Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Systems

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Ohio Energy Services Company, Brewer-Garrett, is one of very few contractors equipped to handle design/build, installation, and service of Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Systems.

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Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Systems

  1. 1. Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3) as a Refrigerant An Overview
  2. 2. Introduction: What is Ammonia? Why is it used as a refrigerant? What are some of it’s properties? How does it compare to other refrigerants? Is it safe?
  3. 3. Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3):  Also known as R-717  It is a single component refrigerant.  One part nitrogen, three parts hydrogen.  Anhydrous means void of water content.
  4. 4. Environmentally Friendly: Does not deplete the ozone. Does not contribute to climate change. Leaks are easily detectable.
  5. 5. Properties: Ammonia has less volume than comparable refrigerants. On large systems it requires smaller piping and smaller components.EXAMPLE: Tons of refrigeration per 100 equivalent feet of pipe. R-134a: 11/8” copper = 28.4 tons liquid 2.3 tons suction R-717: 1” iron pipe = 126 tons liquid 3.8 tons suction
  6. 6.  Ammonia and oil do not mix well, so keeping oil in the compressor is less difficult. Ammonia is miscible with water, so it is easily diluted, and easily washed away. Ammonia is corrosive to copper alloys
  7. 7. How Does it Compare? R-12 Boils at –20 degrees at 0 lbs. R-134a Boils at –14 degrees at 0 lbs. R-717 Boils at –28 degrees at 0 lbs.Ammonia is 3% more efficient than R-22 & 10% more efficient than R-134aEXAMPLE: At 32 psig suction R-12 = 34 degrees R-134a = 37 degrees R-717 = 19 degrees
  8. 8. Safety: Ammonia is toxic and corrosive. When mixed with oxygen it will burn. Ammonia is lighter than air. Ammonia can be easily diluted with water. Small amounts of can be dispersed into a container of water. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should always be used when working with Ammonia.(i.e. neoprene gloves, eye goggles, full face shield, canister type respirator)
  9. 9.  Equipment rooms must be well ventilated. Egress should be well marked and unobstructed. Make others aware that you are working on the equipment. Equipment rooms must have a detection & alarm system. Systems under 10,000 lbs. on site fall under the state and the EPA Systems over 10,000 lbs. fall under Home Land Security. Every pound must be tracked and accounted for.
  10. 10.  The average odor threshold is 5 ppm. 100-200 ppm: Eyes irritated. 500 ppm & below: No permanent eye damage. 300 ppm: Immediate throat irritation. 1700 ppm: Coughing 2400 ppm: Threat to life after 30 minutes exposure. 5000 ppm: Vapor – Full body chemical suit required. 5000 ppm: Liquid – Second degree burns and blisters.
  11. 11. Check out some pictures of an ammonia refrigeration system!
  12. 12. Computer control panel on a 500 ton Frick screw machine
  13. 13. Labeled ammonia piping in the machine room
  14. 14. Ammonia piping in the machine room
  15. 15. Thermal siphon tank in the machine room
  16. 16. Liquid ammonia receiver tank
  17. 17. 500 ton Frick screw machine
  18. 18. 500 ton Frick screw machine
  19. 19. Ammonia accumulator
  20. 20. Torn down liquid ammonia pump
  21. 21. Ammonia transfer vessel and pump
  22. 22. Value station for an evaporator
  23. 23. Valve station for an evaporator
  24. 24. Evaporative condensers for ammonia plant
  25. 25. Main plant and valve station control center
  26. 26. Three 500 ton Frick screw machines in plant
  27. 27. The End

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