VASA Vice President Brett Meads delivered a presentation about R1234yf at Bracken Ridge TAFE in Brisbane, providing the automotive industry audience of employers and suppliers with in-depth information and context to help prepare them for the transition to this new refrigerant.
At the Automotive Industry Breakfast event on September 28, Brett condensed much of the content delivered at the recent future:gas series of seminar evenings into a 45-minute talk, which received overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees.
Topics covered included the history behind the industry switch to R1234yf, a rundown of similarities, differences, benefits and drawbacks compared with R134a and the under-bonnet changes to expect.
Flammability was also discussed in detail, and Brett provided an overview of the difference between ASHRAE/ISO A2L and the Global Harmonised System classifications including background about where each applies in the workshop.
SAE and equipment standards, some myth-busting about the need for ARCtick licensing and a cautionary note about retrofitting between R1234yf and R134a systems were also included.
With a brief introduction to R744 (carbon dioxide) refrigerant and a reminder that R134a will remain available for the servicing of existing equipment, Brett advised the audience to be prepared for a multi-refrigerant fleet.
But he said the only difference consumers were likely to notice was an increase to the cost of air-conditioning service due to the additional expense of R1234yf, and explained why it is priced higher than R134a.
The event strengthened ties between VASA and TAFE Queensland SkillTech, as well as the broader automotive and training communities.
SkillsTech business manager for automotive said the organisation had ploughed $200,000 into new equipment in the past year, is already investing in R1234yf compatible equipment and training. and will do the same for R744 when the time comes.
The TAFE is introducing students and apprentices to R1234yf and plans to run commercial courses enabling technicians to get up to speed with the different characteristics and handling procedures.