EPA rule to boost Bitzer’s low-charge ammonia business

By R744.com team, Feb 04, 2016, 12:50 1 minute reading

With the US Environmental Protection Agency warning of impending SNAP refrigerant proposals aimed at industrial refrigeration, Bitzer is ready with its line of compressors designed for distributed, low-charge ammonia and ammonia-CO2 systems.

“Distributed ammonia means smaller [open-drive screw] compressors,” said Joe Sanchez, application engineering manager for Bitzer US, at Bitzer’s AHR Expo booth last week. “And that fits into our wheelhouse.”

CO2 ‘gaining popularity’ in industrial applications

Bitzer is also getting more inquiries about its 30 HP subcritical CO2 compressors that are used in NH3-CO2 cascade systems for industrial settings like food processing. “CO2 is gaining popularity in industrial applications,” said Sanchez. NH3-CO2 systems also operate at much-reduced ammonia charges compared to conventional systems.

The interest in lower change ammonia is coming not just from the US but Mexico as well, he noted. “Even if it’s not regulated, low-charge ammonia is very popular just from a safety standpoint.”

While the market penetration of low-charge ammonia is low, Sanchez expects 20% to 30% growth annually for the next several years. “It’s going to be like CO2 transcritical in Europe, where 30% annual growth is expected for decades.”

One development helping the low-charge ammonia market is the EPA’s plan to propose a rule aimed at preventing the use of HFCs as a replacement for ammonia in cold storage and food processing facilities, said Sanchez.

EPA rule to have ‘big effect on HFCs’

The EPA has previously delisted high-GWP HFCs for supermarket and food service applications. “This will have a big effect on HFCs.”

Another company at the AHR Expo promoting an ammonia-CO2 system was Chinese manufacturer Fujian Snowman. The company, also known for its ice machines, showcased a large NH3-CO2 cascade system for the first time in the US; it includes compressors and a heat exchanger with connections to a condenser and an evaporator.

By R744.com team (@r744)

Feb 04, 2016, 12:50

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