Cleanrooms WA Pty Ltd general manager, Arthur Pelecanos, has challenged new engineers and graduates to make a difference in the HVACR industry by choosing to innovate.

This is a call to new engineers and graduates who dare to be different. This is your opportunity to be pioneers and to change the industry.

The first thing you will notice when you set out on your new career is that most consultants will stay with their ‘tried and true’ methods of operation especially when it comes to systems, equipment and materials, as it reduces their risk.

It does not however, challenge up and coming engineers to innovate. Instead of being challenged, many engineers will be bored. Before going elsewhere and seeking out more interesting fields of endeavour, choose to be different. That’s right set a new path forward and I guarantee it will get interesting.

Those of you who want to be at the forefront of change, but your employer is still “stuck in the 1960’s” you need to find like-minded engineers to come together as innovators of the future.

Besides natural refrigerants, there are many areas in this industry that have the potential to be turned on their head.

The use of natural refrigerants has been available for many years however there has been such fierce resistance from industry bodies and individuals that one could assume they are in the pockets of refrigerant manufacturers.

The international environmental movement has been gaining some traction in recent times, led by the need to generate sustainable energy.

Air conditioning and heating energy usage in developed countries has been quoted from anything between 8% and 22% dependent on which survey you believe. Either way it is significant. It is a proven fact that natural refrigerants are far more energy efficient than any chemical refrigerant currently on the market.

Do not let the scare mongering extinguish your youthful enthusiasm and desire for a better future. The industry was using toxic substances such as Lithium Bromide and Ammonia back when there was very little basic safety technology available.

They managed to put in place the training to ensure the consequences were well understood.

How is it then that with all the technology available to us today that we cannot undertake what is deemed to be very simple processes to ensure safety? Let me give just one example of what can be achieved on a single project. Working with the client and a hydrocarbon refrigerant gas supplier, we designed a chilled water chiller specifically for this refrigerant.

Converting standard chillers to operate on hydrocarbons does achieve significant energy savings, it is generally accepted to be between 20% and 30%. The chiller we manufactured achieved savings of 42%.

Together with PV solar panels, redesign of the fully exhausting fume cupboards, digital control of humidification and dehumidification an estimated energy saving over conventional ‘off the shelf’ equipment is above 60%.

Capital cost was of course higher however the client took the risk, gave us their full support and is now reaping the benefits.

We dared and won.

Your time in the industry and in life should not be gaged on how successful you are but on how you made a difference.

Always remind yourself: 'If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got'.

Want to make a difference? Elevate your trade by nominating for NextGen. For details go to



comments powered by Disqus