Replace installed HFC chillers with ammonia: save of 3 billion kg CO2 eq

By Janaina Topley Lira, Jul 30, 2012, 16:38 3 minute reading

Mayekawa and GEA presented their climate friendly ammonia alternatives to hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at the international two-day international conference ‘Advancing Ozone & Climate Protection Technologies: Next Steps.’ reports on Mayekawa’s NH3/CO2 NewTon3000 cold storage solution, and GEA’s BluAstrum Chiller, both of which have low charge and achieve significant CO2 emissions sav

On 21-22 July, ahead of the 32nd Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group, ammonia refrigeration alternatives to powerful global warming gases were in focus at Session III of the ‘Advancing Ozone & Climate Protection Technologies: Next Steps’ conference.
Global Solutions for Industrial Refrigeration with “Natural Refrigerants”, Mike Ono, MAYEKAWA
Initially known for industrial compressors but more recently for systems, thermal engineering company Mayekawa has extensive experience in industrial refrigeration and food processing. Mayekawa has long pursued natural refrigerant technology, and advocates the “natural five”, offering the following products: 
  • Ammonia (NH3): NH3/CO2 Package “NewTon”, with semi-hermetic screw compressor;
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): CO2 heat pump Eco-Cute “unimo”, which achieves 62% CO2 emissions reduction; 
  • Hydrocarbons (HC): hydrocarbon refrigeration chillers, which achieve a 14% reduction in CO2 emissions;
  • Water (H2O): Adsorption chiller “AdRef”, using solar energy, which achieves 62% CO2 emission reduction;
  • Air: Air Cycle Refrigeration “Pascal Air” for low and ultra low temperature applications -50°C 100°C, and achieves 54% CO2 emission reductions.
Mayekawa’s ammonia solution, the NewTon3000 is specifically designed for cold storage. Example installations include the CO-OP Distribution Centre in Japan. The system is highly efficient thanks to the compressor and IPM motor and has the following characteristics:
  • Semi hermetic compressor: improves safety by reducing the possibility of leakage;
  • IPM motor: 5-10% more efficient than a conventional motor, 40% smaller in size and can achieve higher speeds. 
  • Reduced electricity consumption: the NewTon3000 cuts consumption cut by 20%, when compared with that of conventional refrigeration systems with chemical refrigerants. For example, for a 10,000t refrigerated warehouse, with a inside temperature of -25°C, the hybrid NewTon3000 system has a power consumption of 222kW, compared to a conventional system, which has a power consumption of 317kW;
  • Reduced ammonia charge: by using CO2 as a secondary refrigerant the NewTon3000 significantly reduces ammonia charge, cutting it down by up to 1/6. Also, the ammonia is located outside the warehouse or cold store, avoiding the risk of leakage in the storage room.
  • CO2 emission reduction: the hybrid cooling system reduces CO2 emission by 30%. 
‘Sustainable Refrigeration with high efficiency’, Dieter Moseman, GEA
With climate change being one of the major concerns of this generation, GEA Refrigeration Technologies is actively supporting and promoting the use of natural refrigerants, such as ammonia. Ammonia is considered the best natural refrigerant for industrial cooling, where it has been used for over 100 years, and has also been successfully used in chillers above 150kW for over 20 years. GEA Grasso’s BluAstrum Chiller is a low charge ammonia solution with flooded evaporation and a screw compressor with speed control. 
Several of the total of 2,000 GEA ammonia chillers installed in Europe since 1992 are installed and operating safely in city centres such as the centre of Berlin. According the Moseman’s presentation, “If current the HFC chiller base installed in Europe (1,832,405kW) were to be replaced with ammonia (assuming 20 year lifetime) it would deliver savings of 3 billion kg CO2 equivalent.” 
For air conditioning, ammonia chillers have the following design features:
  • Plug and play design; 
  • Proven standard components; 
  • Ammonia is encased inside the factory assembled chiller;
  • Factory tested; 
  • Low refrigerant content (~90g/kW) 
  • Best ESEER value
  • Integrated energy management to ensure peak efficiency under all  operating conditions.
GEA has installed 16,000 screw compressors since 1994, and 12,800 of those (80%) operate with ammonia. The total installed refrigeration capacity is 1,832,405 kW.
Challenges for the further use of ammonia to be overcome include raising awareness, education and training to ensure adequate safety management, and in commercial applications ammonia is still more expensive then HFC- based equivalents.


By Janaina Topley Lira

Jul 30, 2012, 16:38

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