Ammonia based refrigeration equipment: the future of storage
The use of ammonia based refrigeration equipment is gradually gaining ground with companies for whom storage at low temperatures is essential. This success is in large part due to ammonia’s attractive thermodynamic properties, which mean the results it can achieve are not only excellent but also sustainable.
Firms that use a substance like NH3, which has both a GWP (Global Warming Potential) and ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) approaching zero, know that it guarantees high performance and removes the risk of non-compliance with restrictions set out in strict F-Gas regulations.
Practical application of the new ammonia based equipment
With companies increasingly focused on sustainability, ammonia based refrigeration equipment has become the most advantageous alternative in many ways. This is demonstrated by the undisputed energy savings that are obtained when production cycles using these solutions operate at temperatures of almost zero degrees.
Among the many applications of these systems, we might consider the example of a well-known company in the food sector (a market leader in the production of fresh cheese, mozzarella and burrata), that required refrigeration equipment able to guarantee a constant temperature of between 2° and 4° C, in the factory, measuring approximately 25,000 m3.
This was a tough challenge, especially due to the whole project’s sustainability requirements, one of the conditions imposed, which required the use of ammonia based refrigeration systems that could obtain certain results while meeting strict limits on energy costs.
In order to achieve this, a central plant for the production of refrigerated glycol was built, consisting of two NH3 chillers, with flooded column evaporators, consisting of three high efficiency screw compressors (which enable better temperature control capacity).
This option reduces the number of compressors operating according to environmental conditions (during the cold season for example, less power is required to reach the desired temperature), with consequent increased flexibility and significant reductions in costs.
Advantages of ammonia based refrigeration systems
As outlined in the case mentioned above, the potential of ammonia based refrigeration systems is enormous and one of their guaranteed benefits is the fact that their application is not restricted to the food industry; the properties of NH3 as a refrigerant help them meet the needs of all sectors that use refrigeration.
This is, first and foremost, a solution which is easily available and possesses GWP and ODP levels close to zero. As it is not subject to F-Gas restrictions, it can therefore be used without any problem in the long term, thereby avoiding any risks involving various limitations and/or bans.
Another excellent reason to choose ammonia is that it can satisfy the latest regulations regarding the ‘reduced load’ of refrigerant gases, intended to improve the equipment’s general safety. (The relative security of that fluid in question means it can be safely used in many operational contexts).
In addition, its greatest advantage is its energy cost and performance ratio. An ad hoc system created using a detailed planning phase and the right technical adjustments, is able to offer high level results, while maintaining low energy costs.
These are the reasons that are gradually encouraging major players in the refrigeration sector to take ammonia into consideration. Their main objective undoubtedly remains that of offering their clients quality solutions which provide high performance while respecting the environment.