A-Gas demonstrates Rapid Recovery to local contractors

By Ilana Koegelenberg

In November last year, A-Gas held demonstrations in both Cape Town and Johannesburg to introduce their new recovery equipment that can rapidly recover refrigerant from a system, taking the burden away from the contractor.

AG001A captive audience for the demonstration of the Rapid Recovery service.

A-Gas International acquired the Rapid Recovery business (based in the US) in mid-2016, in line with its vision to grow the company. This acquisition was a great fit for A-Gas as it completed its cradle-to-grave solution for refrigerants. It allows A-Gas to not only sell refrigerant to the market, but actively collect it as well — and quickly at that.

The Rapid Recovery system takes the burden off the contractor as it can remove as much as 500–700kg of refrigerant from a system each hour. This is much quicker than conventional methods where it can sometimes take the contractor more than eight hours to remove the refrigerant.

But seeing is believing, and to assist in breaking into the South African market, A-Gas held live demonstrations at the end of last year to show exactly how this system works. Both events were held at Metraclark branches, with the Cape Town one taking place on 1 November and Johannesburg on 2 November. Various contractors from across the country were in attendance to experience this new service first hand.

Adam Dykstra, co-founder of Rapid Recovery US, flew in to assist with the demonstration and to familiarise himself with the South African operation and market, addressing all the questions with the help of Michael Labacher, sales manager of A-Gas.

Not only is this service assisting the market in staying compliant with SANS 10147 (which prohibits anyone from venting refrigerant gas into the atmosphere), but clients also get money back if they return the recovered refrigerant to A-Gas, explains Labacher.

A-Gas has already successfully completed a few sites in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, recovering the refrigerant from the operations in question.

Although it is illegal to vent gas, A-Gas, which has a significant market share in the South African refrigerant game, is only receiving back a very small percentage of refrigerant from industry. Labacher estimates it to be as low as 1%. This could only imply that large amounts of ozone depleting substances such as R22 are still being vented into the atmosphere …

But, it takes a long time to recover refrigerant and the contractor doesn’t get anything in return for this. So, there really is no incentive (other than the law, of course). Now, with Rapid Recovery, contractors can recover gas cheaper than they can do it themselves and get money back for returning the refrigerant. Upon returning the recovered gas to A-Gas, they receive a coupon for a discounted price on their next refrigerant purchase.

This process isn’t meant to take work away from the contractor, Labacher reiterated; it’s to help them. A-Gas would simply send a technician to site, recover the gas, and leave again, leaving the contractor to do his job without wasting precious working hours. When it comes to applications such as supermarkets, speeding up this recovery process would be greatly beneficial to a client who wouldn’t have to remove produce from their fridges. Especially for breakdowns, Rapid Recovery would allow the quick removal (and replacement) of refrigerant so a certain component can be replaced/fixed.

A-Gas has already successfully completed a few sites in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, recovering the refrigerant from the operations in question. They plan to grow this business significantly this year.

AG002Contractors in Cape Town get a first-hand experience of Rapid Recovery.

This system is already very successful in the US, where it has been operational for over 15 years, during which time in-house expertise has been built up and various intellectual property registered. A-Gas will bring this technology to the rest of the world through its wide distribution network, with it already being launched in the UK and launching in Australia this year.

* Photos courtesy of A-Gas

 Click below to read the January/February 2018 issue of Cold Link Africa


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