Uzbekistan hospital running country’s first ammonia AC system

The year-old ammonia air-conditioning system generates 1,695 kW of cooling with two chillers containing just 80 kg of NH3.

Isroil Khasanov, UNDP, speaking at ATMOsphere Europe in Riva del Garda, Italy. 

Photo Credit: Juliana Gomez

Uzbekistan first low-charge ammonia air-conditioning (AC) system, installed between 2016 and 2017, is running at the Republican Research Center for Emergency Medicine (RRCEM) – an emergency hospital and research facility in Tashkent, the capital, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Uzbekistan.

This is a “demonstration project for alternative refrigerants and environmentally friendly technology,” said Isroil Khasanov, who is responsible for development and project management at UNDP Uzbekistan, at ATMOsphere Europe in Riva del Garda, Italy, held 19-21 November. (ATMOsphere Europe is organised by shecco, publisher of this website.) 

UNDP Uzbekistan and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a public-private NGO, funded 61% of the total $512,000 (€453,837) cost of the equipment, while the remainder (39%) was contributed by RRCEM.

“Two outdated chillers on HCFC-22 [in] the centralised air-conditioning system [were replaced] with low-charge ammonia chillers,” Khasanov explained, adding that in the long-run ammonia was seen as cheaper, more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly than the alternative, HFCs. 

A total of 1,695 kW of cooling is provided by the two chillers, running in tandem, with just 80 kg of ammonia charge to provide air conditioning to 250,000 patients and 2,600 employees annually.

“One of the barriers in the application of ammonia based chillers [in Uzbekistan] could be the initial investment costs that are about 45% more than for similar chillers running on HFC,” he noted. However, “[return on] investment can be compensated [in less than] eight years of [installation]”.

“Ammonia based chillers do not have global warming potential at all, as opposed to that of HFC based chillers, and considering the perspective of joining the [global HFC phase-down agreement] Kigali Amendment, [a] preference [towards] natural refrigerants could be more than rational even [if] it might require additional investment costs,” he added.

By Charlotte McLaughlin

Nov 28, 2018, 18:02

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