Low charge ammonia shapes the future of Refrigerated Warehousing sector

Derek Hamilton
Business Development Manager - Azane Inc.

Advancement in low charge ammonia technology was a key discussion point at the 34th International Association for Cold Storage Construction (IACSC) Conference & Expo celebrated in Florida last month. The phase out of R22 refrigerant by 2020 under the Montreal Protocol and increasing interest in ammonia charge from the EPA and OSHA has resulted in owners and operators of temperature controlled facilities turning to low charge ammonia solutions for new and existing facilities.

The IACSC event brought together over 200 warehouse operators, contractors, and suppliers, to discuss the latest trends, technologies and legislation impacting the cold storage business sector.

The prestigious three day event in Boca Raton offered a high quality educational conference programme, including a presentation from Danfoss on the white paper produced by IARW and IACSC entitled ‘Low Ammonia Charge Refrigeration Systems for Cold Storage.’ Terry Chapp, Business Development Manager at Danfoss Industrial Refrigeration, put forward a summary of the various low charge ammonia options that are available to the refrigerated warehouse industry. This included the Azanefreezer and Azanechiller range of air cooled, packaged ammonia refrigeration systems from Azane Inc. which can be used for a wide range of temperature controlled warehouse applications. He drew attention to the 80% reduction in ammonia charge compared to traditional pumped circulation. This is achieved with similar levels of capital installation cost and reductions in ongoing operating cost. The white paper also highlighted the proven track record of reliable operation that market leader Azane has in Europe, where it has been in use for over 25 years.

Azane is quickly becoming a reference point for companies wanting to invest in low charge ammonia technology in the USA. The manufacturer fabricates low charge ammonia industrial refrigeration packages Azanechiller and Azanefreezer in Chambersburg, PA for distribution in the USA, South America and Canada.

At the expo, design/build contractors and end users visiting the Azane booth learned more about the economic, environmental and health and safety credentials of the Azane range of products, through supporting evidence from the numerous worldwide case studies the company has accumulated over the years.

Derek Hamilton, Business Development Manager, said: “We are seeing increasing levels of interest in low charge ammonia in the US refrigerated warehousing sector. The industry is beginning to realize that the phase out of R22 needs to be taken seriously, and that moving to HFC refrigerants is not an option due to the increasing pressure to phase out these refrigerants due to their global warming potential.”

Azane’s cutting-edge solutions Azanechiller and Azanefreezer were showcased at the event. With cooling capacities ranging from 25TR to 210TR, the systems are capable of delivering efficiencies 15% to 20% higher than traditional freon technology and with a refrigerant charge that is 80% less than pumped circulation ammonia.

A key benefit of the Azane product range is its reduced ammonia charge, which is only 2lbs of ammonia per ton of refrigeration for chiller applications. Azane’s low ammonia charge is significantly lower than OSHA’s Process Safety Management and EPA RPM threshold limits (10,000 lbs of ammonia), and is not listed in federal and national emphasis programs.

The pre-packaged units are built to industrial standards, using top quality industrial components from world leading brands to ensure maximum performance with the highest reliability in highly demanding environments. The equipment includes advanced low pressure receiver technology, EC fan and PLC control technology to minimize maintenance costs. Azane systems require minimum installation costs and entirely eliminate other common expenses that are usually associated with the installation of refrigeration plants, such as the building of new machinery room to house the equipment.

Derek Hamilton, who heads up the manufacture and supply of low charge ammonia packages for the US market, will be presenting a workshop on low charge ammonia at IIAR in San Diego in March 2015. He has recently been involved in the transfer of knowledge and promotion of low charge ammonia technology and R22 replacement, speaking at numerous industry leading events and conferences. He has over 10 years experience in the design and manufacture of ammonia refrigeration and heat pump systems.

According to Hamilton, there are various reasons for the growing interest in low charge ammonia technology within the refrigerated warehousing industry: “Interest is being generated by the increased legislative pressures to reduce ammonia charge in existing facilities; the R22 phase out timetable, which means that for owners of facilities with R22 systems, now is the time to act; as well as impending restrictions on HFC usage in the US, which is likely to follow Europe’s phase out lead, especially following the latest climate change targets recently announced by President Obama.”

Low charge ammonia shapes the future of Refrigerated Warehousing sector

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