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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning - Geothermal

Learn a variety of skills in mechanical systems, electronics and basic welding to start as an apprentice with a company that specializes in heating, air conditioning and geothermal energy.

Program Image
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
1 Year
Credential:
Certificate

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Overview

As a clean energy source with immense potential for development, geothermal energy represents a strong area of growth. There is high demand for skilled professionals who have knowledge and experience related to geothermal use and best practices.

Working in this field requires a variety of skills in mechanical systems, electronics and basic soldering. You learn to repair and maintain residential and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems. You also learn to install gas lines, liquid lines and other kinds of piping. Basic skills in oxy-acetylene brazing and welding are covered as well as the installation of electrical circuits and controls.

Learning in a geothermal environment, you build on your refrigeration and air conditioning training with hands-on experience and courses which are certified through the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC). Graduates who complete this program will have taken the first steps towards achieving their requirements for CGC national certification.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end, or throughout the duration, of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • NSCC's Cumberland Campus provides an ideal setting to learn about this technology. With access to some of the world's deepest abandoned coal mines, companies located in Springhill have been some of the early pioneers – tapping into the benefits of geothermal technology since the late 1980s. This experience, along with the opportunity to learn in a geothermal well-drilling environment, provides you with the ultimate learning lab and resources.
  • This program is a first step towards certification in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic trade. To become certified, you must register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). Once registered, you can transfer credit from this program towards your apprenticeship.
  • CGC National Certification – Graduates who complete this program will have taken the first steps towards achieving their requirements for CGC national certification.
  • Faculty have industry experience and are motivated to see you succeed in your chosen field.
  • Graduates are employable in many occupations, including maintenance and sales of heating and cooling systems and the installation of geothermal systems.
  • Learn to install three types of geothermal systems: Vertical Ground Source, Horizontal Closed Loop and Vertical Closed Loop.

Other info

  • Certification with a Red Seal – Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the provincial certification exam, receive their certification and Red Seal. The Red Seal allows certified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada – where the trade is designated – without having to write further examinations.
  • You require a Certificate of Qualification issued by the NSAA to legally work in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic trade in Nova Scotia.
  • Additional skills and abilities, including math, reading and workplace skills, are essential for your success in Trades and Technology programs. See the Trades and Technology Preparation Checklist (PDF 23KB).
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Cumberland Campus/Online Springhill Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.
  • Standard First Aid, CPR Level A

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,515
Tuition (International):
$11,350

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – Geothermal program broadens the skills you will bring to working in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic trade and the opportunities you have to work with companies that specialize in heating, air conditioning and energy.
  • Learn more about Refrigeration and Air Conditioning labour market information – Career Options.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

ENVI 3200 - Geothermal - Energy Exchange Installation
Geo Energy Exchange - Installation reviews the application of geothermal energy systems. In addition this course introduces the ongoing developments of energy exchange beyond the typical ground source applications. Learners examine energy exchange principles, geothermal heat pump systems, the economic and marketing factors of the energy exchange industry, and the geological factors related to geo-applications. The installation process, maintenance issues, and basic controls are detailed.

ENVI 3400 - Geothermal - Energy Exchange Residential Design
Geothermal - Energy Exchange Residential Design reviews the basis behind the critical design aspects of geothermal heating and cooling systems. Learners will examine the economics of systems, efficiency measurements, soil characteristics, building loads, and distribution considerations. Open versus closed loop systems and CSA 448 issues are also covered.

RFAC 1000 - Introduction to Safety and Rigging
This course will help the learner practice safety and maintain a safe working environment. Learners will be taught about working safely around electricity. Learners will understand and practice safe procedures to comply with the Occupational Health & Safety handbook and WHMIS procedures. The School of Trades and Technology has specific requirements for health and safety practices and procedures for all shops and labs. Learners will learn to practice 5S+S quality system.

RFAC 1001 - Introduction to Refrigeration I
This course introduces the principles of refrigeration and their application to refrigeration systems. Learners will be introduced to piping practices and procedures for installing refrigeration systems.

RFAC 1002 - Blueprint Reading
This course will focus on the basic skills necessary for the preparation, reading, and understanding of refrigeration and air conditioning related drawings, as well as the ability to prepare sketches, plans, and details.

RFAC 1004 - Mathematics for Trades
This course will provide the Learners with the necessary mathematical background to perform calculations used in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning.

RFAC 1006 - Basic Electricity I
This course will introduce the Learner to the fundamentals of electrical refrigeration and air conditioning. It will explain the different types of electrical functions used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

RFAC 1007 - Metering Devices
This course will introduce the learner to the fundamentals of several types of metering devices used to control the flow of refrigerant to the evaporator. It will explain the different types of pressure reducing devices used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

RFAC 1008 - Compressors
This course will introduce the Learner to the fundamentals of compression refrigeration and air conditioning methods. It will explain the different types of compressors used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

RFAC 1011 - Evaporators and Condensers
This course will introduce the learner to the fundamentals of heat exchanger components as used for the transfer of heat in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. It will explain the different types of condensers and evaporators used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. It will explore characteristics affecting efficiencies and innovation.

RFAC 1012 - Basic Electricity II
This course will give learners a solid understanding of electrical principles and devices used in the industry. Learners will have the opportunity to test and troubleshoot electrical components.

RFAC 1013 - Introduction to Refrigeration II
This course will introduce the learner to basic refrigeration, air conditioning systems, components and their operating principles.

RFAC 1101 - Work Experience I
This course involves spending time at a jobsite under industry supervision. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

RFAC 1102 - Work Experience II
This course involves spending time at a jobsite under industry supervision. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1025 - Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
This course provides participants with an understanding of the hazards associated with working from heights and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (2013). Throughout the course, participants will gain experience in the donning of a harness, an overview and presentation of system components involved when working from heights and learn how to complete a fall calculation and emergency procedures.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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