NEXT Series on ammonia in 2019: ‘Teaching an old dog new tricks’

News

NEXT Series on ammonia in 2019: ‘Teaching an old dog new tricks’

Ammonia manufacturers and end users will focus on low-charge ammonia refrigeration and HVAC systems in 2019. In this latest of our NEXT Series of articles, ammonia system manufacturers and component suppliers – along with end users – expressed confidence to this website that low-charge ammonia would be even more successful in refrigeration and HVAC applications in 2019. Slow and steady The use of ammonia as a refrigerant has grown steadily since the 19th Century. Now it seems likely that this natural refrigerant will soon replace HCFCs and HFCs in new areas. Swiss multinational Nestlé, which began using ammonia in industrial refrigeration systems in the 1980s, will maintain its course, according to refrigeration manager Vincent Grass. “Having deployed natural refrigerant systems for decades already as a result of our strategy begun in 1986, our investment needs to convert existing systems are very low for 2019,” Grass explains. Swiss retailer Migros will also invest in ammonia in industrial systems as part of its strategy to go towards 100% natural refrigerants according to Andreas Moser, chief refrigeration engineer at Migros Engineering Solutions. Across the pond Ed Estberg, a refrigeration consultant for Raley’s, a California-based supermarket chain, says he expects the retailer to install its first natural refrigerant equipment in 2019. “The current [natural refrigerant] design is a mini-charge ammonia vapor compression system cooling a CO2 liquid-overfeed system. Raley’s has one replacement store that will have this all-natural refrigeration system for both product refrigeration and air conditioning. The mechanical system is now being assembled,” Estberg says. HVAC grows in Europe Alongside the usual investment in refrigeration, many manufacturers predict new innovations. “We are getting closer to 2020, when R22 has to be totally phased out in North America, and in Europe we see a lot of interesting ammonia heat pump projects,” Jesper Olsen, application expert (refrigeration) at BU Energy, a division of Swedish heat exchanger manufacturer Alfa Laval, told ammonia21.com. “Our product portfolio is well adapted for the new market demands and we still see positive signs all over the world.”