New refrigeration lab to train future-ready workers

Components including frequency inverters, parallel compression and heat reclaim, along with adiabatic cooling and hydronic systems, are part of the new CO2 Training Facility. (Credits:

RMIT University has launched a new CO2 Training Facility that is the most advanced refrigeration and air conditioning training system in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new facility, based at RMIT’s city campus, features the latest, transcritical Co2 technology, making it the first of its kind in Australia.

It will be used to train not just RMIT Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration students but will also provide an industry training platform both for local, national and potentially even international cohorts.

The announcement comes as part of RMIT’s new Training Package for Refrigeration, which is focused on upskilling students using cutting-edge technology while educating them about the latest industry trends, like smart home technologies.

It is an investment of more than $800,000, including $583,000 from the Victorian Government’s Quality Apprenticeships Equipment Fund.

Melissa Tinetti, Director, Built Environment and Sustainability welcomed the launch of the facility, which will give students the opportunity to work hands-on with the latest and most advanced technology available.

“We’re building on opportunities for our students to learn to deliver smart home technologies and meet the requirements of energy-efficient builds. By continuing to invest in the latest technology, RMIT is positioned to meet future skills needs and position our apprentices as employees of the future,” said Melissa Tinetti, Director, Built Environment and Sustainability.

“Investment in higher energy efficient technology seen in this new facility not only helps upskill our students, but also helps us to create a global impact by moving towards a more sustainable future.”

Ian Suffield, National Engineering Manager of BITZER Australia, who will utilise the facility, said that the system will provide a unique opportunity for apprentices, technicians, engineers and consultants to gain first-hand experience operating a system that could be found in any modern supermarket or cold storage facility across the globe.

“Training of men and women throughout the industry, from different backgrounds with all levels of experience, is so important for not only the safety of the individual, but also to ensure the continued successful rollout and implementation of this technology, which is the only environmentally friendly refrigeration solution that is non-toxic and also non-flammable,” said Suffield.

“We look forward to working closely with RMIT in the development and delivery of a Nationally Accredited training package.”

The facility features components including frequency inverters, parallel compression, heat reclaim and air conditioning, along with adiabatic cooling and hydronic systems, accompanied by heat transfer units – making this the most advanced training system in the Asia-Pacific region.