IOR release Annual Conference programme


26 March 2021

The IOR Annual Conference will be held across the 21st and 22nd of April 2021, with the online event focusing on "The Journey to Net Zero Heating and Cooling – Beyond Refrigeration 2021."

The conference aims to bring together experts with the knowledge, understanding and reach to help the UK address the challenge of achieving net zero heating and cooling but also to publish a set of technical case study papers that will show technical and non-technical businesses how they can move from current business as usual practices to a more sustainable way of operation, measuring their progress towards net zero. 


A selection of case studies will demonstrate how the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector is responding to the drive for net zero.

Conference Themes

Balancing Heating and Cooling Demand - Heating and cooling systems have until now been specified and supplied as separate services. By integrating heating and cooling into one system, energy use could be reduced by half. The opportunities for sharing heating and cooling are not limited to one owner or site – there is vast potential for heating to be shared across site owners, buildings, and processes.

Using Energy Intelligently - To achieve net-zero, we need to address the issues of where our energy comes from and how we use it.  Our homes and businesses need renewable energy that is both reliable and cheap. The grid needs to be able to supply and store energy generated by intermittent renewables sources such as wind and solar to use when there is most demand.

Making use of Best Available Technology - In a rapidly developing and innovating marketplace, purchasers and specifiers need reliable and authoritative guidance on what new technologies are available, as well as where and how they can be used.  We need to share expert experience and knowledge to ensure technologies live up to expectations. 

Reducing the Need for Mechanical Cooling - Alternatives to cooling need to be considered as a first step – passive cooling, natural ventilation – all have a critical part to play in reducing carbon emissions from cooling processes. Low Tech solutions that can avoid the use of energy also need to be made more widely available.

Achieving Best System Performance - System performance in operation– not just component rating – is the critical factor for achieving high efficiency and should be incentivised. The focus needs to be on monitoring, measuring, and maintaining system efficiency over the life of the system – as well as the flexibility to adjust to changing demands. 

Developing the Best People and Skills - Lack of skilled personnel is not just a barrier to the take up of new technology but to the effective implementation of all technologies. The UK suffers from a lack of skilled engineers and experienced RACHP technicians. A long-term industry-driven strategy is needed to recruit, upskill and invest in the future of people in our sector. 

Working Together - Understanding of the challenges for our sector raised by net-zero cooling is low. Lack of clear communications to ensure consumers make the best purchasing decision and lack of knowledge of specifiers are contributing factors. As experts, we have a duty to work together across sectors, job roles and with policymakers to get our message across more clearly.

Programme for 21st April 2021

Session 1 - Opening Session

· Opening address from Conference Chair - Robert Lamb, Conference Chair

· Keynote Presentation: Why moving to Net Zero is essential for the RACHP Sector - UNEP

· Keynote Presentation: A Global perspective of the sustainability goals for the RACHP Sector - Didier Coulomb, International Institute of Refrigeration

· Working Together: The Climate Change Agreement for Cold Stores: An industry working together to improve energy efficiency - Tom Southall, Cold Chain Federation

· Net zero cold chain - Judith Evans, London South Bank University

Coffee lounge - Beyond Refrigeration

Join a lively discussion with our net zero experts

SESSION 2 - Achieving Best System Performance

· Predictive maintenance based on performance monitoring with System Efficiency Index and sub efficiencies is the future - Klas Berglöf, ClimaCheck

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· Energy saving at Cold Store doorways by means of specialist air curtains - Martin Craxton, Craxton Solutions Limited

· Efficient cooling at the heart of low-carbon electrified heat - John Hayes, Erda Energy

· Meeting industry's increasing sustainability demands by using water as a refrigerant - Garry Broadbent, Pure Thermal

Lunch lounge  - Transitioning to low GWP refrigerants

Join a lively discussion with our net zero experts

SESSION 3 - Using Energy Intelligently

· Keynote presentation: how can we reduce the demand for energy - Ian Arbon, Engineered Solutions

· How to reduce the cooling demand in office buildings and match the machinery to heat pump design demand - Gert Nielsen, Xrgy As

· River source heat pumps for residential and commercial heat networks – A case study - Andy Pearson, Star Refrigeration

· Booster heat pumps for space heating, hot water heating and process heating from geothermal energy - Neil Hewitt, Ulster University

Coffee lounge - How to improve the net energy in cities with a focus on cooling.

Join a lively discussion with our net zero experts

SESSION 4- Making use of Best Available Technology

· A heat recovery system for a passive ventilation wind tower - Daniel Marshall Cross, Free Running Buildings

· A compressor range: Improving CO2 presence into industrial and commercial Refrigeration, heating and heat-pump systems - Mauro Bonfant, Officine Mario Dorin SpA


Programme for 22 April 2021

People and Skills - short courses and workshops

· Short courses: Improving skills in handling flammable refrigerants - Marco Buoni - REAL Alternatives

· Workshop: Learning how to measure impact with environmental, legislative and regulative auditing - David Blackhurst, Star Technical Services

· Workshop: Developing the best people and skills – Where are the training gaps, how do we fill them? - panel of experts

*Final programme is subject to peer review and approval

To find out more or book your place, visit: IOR