Year in Review: The Best of in 2018

Here’s a rundown of the most important news impacting ammonia-based HVAC&R technology in 2018.

As we approach the new year, here’s a list of links to the most important news impacting ammonia-based HVAC&R technology in 2018, as selected by our media teams in New York, Brussels and Tokyo.

Market, End Users & Technology


Can low-charge systems ease technician crisis?
The safety and relative simplicity of low-charge ammonia packages could make them a better fit for an industry with a shrinking supply of qualified technicians.

NEXT Series: Will ammonia face competition from CO2 in 2018?
According to some end users and manufacturers CO2 will increasingly enter the industrial arena this year. 


Mayekawa debuts NH3/CO2 powered ice machine
The Japanese manufacturer debuted its new ECO NICE plate ice machine, which uses the company's NH3/CO2 system to create plate ice, at HVAC&R Japan 2018. 

New Zealand-based company opens online NatRef training course
A new online safety training course hopes to fill the growing demand for NatRef training in New Zealand.


Australian firm installs its largest low-charge NH3 plant
Australia's Scantec Refrigeration Technologies has successfully commissioned its largest low-charge ammonia plant to date in the country.

GEA introduces ammonia chiller and compressor
The chiller and screw compressor can be used for air-conditioning applications.

British Paralympic team skates on ammonia-chilled ice
Great Britain’s (Team GB) wheelchair curling team skates on an ice rink installed by Star Refrigeration.

KPAC General’s great leap forward
It replaced an R22 system at an old facility with an ultra-low-charge ammonia packaged system at a new facility.


Ammonia making inroads into China market
End users such as Nestlé and Shandong Meijia are adopting natural refrigerant ammonia (NH3) for industrial refrigeration, helping to broaden understanding and acceptance of the technology in China, heard participants at the 2018 ATMOsphere China conference in Beijing.

How Liberty Cold Storage got its ammonia charge down
The Chicago-area operator invested in a low-charge DX system configured to use less than 10,000 lbs of NH3, for both low and medium temperatures.


SSP Kälteplaner helps Swiss dairy company reduce its ammonia charge
The company reduced the charge from 3,600 kg to just 750 kg of ammonia at the existing plant while operating efficiently.

Source Capital acquires M&M Refrigeration
M&M is a pioneer of ammonia/CO2 cascade systems, with more than 65 installed worldwide.


NatRefs coming soon to two California chains
Both Raley’s and Grocery Outlet plan to start installing natural-refrigerant systems.

Raley’s to do comparative study of efficiency of NatRef systems
California chain will employ EER calculation to compare efficiency of ammonia/CO2 and transcritical CO2 systems to that of baseline systems that use synthetic refrigerants.

ATMO America: Potential for NH3 in U.S. chiller market
Professor Pega Hrnjak of CTS outlined the market potential for ammonia in the U.S. chiller market.


How to install an efficient large-scale heat pump for district heating?
A new paper from German compressor manufacturer GEA purports to answer this question.

2018 World Cup stadiums using potent climate pollutants
The FIFA World Cup 2018 is using HFCs to air condition all the stadiums.

GL 2018: NH3-cooled heat pumps 'outperform' HFCs
A study illustrates how ammonia can be a sustainable solution for several different heating and cooling configurations.


Industry supports $3.5M expansion of U.S. ammonia training program
Arkansas-based Northwest Technical Institute will expand its ammonia accreditation/training center to help fill job openings.

GL 2018: NH3-cooled heat pumps ‘outperform’ HFCs
A study illustrates how ammonia can be a sustainable solution for several different heating and cooling configurations.

New Zealand training organisation launches ammonia guide
Gauge Refrigeration Management provides safety training for businesses using natural refrigerant systems throughout New Zealand.


GCCA launches Energy Excellence Recognition Program
Program allows cold-storage warehouses to track and improve efficiency, with best performers receiving awards.

Omnico Engineering sees NH3/CO2 growth in Philippines
Omnico Engineering foresees growing demand for natural refrigerants in the Philippines, having designed and installed the country's first NH3/CO2 cascade refrigeration systems.


Denmark boasts 41 ‘large NatRef heat pump’ installations
The heat pumps are mostly for district heating projects and use ammonia, according to Lars Reinholdt from the Danish Technology Institute (DTI).

Semi-hermetic ammonia HVAC system installed in Eindhoven
An ammonia heat pump was installed to heat and cool 40,000 m2 of apartments and business premises in the Netherlands, hears the Chillventa Congress.

40 MW ammonia heat pump system installed in Malmö
Four GEA ammonia heat pumps, each with a heating capacity of 10 MW (in total 40 MW), have been installed at an E.ON-operated district heating plant.


Uzbekistan hospital running country’s first ammonia AC system
The year-old ammonia air-conditioning system generates 1,695 kW of cooling with two chillers containing just 80 kg of NH3.


Curling rink gets North America’s first aqua ammonia system
Accent Refrigeration installs secondary loop using 12%-14% ammonia solution in Canada, improving efficiency. 

Expert: Ammonia will return, CO2 will increase in China
Leading Chinese industrial refrigeration expert Jin Ma sees opportunities for natural refrigerants in China's cold chain sector ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Ice Rinks: Which Refrigerant Is Best?
The National Hockey League and Chemours are promoting HFO blends R449A and R513A as green refrigerants, though ammonia and/or CO2 would be greener, say industry stakeholders.

Policy, Regulations & Standards


Denmark approves funding for 13 large heat pumps
The heat pump projects are likely to use ammonia and be installed by 2019. 


Winter Olympics using HFC ice rinks
The ice rinks at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are not using natural refrigerants.

EKA responds to Winter Olympics' HFC ice-rink use
Jörgen Rogstam, managing director at ice arena specialists EKA (Energi & Kylanalys), gives his opinion on how the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games could be more environmentally friendly.

Norwegian report assesses HFOs' environmental impact 
Knowledge gaps on TFA toxicity need to be addressed, it says.


UNDP backing green HVAC&R technologies
UNDP is supporting the technology changes that will deliver the HFC phasedown targets as one of the implementing agencies of the Kigali Amendment. Accelerate Europe reports from Istanbul, where one of its regional teams responsbile for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol is located.


IIAR creates guidelines for low-charge ammonia
ARM-LC is designed to help introduce the technology to more end users and enable them to install and operate it correctly.

EPA to start rule-making on HFCs
In short term, agency will follow court ruling barring it from replacing HFCs; meeting set for May 4.


Ammonia in China: priority needs to be placed on ‘safety and sustainability’, Danfoss says
Danfoss made these comments in sheccoBase webinar on 'Ensuring safety in China’s industrial refrigeration' held on 9 May 2018.

HVAC&R firms urge Trump to refer Kigali Amendment to Senate
Letter to president signed by Hillphoenix, Danfoss North America, Emerson, Johnson Controls, Lennox International and Structural Concepts and 26 others.


Honeywell, Chemours, NRDC petition Supreme Court on SNAP reversal
The chemical companies, along with the NRDC (which is taking legal action separately), appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse an August 2017 decision that prevents the EPA from limiting HFC use.


DHS official urges renewal of anti-terrorism program 
U.S. Congress should reauthorize the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, which covers large ammonia facilities, says Kolasky.

Court vacates delay of EPA chemical safety rules
Amendments to the agency’s Risk Management Program (RMP), which includes large ammonia facilities, will now go into effect.

EU industry group flags illegal refrigerant trade
EU HVAC&R industry group AREA has warned of growing illegal imports and black market trade in refrigerants in some European countries.


Ammonia group supports federal job training bill
The USA Workforce Tax Credit Act is designed to close the ‘skills gap' in manufacturing by encouraging charitable donations for job training and education.

EPA proposes to rescind leak repair rules for HFC equipment
Section 608 requirements for leak repair and maintenance – and possibly more – would go back to applying only to ozone-depleting substances.

Connecticut joins 3 states in reducing HFCs
Nutmeg State follows California, New York and Maryland, with plans to adopt original EPA SNAP rules.

Report cites 2017 Chemours memo to EPA slamming NatRefs
In request for meeting with Pruitt, chemical company claimed natural refrigerants are being promoted by 'global competitors,' contrary to U.S. interests.


French industry mulls overcoming NH3 barriers
French trade association AFCE’s annual conference, held on 21 September 2018, highlighted the benefits of using ammonia despite regulatory barriers in France.

Chile ammonia standard to be published soon
Chile will publish a new ammonia standard once the Ministry of Health has approved it.

Kigali surpasses 50 mark with EU, Mexico ratifications
Fifty-three signatories have now ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which aims to phase down HFCs globally.


EPA announces settlements for NH3 violations
Seven New England firms have spent over $750,000 to comply with laws, and will pay more than $580,000 in penalties.


China/U.S. tariffs may be coming to an end
The two countries agreed a 90-day truce on additional tariffs.

By Charlotte McLaughlin

Dec 19, 2018, 11:00

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