Refrigeration industry in China calls for safer ammonia refrigeration

By Huiting Jia, Nov 25, 2013, 11:33 2 minute reading

On November 4, The China Cold Chain New Technology and Safety of Ammonia Refrigeration Forum was held in Beijing. During the forum, the China Association of Refrigeration (CAR), The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) and Danfoss shared their experiences and solutions on how to improve safety of ammonia refrigeration in China.

Approximately 200 industrial experts joined the Forum to discuss the serious topic of ammonia refrigeration safety in China.  
Ensuring safe use of ammonia to prevent the return to Freon
In China, ammonia has been widely used in large-scale refrigeration systems for decades. However, two fatal accidents that occurred this year within a three month time period at ammonia refrigeration facilities in the Jilin province and Shanghai highlighted the need for safety improvements in ammonia refrigerated facilities. 
The accidents elevated the importance of discussions regarding the safety of ammonia refrigeration systems in China. Many provinces have proactively conducted special inspections and procedure reviews to minimise the chance of future accidents. 
The resulting media attention has also increased pressure to stop the use of ammonia as a refrigerant. Some provinces are actually calling for the return to Freon so as to avoid ammonia accidents. However, the safety of an ammonia refrigeration system can be assured by following correct operating procedures, implementing and effective controls, both of which are important challenges for the Chinese refrigeration industry.   
Danfoss: offers two effective solutions to achieve the safe use of ammonia 
At the forum, Zhang Anning, Danfoss’ Industrial Refrigeration Sales Director, presented on, “Safety of Ammonia systems”, providing an industry perspective. In his presentation, Anning presented two effective solutions to achieve the safety of ammonia refrigeration systems. The first is the use of automatic controls, which reduce the opportunities for human manipulation and therefore errors, in addition to providing operation cost savings. The second is to substitute certain technologies with others, For example, a pipe system can be replaced with a fan system and an ammonia/CO2 cascade system can be adopted to reduce the ammonia charge.
Anning stressed that safety is very important for ammonia refrigeration and that there is no higher priority than this. The safety of a refrigeration system largely depends on its design, installation and maintenance. The excellence of each specific detail is equivalent to the 100% safety of the entire project. Anning explained that in order to enhance the fact that “ammonia is safe”, Danfoss is ready continue in-depth discussions with regards to procedures and regulations in cooperation with its peers in the refrigeration industry in China.
Technology and management for safe ammonia use
Industrial experts have realised the importance of improving ammonia refrigeration technology and scientific management. During the forum, Yang Yifan, Deputy Secretary General of CAR said:
To be in good command of such elements, the specialists within the industry attach much importance to the knowledge and management of it”. 

IIAR Chairman Dave Rule and former Chairman Bruce Badger also joined the forum to share their experiences concerning the safe usage of ammonia. Bruce Badger explained in detail how to achieve high levels of safety through technology and process management.  


By Huiting Jia

Nov 25, 2013, 11:33

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