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Ammonia systems

Ammonia, R717 is an attractive refrigerant alternative offering wide application ranges from high to low temperatures and considerably lower cost (per kg) compared to HFC refrigerants.

Because of its better heat transfer properties, ammonia requires a lower heat transfer area than most chemical refrigerants. Furthermore, ammonia also has a clear advantage due to its low environmental impact with ODP and GWP = 0.

Ammonia as a refrigerant

Despite the numerous advantages of ammonia as a refrigerant, there are some risks that needs to be considered when selecting components such as heat exchangers that are exposed to ammonia:

  • Ammonia is both flammable and toxic: B3 classified.
  • Special safety measures when using it which can lead to more expensive installations.
  • In public areas (e.g. supermarkets), a secondary fluid should be used as heat transfer fluid from the coils/display area
  • NH3 is highly hydrophilic and corrosive to copper, zinc, and their alloys in presence of water and oxygen.
  • Standard copper brazed heat exchangers cannot be used with ammonia.

Ammonia can be used as a refrigerant in various industrial and commercial refrigeration systems such as:

  • Cold storage
  • Food and beverage industry
  • Chemical & process plants
  • Ice rinks
  • Commercial refrigeration systems
  • Commercial and industrial heat pumps

Ammonia refrigeration technology in chillers and heat pumps

  • Single-stage compression systems
  • Multi-stage compression systems
  • Hybrid systems(cascade)
  • Low-charge DX systems
  • Absorption systems

Heat exchanger functions in ammonia systems

  • Evaporator
    • Direct expansion
    • Flooded
      • Thermosyphon
      • Pumped circulation
  • Condenser
  • Desuperheater
  • Economizer
  • Cascade
  • Compressor Oil cooler
    • Thermosyphon
    • MEG cooled
    • Water cooled

SWEP All-Stainless range offers robust and reliable heat transfer solutions for systems that use ammonia as a refrigerant.

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