Ammonia systems with up to 95% market share in cold storage and food manufacturing - Cold Hard Facts Report 2 

By Simon Burkel, Aug 07, 2013, 13:02 2 minute reading

The second Cold Hard Facts report, “A study of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia” commissioned by the Australian Government and released in July 2013 reveals strong growth for natural refrigerants over past three years. Ammonia has a market share of 90 to 95% in some equipment categories and applications.

According to Cold Hard Facts 2, ammonia charged systems dominate the cold storage and food processing refrigeration sectors with 90 to 95 % of applications based on refrigerant volume using ammonia. 
Natural refrigerants gain market share in Australia
The total bank of natural refrigerants (ammonia, hydrocarbons, CO2) used for refrigeration and air conditioning services in Australia in 2012 accounted for approximately 4,800 tons, equivalent to as much as 11.5% of all refrigerants used in Australia. With 4,400 tons, ammonia accounted for more than 90% of all natural refrigerants used in 2012. 
Ammonia is the refrigerant of choice in cold storage facilities
Cold storage facilities and food manufacturers generally use industrial refrigeration systems with screw compressors or large reciprocating compressors operating on anhydrous ammonia. 
In Australia, there is an estimated total cold storage capacity of 13.05 million m3. 12.4 million m3 of this relies on ammonia refrigeration for cooling. The authors of the Cold hard Facts Report 2 estimate around 380 tonnes of ammonia used in cold stores. The report furthermore indicates 15% lower specific energy consumption for ammonia systems (51kWh/m3/year) compared to synthetic refrigerant systems. 
Food manufacturers rely on ammonia refrigeration systems
Beyond cold storage facilities the report refers to the widespread use of ammonia in food processing facilities. Large charges of ammonia in single installations can be found in high volume blast freezing applications that are extremely refrigeration intensive, requiring snap freezing of large masses of perishable goods. Blast freezing is mainly required in meat processing, poultry processing and other primary and secondary processes in the refrigerated cold food chain such as vegetables, dairy, beverages and frozen foods. 
Economic importance of the ACR industry for the Australian Economy
The authors of the study point out that the refrigeration and air conditioning industry is an essential part of the Australian economy, accounting for more than 20,000 businesses employing more than 173,000 people. In 2012, approximately AUS $ 5,9 billion (€ 4,1 billion) was spent purchasing and installing new refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. The overall expenditures spent on RAC equipment and services in 2012 was AUS $ 26,2 billion (€ 18,25 billion), including cost of hardware purchases, gas purchases, cost of energy consumed and the discounted wages cost.
About Cold Hard Facts 2
The report “Cold Hard Facts 2: A study of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia” was commissioned by the Australian Government. 


By Simon Burkel

Aug 07, 2013, 13:02

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below