November 4, 2021, the Dutch “Koudecongres” (Refrigeration Congress) took place in The Netherlands, organised by the Royal Dutch Association of Refrigeration together with Vakmedianet Publishers. This congress was attended by more than 175 manufacturers, contractors, engineering and installation companies, end-users, consultants, academia and students from the RACHP sector.
Central theme of this year’s congress was “Innovatie, ja natuurlijk” (Innovation, naturally!), focusing on practical innovative solutions in refrigeration, heating and climate control. It was obvious that there was a dominant role for natural refrigerants throughout the day. Key note speaker Dr. Andy Pearson (Group Managing Director at Star Refrigeration, UK), with a wide experience in design and building of sustainable refrigeration systems and recognised expert in safety issues related to ammonia and carbon dioxide systems, is a regular speaker on Refrigeration events all over the world. During his presentations, Dr. Pearson emphasised the importance of natural refrigerants as one of the most impactful applications for preventing climate change, particularly in developing economies. Also the other speakers were highlighting various innovative solutions using natural refrigerants in the industry, retail and built environment.
With an exhibition stand located in the central hall, Wim den Boer (STEK) and René van Gerwen (KNVvK) represented both the European “Refrigerants, Naturally! for LIFE” collaboration project as well as the “Refrigerants Naturally! Association”. During the breaks Wim and René spoke to several colleagues from the sector who have already switched, or consider to switch, to the use of natural refrigerants in their business. They promoted the RefNat4LIFE! project by explaining congress participants that sustainable cooling and heating solutions for Europe’s small food retail stores can make their business more profitable. The project provides various guidance documents, checklists, equipment procurement selection tools, and e-learning modules, all in local languages for shop owners and for RACHP technicians. They emphasized to the target audience the importance to become a member of the Refrigerants, Naturally! Association. Wim and René succeeded in raising interest amongst many people from leading companies and this will definitely result in new members joining the association.
It can be concluded that the presence of the Refrigerants, Naturally! Association and the RefNat4LIFE! project at the Dutch Refrigeration Congress was a great success and worth to be repeated at other similar events in future.