College setting up full HVAC lab - help
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    4

    Question

    The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston is starting a new HVAC certificate program for September 2004. We are interested in getting feedback about the types of equipment that we need to purchase to allow the instructors to teach all the courses in the program.

    Hampden Corp., a manufacturer of HVAC lab equipment, has given us a list with $200,000 of equipment on it. This in our estimation is excessive for an HVAC lab.

    Does anybody out there have experience with this?

    Will

  2. #2
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    May 2000
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    Colorado flatland native
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    Willy Bee

    theres some real qualified teachers here- in class. Don't get impatient, they only work till 3:00
    My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn't pay the bill he gave me six months more.
    Walter Matthau

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    92
    We donate a large amount of HVAC equipment every year to schools, no strings attached. Email me if you're interested and we'll see what we can do.

    ARI also has a donation program for schools.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Memphis TN USA
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    Stay away from Hampton.
    I have 2 of their "trainers". The heatpump trainer instructions includes the words "Make your measurement fast before the system shuts down." I had to put a larger condenser on it so it could do the labs in the manual. The refrigeration trainer has an air cooled compressor with no air going over it. It draws air over the warmest part of the condenser then that same air goes over the coolest part. Needless to say it has no subcool. The same air that just went over that thing Hampton calls a condenser now goes over a medium temp evap. Ever try to teach somebody how to adjust the superheat on a TEV in a 100F walk-in cooler.

    Hampton trainers are an exercize in seeing how well the teacher can make cobbled togather peices of crap work. Did I mention those 2 trainers costs more than all my computers and software plus half of my other equipment combined. They better give some of that stuff away, at least then you can't complain about getting ripped off.
    Crap, I could have bought the entire tech cube line for the price of 2 trainers that do not work.

    They have a built-in troubleshooting/malfunction system that confuses the heck out of my students.
    If the superheat ain't right it ain't charged right.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Memphis TN USA
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    Originally posted by lrhill
    We donate a large amount of HVAC equipment every year to schools, no strings attached. Email me if you're interested and we'll see what we can do.

    ARI also has a donation program for schools.
    ARI will only donate to schools that have been accredited by their program. There are many strings attached. The first is a $2000 fee. They told the state of tennessee, the accredidation program was at least 2 years away when we asked them about accreditation. We used HVAC Excellecence. Then ARI was sucseffully sued by HVAC Excellence for copying their program.
    To make a long story short: We can;t get any equipment from them because we chose to use a better organization for accredidation.
    ARI needs to go back to preaching about the NATE test and let educational institution worry about HVAC education.
    If the superheat ain't right it ain't charged right.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    92
    "ARI will only donate to schools that have been accredited by their program. There are many strings attached. The first is a $2000 fee."

    Is this recent information? If so, I need to do some checking. We've given a bunch of equipment to ARI in support of their "school program" in the past year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Memphis TN USA
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    6,945
    Ask ARI for a curriculum quide. It is very helpful. It is not quite the bible of HVAC like they think it is. It gives you a list of tools and equipment needed. I have no need to teach oil heat so I have no oil heat equipment.

    http://www.escoinst.com ought to be able to help you as well. Both organization are going to try to sign you up for their accredidation program. Accredidation is going to be required very some to get government Perkins money. ESCO is pushing national skills standards, but it is not as difficult as it would seem to be. It is just about documentation.
    If the superheat ain't right it ain't charged right.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Memphis TN USA
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    Originally posted by lrhill
    "ARI will only donate to schools that have been accredited by their program. There are many strings attached. The first is a $2000 fee."

    Is this recent information? If so, I need to do some checking. We've given a bunch of equipment to ARI in support of their "school program" in the past year.
    It is not really a fee. It is an accredidation expense. You must be pass their accredidation program to be eligable. They would not even give me a list of high school programs in my area to recruit from. (I spied on their list when they were not looking though.) I have heard things are going to change since Leslie is not running it anymore.

    If you do not beleive me, just call them and pretend to be a school not on their list. See what kind of assistance they offer you.

    ESCO is not forcing us to use their certification tests. They are giving us a grant so the students can take the test for free.
    ESCO has reveiwed textbooks and given us a break down based on ease of reading.
    ESCO has convinced Delmar to reissue Ref & AC Tech to include national skills standards.
    ESCO publishes great books for technicians at a very good price.
    ARI is just trying to get ESCO's customers by force enstead of offering a better service.

    You are not supporting most of the schools in the country by supporting ARI. You are supporting their ad campaign.
    If the superheat ain't right it ain't charged right.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    92
    Didn't mean to imply I didn't believe you. We have a person that works closely with agencies, individually and in the political arena. I'll let him find out what's going on. He's probably aware of the accreditation fee, I just want to make sure we're donating to a good cause, well, as good as it can be.

    Thanks for the info.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579

    I am another instructor with 30+ years experience and 18 of those in the classroom on a fulltime basis. Rather than repeat what Kim has already expressed well, I will just ditto what Kim is telling you.

    Above all, do not waste money on Hampton training aids! If a college offers me that kind of money I will spend every bit of it on parts and have students build all sorts of neat stuff from scratch.

    ARI is a great resource for information. Hundreds of instructors along with the major manufacturers have gotten together through ARI so you can benefit from their experience. You MUST contact ARI.

    Norm

  11. #11
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    Nov 2000
    Location
    Memphis TN USA
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    On a positive note: That trainer is a good way to teach students not to touch the setting on a TEV.
    If the superheat ain't right it ain't charged right.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Memphis TN USA
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    I like old stuff myself. it is cheap to buy. If a student breaks it, you have a system in need of repair. People give me window units all the time. Great for seeing real refrigeration system problems. There is never just one problem like on the computer programs.

    I have some new stuff too, but day to day they work on the stuff that costs least to break.
    If the superheat ain't right it ain't charged right.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    4
    I see there is consensus on not using Hampden. That in itself is very helpful. Thank you.

    What then is the best strategy for equipping a lab? Real life stuff, or a combination of simulators and real stuff? If the second option is better, what other company other then Hampden is recommended? What are the best sources for donations?

    I downloaded the accreditation standards from HVAC Excellence and they seem very comprehensive. They also include a list of equipment and tools that a well supplied lab should have. Can any of you take a look and see how close they are to the actual needs of a lab?

    Is it true that the program would have to be accredited by ARI, HVAC Excellence, or ESCO for students to receive financial aid? That sounds strange because none of our other programs, i.e. electrical, automotive, architecture are accredited by specific program accreditng organizations. In our case the college is regionally accredited and this is all that is required for financial aid.

    I've never been on the ARI or ESCO site. I'll logon to see what they have to offer, though from the conversation about ARI sounds like I should be cautious.

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