Co-Lin Natchez acquires special air conditioning training machine

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NATCHEZ — Bob Savino, the Heating and Air Conditioning Technology instructor at Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez campus, normally is calm and methodical. Recently, though, he became as excited as a youngster at Christmas, when his new trainer arrived — after a four-year wait.

The department received a LabVolt Refrigeration System Demonstrator.

“I have been trying for four years to get this demonstrator,” Savino said. “When it arrived, my first thoughts were, ‘Did it survive the shipping without damage? Will it help the students as much as I had hoped? The students got more excited about it than I was as the time for arrival approached.”

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A large machine on wheels, the demonstrator sits front and center in the Heating and Air Conditioning Technology lab.

“The primary function of the demonstrator is to provide a visual concept of the thermodynamics of the refrigeration,” Savino said. “The demonstrator has high impact clear plastic tubing which allows students actually to see the critical change of state process (liquid to vapor and vapor to liquid) involved in the refrigeration process.”

So seeing not only is believing — it is learning, too.

“With this demonstrator now we have a visual correlation that helps make more sense of the mathematics and the overall concept. The demonstrator is both an air conditioner and a heat pump and can be converted from one to the other in a matter of seconds. In addition the demonstrator provides a means of metering refrigerant flow (simply by moving a lever students can insert and remove these metering components and instantly see the results).

He said the students are beginning to understand the demonstrator’s value to their education.

“Some are still somewhat afraid of it. Most are beginning to be comfortable with it and as always some have already figured it all out. Overall they all have seen it work and the refrigeration process is becoming much clearer especially first semester freshman.”