HFO vs Ammonia Chillers

When installing an industrial chiller in a food, beverage, or dairy setting, it is important to consider whether NH3 (Ammonia) is indeed the most appropriate refrigerant solution.

Read our 7 reasons why choosing an HFO chiller could be a better alternative to an ammonia chiller, especially for mild freezing requirements.

The ideal refrigerant for these sectors needs to be non-toxic, non-flammable, non-explosive, non-corrosive, not harmful to the environment, cheap and easy to produce / work with and have good thermodynamic properties. Luckily, Hydrofluorooefins or HFOs as we commonly refer to them, meet this criterion. And simply put, HFO solutions are always lower cost versus NH3/ammonia.

HFO refrigerants are categorised as having zero ozone depletion (ODP) potential and low global warming potential (GWP) and R1234ze is a synthetic refrigerant, rather than a natural refrigerant like ammonia. Interestingly the GWP value of R1234ze is less than the GWP another natural refrigerant CO2 (being 1) and importantly R1234ze doesn’t create TFA (trifluoroacetic acid and its salts), which is corrosive and toxic.

7 reasons why a HFO Chiller could be a better alternative to an Ammonia chiller.

1. COST SAVINGS

There are various reasons why specifying a chiller running on R1234ze refrigerant is cheaper than selecting an ammonia refrigerant chiller (which have been traditionally & historically found in certain food, beverage, and dairy facilities).

Download our PDF Bulletin to learn more about cost savings here.

Lower first cost

Thanks to standard design and production we can even offer zero capital costs with ICS Flex long-term rental.

Higher first cost

Due to requirements like stainless steel piping, additional safety devices and to special design.

2. TOXICITY

The door is firmly open for refrigerants like R1234ze to offer a perfect cooling alternative regardless of the process or application in question.  Given that hydrofluorocarbons environmentally friendly, non-toxic and with low GWP/ODP (Global Warming Potential / Ozone Depletion Potential), they make a great option for all process cooling requirements, when compared to ammonia which is toxic.

Download our PDF Bulletin to learn more about refrigerant toxicity here.

3. MAINTENANCE

Given their toxicity and need to ensure safe operation, ammonia chillers require lots of specialist maintenance. Conversely, maintaining HFO chillers is a lot simpler and easy to carry out.

Download our PDF Bulletin to learn more about Maintenance here.

Easy Maintenance with Limited Risks.

Service requires intensive safety precautions & risk management

4. NEAR ZERO vs ZERO GWP

EU F-gas regulations came into force in 2015 to reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F Gases) through phasedown quotas, bans and maintenance requirements. These regulations and market demand for more environmentally friendly solutions has driven much innovation in industrial process and HVAC temperature control with many new refrigerants such as R-454b and R-513a being adopted.

Download our PDF Bulletin to learn more about low GWP refrigerants here.

5. STANDARDISATION

Every ammonia system is unique and entirely bespoke to each individual process application it will need to cool. That said, ammonia chillers are therefore a non-standard product and cannot simply be taken off the shelf from pre-existing chiller stock.  As a result, if companies in the food and beverage sector have a predisposition or leaning toward an ammonia refrigeration system for a new process line or site expansion, there will be several added time requirements that will need to be factored in at every stage of a new chiller project.

Download our PDF Bulletin to learn more about standardised chillers here.

Standardised product

Short lead times and quick delivery.

Non-Standardised product.

More time is required for special design.

6. PERFORMANCE

The performance of ICS’s HFO chillers are 3rd party certified and subject to R&D testing procedures. This means that before a chiller even lands at a food and beverage facility there are certain assurances. You can be sure how the system will behave, and how it’s parts and components will react collectively and individually, from compressors to condensers. It’s a lot harder to predict exactly how an ammonia chiller built to a bespoke specification will operate once it’s in place.

Download our PDF Bulletin to learn more about performance here.

7. SPACE CONSTRAINTS

Real estate on factory floors is at a premium, and although chiller plant can be situated externally depending on sizing and cooling requirements (free cooling needing an external chiller for example) there are benefits to having a chiller near the food or beverage application it is cooling, not least for observation and ease of use.

Download our PDF Bulletin to learn more about space constraints here.

 

Packaged & Compact

Larger Footprint

HFO Chiller Case Studies

Toxic Ammonia Brewery Chillers Replaced

Thanks to a customized long-term hire, a leading multinational brewery in Burton-on-Trent fulfilled their cold storage needs and replaced ammonia-based refrigeration system with high efficiency, low GWP chillers.

Dairy Processing Plant Moves Away from Ammonia-based Cooling

ICS Cool Energy completed a turnkey installation of a new process cooling system at a UK’s leading dairy processing plant. 

HFO vs Ammonia Technical Bulletin Downloads

7 Reasons why choosing a HFO chiller could be a better alternative to an ammonia chiller.

HFO vs Ammonia: Cost Savings

Download

HFO vs Ammonia: Toxicity

Download

HFO vs Ammonia: Maintenance

Download

HFO vs Ammonia: Global Warming Potential

Download

HFO vs Ammonia: Standardisation

Download

HFO vs Ammonia: Performance

Download

HFO vs Ammonia: Chiller Footprint

Download

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