Ensuring high-quality teaching standards for the next generation of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) technicians relies on using the highest-quality tools. This is a particularly key component of the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) courses run by Graham Boyle at South Metropolitan, Western Australia. South Metropolitan TAFE is the state’s major provider of HVAC training, preparing the majority of apprentices in Western Australia for a future in the industry.

”We provide a number of certificates and diplomas in HVAC, as well as offering specialised courses for the Royal Australian Navy,” says Graham.

Graham’s experience in HVAC

Students are in safe hands with Graham – he has over 50 years of experience in the HVAC industry as a technician and service manager. He has also spent 38 of those 50 years as a trainer.

The HVAC training offered at South Metropolitan TAFE prepares the next generation for careers in HVAC servicing.The HVAC training offered at South Metropolitan TAFE prepares the next generation for careers in HVAC servicing.

”I’ve been around [HVAC] a lot, that’s for certain. My current training role is as Portfolio Manager of Heavy Automotive and Refrigeration. However, I also continue to extend my experience as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating. I also authored the textbook Australian Refrigeration and Air Conditioning V I & II.”

”That experience is vital,” explains Graham, ”because we get a range of students, from school leavers to mature adults. Despite this challenge of trying to engage such a broad audience, there is no better place for them to train.”

What equipment is used to help training?

Graham’s comment is on the money – with 18 qualified staff onsite, South Metropolitan TAFE is probably the best equipped facility for HVAC training in Australia, with training equipment designed and built by technical support staff to replicate real-world situations. This includes:

  • Smaller-scaled split and packaged AC units for testing.
  • A full supermarket complete with cool rooms and freezer storage.
  • A two-stage ammonia plant with cooling tours.

”In order to give my students the most true-to-life experience, I ensure they’re equipped with the best tools possible in order to help their training,” says Graham.

”That’s where the Testo team comes in – they were more than happy to supply a range of digital and vacuum gauge devices to assist our training.”

The testo 552 is one of key tools used to assist training in South Metropolitan.

Testo’s 550 and 552 devices

”We first trialled the testo 550 and testo 552 with a group of Navy trainees. We only heard good things, so decided to offer the Testo devices to our more experienced students too. The response has been brilliant so far – it’s been the perfect fit for our courses,” Graham says.

Adopting this technology into the day-to-day of South Metropolitan’s courses has been a boon for Graham, who believes analogue methods of measuring refrigeration equipment are on the way out in the long term.

”I think it’s inevitable over the next few years that digital gauges will slowly start to supplant analogue tools. You get a much more accurate reading with digital devices such as the testo 550 and testo 552, and it certainly helps younger trainees to avoid any confusion over data.”

For more information on how Testo can help your organisation, contact the team today.

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