Merits of Low Charge Ammonia Refrigeration Systems There has been a lot of pressure from various stakeholders to take advantage of the merits of using ammonia while decreasing the risk and it has led to an innovative solution of ammonia being used in low charge refrigeration systems that utilize ammonia and a secondary refrigerant like glycol. This enables facilities to reap the benefits of ammonia’s important thermodynamic properties while decreasing the costs and the risks involved in handling ammonia. Packaged refrigeration system is a new kind of system that is packaged or modular with refrigeration equipment that has been built offsite, placed on a structural steel base and delivered to the factory as a self-contained ready to use the system. Because such a system uses secondary refrigerants that isolate ammonia to the machine room and only utilizes only a pound of ammonia per ton of refrigeration and it decreases the charges on the facility. A known fact is that synthetic refrigerants are being phased out by food making companies, and global pressure and governmental regulations have enacted laws that make it a must for all food plant makers to use natural refrigerants like ammonia and carbon dioxide. Low charge systems utilize ammonia and carbon dioxide and a secondary refrigerant like glycol that enables the facility to reap the benefits of the thermodynamic properties of ammonia.
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The truth is that there are many merits associated with the use of low-charge packaged refrigeration systems such as enhanced safety. It is good to note that ammonia is isolated to the machine room thus decreasing the risk to plant staff if there is a leak and no ammonia will be in the process space thus ammonia detection systems are not needed in multiple rooms.
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Each packaged unit is made up of refrigeration equipment mounted on a steel base that is complete with interconnecting piping, instruments and valves thus since the refrigeration components are included and compacted into a large single unit they occupy little space thus do not use a large machine room. It is good to state that carbon dioxide and ammonia are less expensive than hydrofluorocarbons and other refrigerants, and because of the lower energy costs, low-charge packaged refrigeration equipment is cost effective in the end. Modular refrigeration equipment is built in a tightly controlled facility that makes the process efficient and less hazardous for people making them. Packaged refrigeration systems are safer and cheaper to construct and install due to the limited onsite construction needs. Ammonia has been the main refrigerant of choice and beverage industry for the last century whereas carbon dioxide is another natural refrigerant that is found naturally in the environment as a renewable resource.