REAL Alternatives: blended Learning for Alternative Refrigerants

Last week the REAL Alternatives Europe programme partners met at IIR head offices to elaborate plans to translate the e-learning project into more languages.

Last week the REAL Alternatives: Europe programme partners met at IIR head offices to elaborate plans to translate the e-learning project into more languages.



With the advent of the new European F-Gas Regulation in 2015, enforcing the adoption of alternatives to high GWP HFC refrigerants, it has become essential for refrigeration professionals to understand what to do in terms of design, service maintenance, or conversion of their facilities to low GWP alternatives.



Information on the safe use of alternatives



The REAL Alternatives European e-learning programme provides information on the safe use of alternatives such as ammonia, hydrocarbon, carbon dioxide and low flammables.  



Designed for individual development or use as classroom training materials, it includes e-learning content, electronic tools and a comprehensive library gathered from existing resources. Currently available in English, Italian, Polish and Dutch, the German and French versions will be available in September 2015.


Industry stakeholders drawn from employers, manufacturers, trade associations and professional institutes have played an essential role in contributing learning material, advising on content, helping to pilot and to promote the programme as it is developed.


Register now to access the free materials and e-learning at


REAL Alternatives: in Yokohama


During ICR2015 in Yokohama, Japan at the IIR booth, conference participants will have the opportunity to meet the REAL Alternatives project development team and learn firsthand about this free new e-learning tool on Alternative Refrigerants. Join us on the 19 and 21 of August from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.



    The REAL brand


    Initially begun as REAL Zero, a UK led project to investigate the causes of and solutions to refrigerant leakage, against the background of the EU F-Gas Regulation, REAL evolved into a European e-learning programme known as REAL Skills.  REAL Alternatives, the latest evolution, is the application of the knowledge, tools and experience in containment to alternative refrigerants (carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrocarbon and new low flammables).



    E-learning shows remarkable growth worldwide


    E-learning and blended learning, as a whole, have seen a remarkable global uptake over the last few years due to growing needs for learning at a lower cost and a faster delivery which can be completed at one’s own pace. Although present in developed countries, its most significant increase has been in developing countries, with India and China topping the list. With worldwide e-learning expected to continue on its path of significant growth, likewise refrigeration will expand in this sector.


    Can e-learning reduce CO2 emissions?


    According to a study by the Open University, “Towards Sustainable Higher Education: Environmental Impacts of Campus-Based and Distance Higher Education Systems,” found that on average, the production and provision of distance learning courses consumed nearly 90 percent less energy and produced 85 percent fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional campus-based university courses. The main savings were due to a reduction in the amount of student travel, economies of scale in the use of the campus site, and the elimination of much of the energy consumption of students’ housing. In other words, studying from home and using a home computer was far more energy efficient.



    Refrigeration e-learning on the rise


    Due to growing needs of refrigeration and the ascendance of e-learning, several refrigeration stakeholders offer paying e-learning solutions for professional development, including IIR Members Danfoss and Star Refrigeration, and IIR partner ASHRAE:


    Star Refrigeration's global e-learning platform


    This is an award-winning, leading-edge project for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump professionals’ world-wide.


    Working with prestigious partners, Star Refrigeration has created a platform offering blended learning which includes theory and practical training courses in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Heating, CO2 Refrigeration and F-gas.


    Danfoss Training Programs



    Danfoss has produced a selection of the pre-defined courses on “The Refrigeration Fundamentals Training Program” to provide participants with knowledge of physical principles and fundamentals of refrigeration; thermodynamics; refrigeration terms; Lop(P)-h diagram; refrigerants and their properties; introduction to commercial refrigeration system; introduction to the main components and their functions and more… The program consists of e-Lessons and self-study PowerPoint courses that can be taken online.



    Danfoss also offers training programs for wholesalers, installers/contractors, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and in CO2 competencies.



    ASHRAE e-learning catalogue



    ASHRAE offers an e-learning catalogue with over a hundred courses in HVAC, refrigeration, high-performance buildings, and data centres as well as ASHRAE instructor-led online courses where industry experts lead courses on these topics.



    The growing refrigeration sector, along with the implementation of F-gas regulations, has led to changes in design, service maintenance, or adaptation to low GWP alternatives refrigeration. Refrigeration professionals require easy access to training where and when their busy schedules permit. Refrigeration stakeholders, including the IIR, are striving to help them meet that challenge.