IIAR’s Natural Refrigerant Show The industrial trade group, traditionally focused on ammonia, is increasingly addressing CO2 applications, which were featured in its renamed conference and exhibition By Michael Garry
This year, the International Institute of Industrial Refrigeration (IIAR) renamed its annual conference from the Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition to the Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo, reflecting a new emphasis on, not just ammonia, but another natural refrigerant, CO2. The 2017 event, which took place February 26-March 1 in San Antonio, Texas, did indeed feature many exhibits and sessions that addressed systems using ammonia, ammonia/CO2, or CO2 by itself. The following overview highlights some of the major announcements at the show.
Evapco’s packaged chiller Evapco displayed its new Evapcold low-charge packaged ammonia chiller at its IIAR show booth. The chillers are designed to produce temperatures ranging from 10°F to 60°F, with a “sweet spot” between 10°F and 35°F, said Kurt Liebendorfer, vice president, Evapco. Dairy operator Prairie Farms has purchased two of the chillers to process milk at one of its dairies, becoming the first end user to employ the new system. Prairie Farms chose the chillers “because they are expanding an existing facility and getting rid of a very old ammonia system,” said Liebendorfer. Each chiller uses a small ammonia charge (less than 1 lb./TR) to cool glycol at 22°F, which is pumped into the milk processing area to generate a 35°F temperature. Prairie Farms also purchased two of Evapco’s low-charge packaged penthouse refrigeration units, which are rooftop-mounted, Liebendorfer said. These produce a 35°F temperature for a cooler area that
Evapcold low-charge chiller
stores processed milk. The penthouse unit and the chiller “complement one another,” he added. Evapco offers more than 50 models of the chiller with capacities ranging from 20 TR to 150 TR. The units include variable-speed screw compressors and water-cooled condensing. The chiller also includes a heat reclaim loop that recovers heat from the compressor and warms glycol, which can be used for defrosting, humidity control and under-floor warming. Other applications of the chiller include docks, produce rooms and HVAC. Liebendorfer sees more adoption of low-charge ammonia units. “What I’m sensing at the [IIAR] show is that change is happening. There’s less skepticism of low-charge and packaged configurations.” Accelerate America
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