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shecco releases guide on natural refrigerants

Report confirms North American cold chain and industrial refrigeration sector favours ammonia

| | Jun 15, 2013 | 6:02 pm
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Report confirms North American cold chain and industrial refrigeration sector favours ammonia

Combining results from a survey of over 550 leading refrigeration system suppliers and industry experts, with an analysis of natural refrigerant use across Canada and the United States, market development company shecco has evaluated the use of natural refrigerants, including ammonia, in the latest industry report, “GUIDE 2013: Natural Refrigerants – Market Growth for North America”. Announcing this in a news release, shecco said that the Guide put forward evidence that climate-friendly refrigerants, carbon dioxide, ammonia, the group of hydrocarbons, water and air were viable alternatives in many heating, cooling and refrigeration applications.

shecco pointed out that several case studies made it clear that a wide range of applications where ammonia was being used today, including in cold stores and supermarkets, showed a preliminary energy advantage of over 30%, compared to a conventional fluorinated system.

shecco highlighted the following findings based on real-life examples of successfully working natural refrigerant technologies:

  • CO2/ammonia brine system lowers monthly energy consumption of distribution centre
  • First all-natural supermarket relies on low refrigerant charge ammonia/CO2
  • More efficient hot water delivery is possible with ammonia heat pump than from natural gas hot water heater
  • A wide variety of end-uses are covered by ammonia

shecco also drew attention to a few of the high points of the Guide saying that the unique ecosystem diagrams provide a visual representation of natural refrigerant end-uses in North America today. In addition, the concrete examples of ammonia end-uses show the wide range of applications suitable for ammonia refrigeration. In the “Food Chain” section, Baltimore-based Northeast Foods, which supplies McDonald’s with most of their hamburger buns, is cited as an example of natural refrigerant use in the food processing, storage and distribution sector. In the “City and Buildings” section, the world’s largest interconnected district cooling system in Chicago is said to combine ammonia chillers, ice tanks, and river water chillers to provide cooling for air conditioning in buildings. Examples of ammonia use in construction, mine air conditioning, ice rinks and bobsled tracks are also cited.

“North America presents a clear opportunity for natural refrigerant solution providers, but still remains a market of largely untapped potential,” said Nina Masson, shecco Head of Market Research. “As business choices have become harder, this Guide puts forward evidence that natural refrigerants are viable options for a growing share of applications, but also draws attention to the challenges lying ahead.”

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