You had been associated with refrigeration field for more than five decades holding eminent posts and engaged in designing manuals, conducting corporate trainings at varios forums, winner of awards and currently jury member for CII -SCALE awards; having published more than 95 articles in relevant journals. It shall be pleasure and inspiring, if you could share your journey with our readers.
Briefly, I worked in three companies for 38 years in the corporate world during my tenure:
– 6 Yrs.: Chief Executive Officer, Voltas Air International Ltd., Pune (1997-2003);
– 4 ½ Yrs.: Managing Director, Carrier Transicold., Bangalore & Singapore (1993-97);
– 27 Yrs.: Vice President, AC&R Division, Kirloskar Pneumatics Ltd. Pune (1967-1993).
After completing my M.Tech. in Refrigeration in1966 from IIT Mumbai, I started my career with Kirloskar Pneumatic co., Pune. In 1971, I took membership of ASHRAE USA and its Journals and handbooks served as great source for the latest information. In 1982, I presented first paper on “choice of refrigerants for industrial refrigeration plants” on Ammonia as a refrigerant and won the first price for best paper presentation.
Thereafter, I started participating in various seminars and delivering lectures. Based on the paper presented in Delhi, delegates from USA invited me to California to participate in the Seminar on CFC substitutes in 1991 on invitation from Rockefeller Foundation. I had the opportunity of meeting both the Nobel laureates: Dr. Molina and Dr. Rowland, who had won the Noble prize for ODP due to CFC gases released to atmosphere.
When I left Kirloskar Pneumatic in the year 1992, I thought of sharing all the technical material and prepared a book of 419 pages containing all the documents for the benefit of engineers and gave copies to one and all. This book is still being referred by engineers not only in KPC but by many other practicing engineers.
Thereafter, I was invited by Carrier USA and joined Carrier Transicold Bangalore as MD, to develop Bus air conditioning and Truck refrigeration equipment and mobile air conditioners for Defence. During my tenure, I conducted many training programs on behalf of Carrier in Singapore, China and at other places.
My writing of articles in various journals including ISHRAE Journal, were converted in a booklet of 103 pages that started selling these at various ISHRAE exhibitions and forums.
Upon leaving Carrier, I Joined Voltas Mumbai in the year 1997 as Chief Executive, to set up a factory in Pune for development of car air conditioners for TATA motors for their passenger cars, Indica, Sumo and Safari, as well as mobile air conditioners for Defence sector. (Then known as TELCO). The highest recognition of my contribution in this field was received in 2005 when I received ASHRAE Fellowship in Orlando USA.
In the year 2008 I also received ASHRAE Life membership being an ASHRAE member since 1971 without interruption. On retirement from Voltas, I started consultancy and training services in the name of ARTI and conducted training programs for companies like Emerson Network Power, LG, Blue star and for many other companies. In the year 2007/2008 Emerson Climate Technologies approached me to develop cold storage Design manual keeping in view their scroll/reciprocating compressors. In the year 2008, I was invited by German Chamber of Commerce to Germany to present a paper on Ammonia pump circulation systems.
In the year 2010, I received Bry-Air award for best system design. In the year 2012 I received ICE “Life Time Engineering Award”; also, in the same year, I received “Danfoss/Global Chain Award 2012.” Danfoss India/Denmark approached me to develop user guide for their Industrial ammonia controls and for conducting training programs for their engineers in Chennai and at other places. The manual’s first edition was launched in 2013 at ICE show in Delhi.
I also conducted many training programs for Alfa Laval in Pune, who sought my help to develop manual for air coolers manufactured by them at Sarole factory near Pune. This air cooler design manual has been completed this year in 2015 in two editions. In the year, 2012 I received invitation from ASHRAE USA to be a member of ASHRAE Fundamentals 2017 published same year.
I was also involved in setting new syllabus for Pune University which is being currently followed. I was also paper setter for Pune University as, I was as guest lecturer in various engineering colleges in Pune.
This year in the year 2020, I received highest recognition from ASHRAE USA for Distinguished Fifty-Year Member award. During the COVID lockdown, I also wrote a book for ISHRAE on Insulation which is now published and is available in both soft as well as hard copies from ISHRAE at a price.
The world came to standstill, when hit hard by novel coronavirus, and being hopeful we found solution in vaccine. But, by the end of 2020, a new strain of virus emerged. In such given post-pandemic situations, what prospects do you envision about refrigeration industry as much damage is caused to the overall manufacturing and design industries during pandemic times?
In the order of Priority, human needs are food, shelter and then comfort. The food in India is getting wasted because of lack of infrastructure like, roads, refrigerated transportation, Govt. regulations and availability of proper cold chain facilities. Current Government is taking a lot of effort in overcoming all these hurdles. It is therefore predicted by all the world experts that refrigeration industry would grow much faster than comfort Air conditioning industry. I see very bright future for Refrigeration Industry and confident that in spite of any hurdles, it would grow at a faster rate, as we are one of the leading three countries in the world to produce, vegetables, fruits, grains as well as milk. There was a temporary setback due to lock downs and labour leaving for their native places; however, I see growth is returning.
How much optimistic are you about HVACR industry recovery momentum and what according to you could accelerate market growth in new normal times.
I am very optimistic; we have shortage of trained manpower. We are therefore conducting training programs on a large scale to upgrade the industry standards in this field. Bureau of Indian standards have decided that our Ammonia safety standard would be adopted by them and currently, it is in final and printing stage. Once this is published it would become mandatory and the quality of design, installation, operation and maintenance would improve vastly in cold storage and refrigeration Industry. Currently, there are no regulations as to who should do the project and every person is trying to enter in each other’s area, leading to lack of required expertise and thus quality of jobs is not up to the mark or to the international standards. Once the BIS standard is released and certification program is in place, the things would definitely improve.
Could you elaborate upon activities while being associated with AAR and what is your say for environment friendly refrigerants safety concerning ODP, GHG in reference to climate change?
Since last 55 years, my major area of interest and work is in natural refrigerants and more importantly, Ammonia as a refrigerant. We therefore set up a separate Association, known as AAR (Association of Ammonia Refrigeration) and I have so far written and published four books for the Association.
Coronavirus vaccine: the temperature for storage of Pfizer-Biotech vaccine should be -600C to -900C. Modena’s needs to be stored at -200C. Though our country has required cold chain, but it is limited. What suggestions will you impart for creating cold storage and supply chain infrastructure design to maintain such storage temperature?
The vaccines developed in other countries require low temperatures for storage ranging from -700C to -400C, whereas Indian Vaccines developed can be stored at temperatures ranging between 2 to 80C.
For storage of vaccines at ultra-low temperature, solid carbon dioxide pads are used while transporting to hospitals. The cold rooms have been developed to store products at -700C. In India this facility is not commonly available but Government is getting freezers to store this product. Solid carbon dioxide pads are available in India. The facilities to store Indian vaccines is available in India.
I have helped one company to design a cabinet at -700C and I had also done my very early project for HAL Nasik to design a room at -600C to test MIG air craft hydraulic systems. Photo of Cabinet panel is produced hereinabove.
You had been deeply involved into research and academic activities for refrigeration industry. What have been your achievements in the area of your specialisation?
To be very frank, In India, hardly any research activity is done in this field. What we do is either through collaboration or asking them to set up a unit in India for their products. Most of the activity done in India is reverse engineering. The products made in this way are compressors, flake and tube ice machines, screw and scroll compressors, heat exchangers and controls
What challenges and opportunities do you envisage for future trends and technology taking shape in 2021 for overall industry?
The challenges for the Industry are to develop low-charge, roof-mounted units using natural refrigerants, air cooled units with natural refrigerants, small capacity packed air cooled units using ammonia refrigerant for small cold storages, oil free systems, semi hermetic and hermetic compressors using encapsulated copper winding motors
What are your future plans and if anything, more you would like to share with our readers?
Since my age is above 77 years now, I prefer doing writing articles on my experiences, so that the new entrants do not commit same mistakes which we did. Also, I help anyone who needs guidance in designing new equipment, projects, writing books etc.