technicians and trainers currently involved in the program offered at four Ugandan technical institutes.
R290 is not yet commonly used in the country. The training on the flammable natural refrigerant follows the donation in July of nine Midea propane-based split air-conditioning units by the Green Cooling Initiative (GCI) ‒ a global nonprofit that promotes sustainable cooling worldwide ‒ to Uganda’s Kyambogo University and the Uganda National Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (UNARA).
Funding for the training at the technical institutes comes from the Ugandan branch of GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) in partnership with the country’s National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), UNARA and the participating institutes.
As a service provider of the German government, GIZ runs GCI and supports sustainable development in more than 100 countries.
“The GCI III [project] supports specialized training for handling and installation of energy-efficient, climate-friendly R290 air conditioners in selected institutions,” explained Anthony Orit, Energy Advisor for GCI III at GIZ.
In a recent LinkedIn post, Orit highlighted the current ongoing practical training sessions using the 3.5kW (0.3TR) cooling capacity Midea units taking place at four Uganda Technical Institutes, which included Uganda Technical College Elgon, Mbale, Uganda Technical College Bushenyi, Uganda Technical College Lira and the Uganda Technical Institute Ogolai in Amuria. The training included using the related tools for safe system installation, operation and maintenance.
“GIZ should implement more of these trainings, and we are interested in a cost-sharing partnership to extend the implementation days of these trainings,” the Principal of Uganda Technical College Bushenyi said in an inquiry.
“These are natural refrigeration capacity building sessions,” said Orit in reply to an inquiry. No installations are happening at this time.
However, as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Uganda has committed to improving the energy efficiency of its HVAC&R sector. The GCI III team and the country’s government are discussing the possibility of developing a National Cooling Action Plan to support Uganda’s ongoing adoption of green cooling technologies.
“The GCI III [project] supports specialized training for handling and installation of energy-efficient, climate-friendly R290 air conditioners in selected institutions.”Anthony Orit, Energy Advisor for GCI III at GIZ