Danfoss Industries has signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, reiterating the company’s commitment towards enhancing industry–academia collaborations, and in a bid to enhance skill and knowledge development among the youth of the nation.
Signed with an initial investment of Rs 10 Million, the collaboration aims to develop a research and training centre focused on promoting the use of natural or CO2-based refrigerants. The MoU was signed in the presence of Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss Industries Pvt Ltd.; Anuraaga Chandra, Head of Sales, Danfoss Climate Solutions; KVS Hari, Registrar and Professor at the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering, IISc and Phaneendra Yalavarthy, Associate Professor at the Department of Computational and Data Sciences (CDS), IISc.
Refrigerants lie at the core of the cold chain and refrigeration industry, but traditional refrigerants such as Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) are known to contribute to global warming, and the depletion of the ozone layer which protects the earth from harmful UV light.
In recent times, there has been an increase in the use of natural refrigerants like ammonia and CO2-based refrigerants, R744 (CO2)and R290 (Propane). While there isn’t a single refrigerant which can meet all the needs, choosing the right one is critical. Transitioning to a sustainable option will ensure a greener tomorrow for future generations.
To promote their wider adoption across India, the MoU between Danfoss India and IISc aims to increase knowledge systems around natural refrigerants both at the academic and industry level.
“Recognising the skill and knowledge gap that exists in the labour force of the nation, we – at Danfoss, have been consistent in our efforts to forge active industry-academia collaborations with leading institutions in the field. It is our vision that collaborations of this nature will not only aid in curriculum building, but also ensure that the workforce of the future is employment-ready and equipped with the right skill sets. This collaboration with IISc endeavours to enhance R&D and skill development in the use of natural refrigerants in lieu of HCFCs and HFCs. This is an important step towards an industry-wide broadening of its scope and application, towards a greener future,” said Purushothaman, President, Danfoss Industries Pvt. Ltd., India Region.
The MoU, signed for a duration of four years and extendable to five, aims to provide training in best practices at various levels, including for teachers, students, field and maintenance engineers, technicians and practicing engineers. Danfoss will provide hands-on training using demo systems both at IISc and the Danfoss campus. The company aims to empower students and faculty to work with Danfoss and publish their research papers in reputed national and international conferences and peer-reviewed journals.
Prof. Pradip Dutta from Department of Mechanical Engineering IISc, said, “We look forward to the engagement with Danfoss India and to providing our students and teachers with rich training in cutting-edge refrigerant technologies. Danfoss’ experience and domain knowledge in the fields of cooling, refrigeration and cold-chain uniquely positions them as the appropriate industry partner for IISc. We look forward to working closely with them and contributing to the promotion and usage of climate-friendly refrigerants across the industry.”
Demo scale test systems will be developed at IISc with assistance from the Danfoss India team to be used for training and technology evaluation and demonstrations. Further, potential end users will be identified, and outreach activities will be organised to showcase sustainable technologies for further knowledge dissemination.
At a time when climate change risks are significant, and there is a universal drive towards imbuing sustainability in every aspect of development, this MoU marks an important milestone in the refrigeration industry to broaden the understanding about natural refrigerants, and its importance in limiting carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.