Sunday, February 7, 2010

Free Online HVAC/R Training!

Many of our students are accustomed to 24/7 access to electronic information. I know that most instructors simply don’t have the time to create online content. If you are like most of us, you are already working at home to prepare for and manage your classes, especially now that enrollments have swelled. But I love for my students to do research on their own time after class; it shows real interest in HVAC/R and commitment to our trade. One way to provide access to online training material is to point students towards information offered by component and equipment manufacturers. There are some well done power point presentations, videos, and articles that manufacturers post for free on their web sites. Forward thinking manufacturers have figured out that showing technicians how their products work, how they should be installed, and how they should be services saves them time and money. Time spent educating technicians in advance saves time trying to do it over the phone in an emergency. Money spent on training saves money on warranty returns. Companies who take the time and resources to make training materials freely available to the HVAC/R community should be supported, applauded, and encouraged because educational resources freely offered are a gift to the HVAC/R community.

Our students can benefit from these offerings. It takes some time to dig around the internet for them, but much less time than it would take to produce comparable materials yourself. I will share a few of my favorites. I am sure there are resources that I don’t know about. If you know of one, please share it with the rest of us by posting it on a comment to this article.

I believe my favorite site contains three very well done online training courses for electric motors by US Motors, a division of Emerson. The modules are Motor Cross Referencing, Motor Mechanical Terminology, and Motor Efficiency. After the students complete the training, they can receive a certificate of completion in the mail. These are not 10 minute time wasters with glossy promo photos and little information. It will take the students a while to work through each course, but they will learn a great deal about motors in the process. Click on US Motors to go there.

Another favorite is the Yellow Jacket site. They have videos on Refrigerant Recovery, Evacuation, and Tubing Tools & Techniques. They are very well done and cover the basics of these important subjects. They are available in a small format that will stream on the web, or in a larger file size that can be downloaded for larger screens and better resolution. They do use their products in the videos and the videos do promote their products a little. I am fine with that. Click on Yellow Jacket to go there.The address is

Fluke has a boatload of articles, demos, videos, and simulations. The materials are very well done. I especially like the electrical safety materials. Fluke will send you training videos on DVDs for free. All these materials are obviously designed to show how to use Fluke products, but most of the information is applicable to testing in general. And again, I don’t mind the materials talking about Fluke products since they are providing them for free. Some of the more interesting features they have on the web site are virtual meter demonstrations. You can “use” a meter online by going to the page with information on a meter and choosing “Virtual Demo.” The Fluke site has so much that it is easy to get lost navigating the site. But the search is worthwhile, they have so many HVAC/R products and do a great job explaining their use that just looking at what is available and what it does is helpful for the students. Their HVAC/R specific materials can be found at Fluke

Several compressor manufacturers have great technical specs available online including

Tecumseh, Copeland, Bristol and Carlyle

The Carlyle site has a program that you can download called Compressor Selection software It is a complete refrigeration system simulation! You select the compressor, the refrigerant, choose the condensing and evaporating temperatures, and the program will show the capacity, energy use, temperatures, and pressures throughout the system. Some time spent playing with this can really explain how changes in system variables affect the whole system.

If you are using Fundamentals of HVAC/R, consider using the on line MyHVACLab online course management and content that is designed to work with the book. There is no cost to the school to use MyHVACLab; students must purchase an access code. If purchased packaged with the book, the cost can be as little as $7 more than the book alone. MyHVACLab provides a complete HVAC/R course that ties in with the book. Of course you can edit, delete, or add to the default course that is provided, but you start out with a complete course.

37 comments:

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