Thanks to donated equipment and training from RectorSeal Corp. and Haier America, William R. Moore College of Technology (Moore Tech) students will enter the local Memphis, Tenn., HVAC service/installation workforce with ductless mini-split air conditioning system expertise.
RectorSeal's National Technical Manager, James Bowman and Haier's Technical Support Manager, Karreen Mann spent July 6-9 assisting and training Moore Tech Air Conditioning Instructor, Colin Ford and his 18 HVACR program students during the installation. The group installed the donated multi-zone rooftop condenser, four evaporator coils, condensate pumps, overflow switches, line set protection ducting and many other installation accessories integral to mini-split installation. The equipment is now cooling the vocational school's remodeled machine shop, plus welding and HVACR classrooms. One classroom sports an additional working evaporator that provides on-going demonstration and hands-on learning, a founding principle of the school's educational philosophy. "They already learned the classroom/textbook principles of air conditioning, so this was pure on-the-job training where students performed every part of the installation," said Ford, a NATE and EPA-certified technician and Moore Tech alumni.
The donated equipment and training was important because mini-split technology is emerging quickly in the greater Memphis area, according to Ford. "One student, who had just laboriously run ducted air conditioning into his parents' new room addition, wished he had previous awareness of mini-split technology," said Ford, who also included Moore Tech's Industrial Electricity Instructor, Leslie Gray for project's power supply installation/training.
The mini-split expertise will encourage local HVACR contractors, many which haven't ventured into mini-split sales/installation yet, to continue recruiting the 79-year-old, non-profit school's 43 annual HVAC graduates for service/installation tech positions.
The Houston, Texas-based RectorSeal, which has developed more than a dozen accessories for mini-split installations, donated:
- PairCoil linesets
- Mighty Bracket installation support
- Big Foot Fix-it Foot condenser rooftop mount
- NoKink flexible line set hose connectors
- Safe-T-Switch DMSS condensate overflow switches
- an Aspen White Series condensate pump
- a Desolv Cleaning Kit for mini-split evaporators
and other products.
The Wayne, N.J.-based business unit of Haier America — Haier Ductless Air — donated a 36,000-Btu multi-zone inverter-driven heat pump system that supplies four evaporator coils ranging from 9,000 to 12,000-Btu.
"Learning that accessories are available such as the Mighty Bracket evaporator support tool, which can eliminate the need for a jobsite assistant, or the Desolv Cleaning Kit, which includes a cleaning agent that's safe for the sensitive materials of mini-split evaporator coils, is something you'll never see in air conditioning textbooks, but are invaluable aids," said Ford.
Bowman and Mann also helped create lesson plans for a week-long mini-split program that Ford will integrate into the school's two-year HVACR program, which is the most popular degree followed by industrial electric, plumbing and welding disciplines, according to Susan Smith, Moore Tech's admissions officer.
The mini-split system is now conditioning three classrooms previously cooled by window units. The classrooms comprise approximately 1,500 square-feet in an 8,000 sq.ft. industrial campus building. After setting the rooftop condenser, students ran multiple line sets through an obsolete exhaust fan casing down to the three classrooms' evaporator coils. Bowman, a 21-year HVACR service veteran before joining RectorSeal in 2013, regularly holds RectorSeal air conditioning clinics for trade association chapters and large service contractors, also taught the students to use cleaning kits and techniques exclusively for mini-split evaporator coils since the airborne welding contaminants will inevitably coat the coils and reduce heat transfer.
In addition to RectorSeal and Haier, three local HVACR wholesalers — Johnstone Supply, Ed's Supply and Jackson Supply — donated installation materials to the project.