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ASHRAE warns industry to make  solutions simple and affordable

The refrigeration industry is in danger of developing solutions that are over-complicated and out of reach of the pockets of the end-user, the president of US refrigeration body Ashrae told a Chillventa press conference.

Thomas E Watson said that the industry has to strike a balance between what customers want and what they can afford. “And that balance is not always being achieved” conceded Mr Watson.

“We sometimes develop technology and forget about the end-user,” he added.

“We have to ask ourselves:  do we actually need the latest solutions in all cases?

“We need to be certain we are using innovations that work.

“We should be looking for affordable regional solutions using global technology.”

He went on to call for a more simplified version of HVACR control systems. “Our controls  are too complicated in my opinion. We need to look at the simplicity of the interface – we can learn from the computer industry where the sophisticated technology is out of sight.”

Mr Watson announced two key developments from Ashrae in the field of emissions reduction – a voluntary refrigerant management programme in the US, which will allow for the first time the tracking, monitoring and reporting of refrigerant use in the region, and a programme to look at the comparative containment ability of pipe joints.

Ashrae’s Air Conditioning Institute is partnering with French researchers to rate the containment and integrity of a range of different joint types against different levels of engineering skill.

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