IARW Show puts ammonia advances in front of cold storage decision-makers

By Janaina Topley Lira, May 06, 2015, 10:34 5 minute reading

Following on the heels of the IIAR Conference & Exhibition in San Diego in March, the IARW-WFLO Convention & Expo, held last week in Orlando, Florida, highlighted many of the themes observed at IIAR, such as low-charge ammonia, ammonia-CO2, and refrigeration safety. Still, the audience for IARW was more targeted to refrigerated warehouses than IIAR, and the attendees were more often high-level executives –purchase decision-makers – as opposed to the technical folks

Danfoss highlights safety aspects of its products
At the IARW-WFLO Convention & Expo in Orlando last week Brian Davis, Senior Director, Global Industrial Refrigeration for Danfoss, discussed how the company’s products are addressing the need for safety in ammonia-based industrial refrigeration. 
We’re seeing an overall higher focus on safety,” he said, adding that catastrophic accidents in China have driven this trend.
Among the ways Danfoss improves safety: offering products that are all-welded rather than including flange gaskets subject to leaks; combining up to six valves in a single high-pressure housing, which reduces the ammonia charge; providing automated controllers for small operations that monitor liquid levels and temperatures; and delivering corrosion-resistant and stainless steel products.
The consolidated valve stations, noted Davis, encompass only a few ounces (grams) of ammonia, making it easier to evacuate and prevent accidents, and use modular components that are easy to replace. 
Danfoss’s small controllers combine to offer small operators the same level of control as a PLC central system, and they can also communicate with a central system, he said.
Danfoss’s valves are small enough to fit low-charge ammonia systems as well as larger compressors that are being downsized, David added. “With each generation, compressors are getting smaller and smaller.”
Baltimore Aircoil features efficient, low-charge condensers
As it did at the IIAR show, Baltimore Aircoil, showcased its CXVT XE model of high-efficiency evaporative condensers for ammonia systems, which meet AHSRAE’s 90.1 standard as well as California’s Title 24 requirement for energy efficiency, said Huseyin Koca, sales engineer, refrigeration. 
For low-charge ammonia systems, Baltimore Aircoil offers its Trillium Series hybrid air/evaporative condensers, which use as little as 13 pounds (5.9 kg) of ammonia. The microchannel condenser “uses so much surface area that you don’t need as much refrigerant,” said Koca. 
For larger charge systems, Baltimore Aircoil has CXVR evaporative condensers, which can bring total charge under 10,000 pounds (5,535.9kg), he said.
Azane touts low-charge chiller and freezer
Derek Hamilton, business development manager for Azane, a division of Star Refrigeration, regards the IARW show as a place for “owners and CEOs of cold storage facilities,” as opposed to the technically focused people who attended the IIAR show in March. “These are the people with overall responsibility for safety and reliability and who make the [equipment] buying decision.”
Hamilton used the IARW show to talk about Azane’s low-charge ammonia chillers, which can be used in place of R22 chillers by food manufacturing companies. He also spoke to mechanical services consultants for commercial buildings.
Low charge ammonia continues to be a hot topic. “People are becoming very aware of low charge,” Hamilton said. “It’s a new niche in the industry and people want to learn more.”
Azane’s low-charge freezer units would be typically used in small- to medium-sized (10,000- to-100,000-square foot or 929 to 9,290 m2) facilities. They would replace central ammonia or systems that use R22 or HFCs. A larger facility adding an extension to an existing freezer could install a low-charge Azane freezer unit rather than modifying its machine room, noted Hamilton.
EVAPCO getting response to low-charge launch
At the IARW show, EVAPCO continued to discuss the low-charge ammonia system it launched at the IIAR show in March. 
“We’re getting questions about the system impacts the OEM,” said Kurt Liebendorfer, vice president, EVAPCO, adding, “We’re ready to reply quickly to quoting activity.”
EVAPCO’s Evapcold Packaged Low-Charge Refrigeration System requires 2.5 to 3 pounds (1.1 to 1.3kg) of ammonia per ton of refrigeration, “a fraction of the refrigerant charge associated with traditional field-built systems,” the company said in a statement.
EVAPCO’s low-charge system comes in one- or two-piece rooftop modules, water-cooled or air-cooled condensing, 10 TR to 100 TR capacity and -20°F to 50°F (-28°C to 10°C) room temperature applications. It can be applied to retrofits, building expansions or new facilities.
The Evapcold system comprises all of the key elements of a refrigeration system – a first for EVAPCO - including the evaporator, condenser and compressor, along with piping, valves and controls.
Heatcraft’s NH3/CO2 system suited for supermarkets and warehouses
Heatcraft highlighted its ammonia NH3/CO2 cascade refrigeration rack, which is being deployed at a Piggly Wiggly supermarket opening this fall in Columbus, Georgia, about two hours south of Atlanta.  The system is also designed to serve refrigerated warehousing and food processing applications.
The system locates the NH3 rack on the roof of a building, and a CO2 rack inside. The low-charge NH3 (400-500 pounds or 181.4 to 226.8 kg) is restricted to the roof, and is cooled by glycol that rejects the heat in a separate evaporative cooler. Meanwhile CO2 is cooled in the NH3 rack, liquefied and distributed through the building, as liquid brine pumped to medium-temperature applications and separately through a DX line to cold-temperature areas.
The Piggly Wiggly system has a capacity of 100 TR, but with an additional rack the system can be scaled to 250 TR, said Ajit Kailasam, cold storage manager, Heatcraft. The store is also installing a parallel R407 rack (also using CO2 as a coolant) so that an “apples to apples” comparison can be made with the NH3/CO2 system, he added.
Heatcraft’s cascade system can use glycol instead of CO2 to produce cooling. The company also has a transcritical CO2 system that has not yet been deployed.



By Janaina Topley Lira

May 06, 2015, 10:34

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