A multitude of nearly 500 dedicated HVACR educators and trainers representing approximately 900 training centers packed the HVAC Excellence National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference March 14-16 at the Tropicana Convention Center.
The conference is an annual conference dedicated to providing continuing education exclusively for HVACR educators and trainers. The train-the-trainer boot camp had over forty breakout sessions and fifty exhibiting companies for attendees to visit.
Sessions covered: new and changing technologies, changes in federal legislation, energy efficiency, best practices, training techniques that work, and green and sustainable technologies.
David Boyd, Vice President of Education for Appion Inc., discussed the impact of a green HVACR industry. He shared a short history of the electrical power grid in the United States to demonstrate how the HVACR industry's lack of quality installations and service are affecting the electrical grid and costing Americans millions of dollars.
Mr. Boyd declared that the majority of equipment installed today is improperly size and charged. While poor evacuation of refrigerants is dramatically affecting system performance. In the end millions of dollars being wasted through excessive energy usage caused by improperly installed and serviced HVACR equipment. A Green America can be achieved by maximizing the efficiency of all mechanical systems and training the next generation of technicians to properly size, install and service HVACR equipment.
Ms. Christina Spaulding, the Senior Account Manager for DuPont ISCEON Refrigerants provided an important market update on the status of refrigerants including a regulatory update on the phase-out of HCFC-22. She covered climate change legislation and the probable impact on HFC's, and the next generation of refrigerants including HFO's. She further discussed HCFC-22 retrofit issues and the pending carbon tax legislation. Christina's power point presentation is available for download at www.hvacexcellence.org on the 2010 conference link.
Chris Haslinger, of the United Association discussed how green and sustainable technologies can be integrated into training programs. New people entering the industry need to be taught concepts and terminology related to green mechanical systems, sustainable HVACR, electrical, energy efficiency concepts, energy management and alternative energy systems. Chris outlined what the United Association and their employer partners are doing to prepare technicians for the challenges of the new green economy and asked educators and trainers to join them on their quest. Learn more about the UA and their Green Commitment at http://ua.org
Green is on the move in the HVACR industry, and the United Association can visually demonstrate that. They have built two green and sustainable technologies mobile classrooms that travel around the country. The first generation mobile training center was at the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference allowing attendees to see first hand the many ways in which a building can become more energy efficient, use fewer natural resources and have minimal impact on the environment. Learn more at http://hvacgreen.net
HVACR educators and trainers are interested in learning about grants for HVACR programs. Keith Avery of Hampden Engineering provided an overview of grants, and explained that there are no specific grants for HVACR programs, but there are grants available for programs that incorporate green training into their curriculum. Grants may be available to add solar, wind, photovoltaic, or energy auditing to a current program. For additional information visit www.hampden.com
There was a great deal of interest in learning about a national energy auditor training and certification program developed for the Federal Government. Jerry Weiss, executive director of the ESCO Institute, provided an overview of the 800-contact hour curriculum. The program consists of 13 individual modules, containing a total of 27 classes. This allows instructors to partially integrate the program into their curriculum or offer it as a stand alone energy auditing program. www.escoinst.com
Mr. Bill Johnson has been a leader in HVACR for over 50 years. Nearly 70% of all HVACR programs use the textbook he authored, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology. While long retired, he made a rare appearance to share his knowledge with the next generation of HVACR instructors. The classroom, which can seat 120 was packed with people lining the walls to hear Mr. Johnson. He discussed some of the training techniques that work for educators and trainers who need to drive occupation information into the long term memory and create active participation in the process of learning HVACR.
Mr. Johnson was joined at the conference by other industry leading authors including: Professor John Tomczyk of Ferris State University, Professor Eugene Silberstein of Suffolk County Community College and Mr. Carter Stanfield of Athens Technical College.
HVAC Excellence took the time to acknowledge the schools that recently had their HVACR programs accredited. In addition, they discussed the role of accreditation in the improvement of HVACR education over the last decade. During the conference over 100 persons took the time to take various educator exams in an attempt to earn the prestigious title of Certified Master HVACR Educator (CMHE). Professor Eugene Silberstein, co-author of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology, recently had the title of CMHE conferred upon him and was presented a plaque during a special presentation.
In addition to all of the non stop training that was going on, a large expo provided attendees the opportunity to see firsthand many of the new books, tools and equipment available to enhance their training programs. Upon conclusion of the conference, many of the exhibitors gave away exceptional prizes to attendees. Appion Inc. gave away 85 recovery units to schools in attendance.
The full conference program, photos and some of the power point presentations are available on their website.