UPDATE: Atmosphere 2009: Ammonia workshops - Part II

By Sabine Lobnig, Oct 22, 2009, 18:44 3 minute reading

The second session of the ammonia workshops explored further opportunities for ammonia, especially the call for a wider range of applications for ammonia systems. This second article covers presentations of euramonn, Johnson Controls and the IIAR. Presentations now available.

Monika Witt, euramonn: “Replacing F-gases with ammonia”

The chair of the eurammon executive board explained in her presentation why ammonia was never replaced by synthetic refrigeration. To emphasise this point, Witt mentioned different advantages of ammonia such as its efficiency, natural availability and the price. She pointed out that when ammonia is used by trained personnel and according to regulations it is at least as safe as any synthetic refrigerant, based on her experience with many different examples of ammonia systems worldwide such as the London Heathrow, Terminal 5 and Zürich airport. Even the emergency station of the Homerton hospital in London is using a safe ammonia system as well as the International Space Station (ISS).

“Ammonia will gain - and has already gained importance - not only for industrial applications, but also in other sectors, when energy consumption is of increasing concern! The full potential of ammonia has not been fully used until today,” she added.

Alexander Cohr Pachai, Johnson Controls: “Global Experience with Ammonia and R744 Systems”

One important fact that the presenter brought up was that the “name of the game has changed” for ammonia and natural refrigerants in general. While a couple of years ago the customers did not care about what refrigerant the systems used and did not know about alternatives, now days they come to Johnson Controls and mention specifically that they want a natural refrigerant.

With the goal in mind of using the most efficient refrigerant with the lowest Global Warming Potential, Pachai demonstrated Johnson Control’s track record of natural refrigerant with 274 realised projects of CO2 and CO2/NH3 systems operating on four different continents.

“There are not many applications – if any – that cannot be cooled with natural refrigerants. Natural refrigerants have a long track record that prove them to be efficient, reliable, viable and long lasting systems, “ said the Business Development Manager for Industrial Refrigeration at Johnson Controls. “The growing interest in getting the most energy efficient and sustainable systems help the systems with the best efficiency – based on natural refrigerants,” Pachai added.

Bruce Badger, IIAR: “Why choose Ammonia - an economic discussion”

Badger from the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration clearly wanted to evaluate the use of ammonia from an economical point of view. He explained why ammonia is not only great for the environment but also good for business.

In the first part of his presentation Badger maintained that in order to make money from refrigeration three things have to be kept in mind: 1) Choose the most efficient refrigerant, 2) choose the least costly refrigerant and 3) choose the refrigerant with the lowest replacement cost. With several examples and a case study Badger proved that in all cases, the answer should be ammonia, especially when taking a holistic approach by using a Life Cycle Comparison.

The case study that he focused on concerned a business owner who had planned to build a 13,935m2 cold storage distribution center.Engineering analysis focused on four different types of cost, without considering the environmental impact. By focusing merely on the cost of operation, including the construction, energy and operation, maintenance and replacement and using a 20 year life cycle comparison of operating (service, maintenance, replacement) costs, resulted in a $4,880,610 USD savings if ammonia were to be used.

In the end, Badger concluded that "ammonia is extremely efficient and the combination of low refrigerant cost and low operating cost will guarantee its usefulness for a very long time. Perhaps the greatest single long term benefit is ammonia’s negligible impact on our environment. With the support of beneficial environmental policies, businesses will make the natural choice for ammonia," he finally added.


By Sabine Lobnig

Oct 22, 2009, 18:44

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