R22 to NH3 conversion design wins French trophy at interclima expo

By Sabine Lobnig, Feb 10, 2012, 10:06 2 minute reading

Interclima, the French biennial exhibition, taking place from the 7-9 February 2012, saw the AFCE-PYC-ADEME trophy awarded to two students from Douai Edmond Labbé College for designing the conversion of an ice rink refrigeration system from R22 to climate friendly ammonia.

Valentin Leroy and Julien Libert were awarded the AFCE-PYC-ADEME trophy on 8 February 2012 at a ceremony held at the interclima exhibition in Paris, France. The prize, initiated in 2004 by the AFCE (Alliance Froid Climatisation Environnement) recognises outstanding student projects in the area of cooling and air conditioning, and this year was awarded for the refit of an R22 refrigeration system at an ice rink. R22 is to be completely phased out in France by 1 January 2015. Pierre Herant, head of the buildings department at the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), presented the prize.

Ammonia retrofit recognised for environmental benefits

In the project presented by Valentin Leroy and Julien Libert - today both graduates of the French HVAC&R “Brevet de Technicien (BTS), Fluide, Energies, Environnements (FEE)” course -ammonia, which is neither damaging to the ozone or climate was selected as the most environmentally sound replacement option. The winning design links the ammonia installation to a water/glycol system, which maintains the temperature of the piping beneath the rink at - 5°C. Also planned is a heat recovery system, to be used to heat the adjacent swimming pool.

The jury, made up of HVAC&R professionals, praised the quality and the in depth project presentation. The students thoroughly justified their choice of technology and put forward a realistic cost estimate for the project.

The winners will receive subscriptions to "La Revue pratique du froid" (La Rpf) and Clima+Confort publications, whilst Douai Edmond Labbé college will receive €1,500 worth of cooling and air conditioning equipment to be used for education purposes.

Ammonia an established solution for ice rinks

Ammonia is an established solution for ice rinks, increasingly selected for retrofits around the world, as operators seek to replace R22 with an efficient, environmentally- friendly refrigeration system. For example the Arago ice rink in La Roche-sur-Yon in France, was retrofitted with and ammonia system in 2011, whilst numerous hockey arenas in Canada already use the natural refrigerant.


Attended by over 600 exhibitors from the HVAC and cooling, electrical engineering and facilities management sectors, interclima is a key event in France for the technical trades and construction industry. This year’s event saw several natural refrigerant products on display, namely CO2 and R290 compressors, heat exchangers, and domestic heat pumps.


By Sabine Lobnig

Feb 10, 2012, 10:06

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