Air Conditioning Technology Program Warms Up To New Trainer

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In an expansive room scattered with hulking machine parts and vintage industrial equipment, Mike Clements takes a knee and adjusts a few switches and dials on a seven-foot-tall contraption that looks like it could be a Rube Goldberg Machine. Sealed glass tubes, knobs, coils, and fans are all interconnected by shiny brass tubing which wind looping paths across a gleaming white case. Though it’s a modern mechanical sight to behold, this device is not built for amusement or viral videos. The Hampden Mobile Refrigeration Trainer (Model H-RST-2) is specifically designed to train Air Conditioning students on an actual working model of a refrigeration system, complete in every detail.

“The new trainer will give the students the ability to see refrigerant as it moves through all parts of a working heat pump,” comments SRTC Air Conditioning Technology Instructor, Mike Clements. “This will give them a better understanding of what state the refrigerant is in at every point on the system. Is the refrigerant in a gas, liquid, or mixed state? They will be able to identify this. This allows a student to further understand what all components do, how the refrigerant flows through a system. Additionally, we have the capability to arrange “faults” on certain parts of the new trainer so the student can diagnose the problem and pose a corrective action.”

Since the mid-’70s, students at the SRTC – Moultrie IDC Campus have been taught the complexities of Heating, Cooling & Ventilation (HVAC) systems on a 1974 Carrier Air Conditioning Trainer. “The older trainer will continue to be referenced as needed,” says Clements, explaining that the 45-year-old trainer still has educational value, as his students will realistically encounter older systems out in the field. HVAC technology has advanced in half a century, however; so the new trainer will give students a better understanding of the kinds of state-of-the-art systems that students will encounter as well.

One of the first students to interact with the new trainer is Tanner Nimmo, who has already begun work with Miller Heating and Air in Tifton. In HVAC, he’s found a career that allows him to be free of an office and work with his hands on a daily basis. “I am never bored at my job because it’s always something different,” he said. “You never know what you’re going to see or encounter in a day’s work!” Nimmo said he appreciated that students in the Air Conditioning Technology program spend much of their time with their sleeves rolled up, taking part in practical training. “The books give you a good sense of what’s going on, but to truly understand how it works you, have to do the hands-on activities and work with real equipment and trainers like this one!”

Mr. Clements has known Tanner since he was younger, and says that it’s a joy to watch him now becoming a leader in his class and career field. “When Tanner is assigned a task, he will take the lead to complete the mission on the system,” he commented. Nimmo intends to take part in the SkillsUSA Competition in 2020, and Mr. Clements expects that he will make a great competitor at the state, and even national level.

SRTC offers over 155 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 28 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Thomas, Tift, Turner, and Worth counties for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to

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