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Ammonia in Refrigeration

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 Ammonia in Refrigeration

Ammonia (NH3) is a commonly used refrigerant in industrial refrigeration systems because it is relatively inexpensive, easy to obtain, and has a high thermodynamic efficiency. However, it is also a toxic and flammable gas, which requires careful handling and storage.

When ammonia is used as a refrigerant, it is usually in a liquid form, which is then vaporized to absorb heat from the refrigerated space. The vaporized ammonia then passes through a compressor, where its pressure and temperature are increased. The high-pressure, high-temperature vapor is then passed through a condenser, where it releases its heat and condenses back into a liquid. The liquid ammonia is then passed through an expansion valve, where its pressure is reduced, causing it to vaporize again and absorb more heat. This process is then repeated over and over again to maintain the desired temperature in the refrigerated space.

Ammonia refrigeration systems can be quite efficient, with typical coefficient of performance (COP) values in the range of 2-6.

And, are particularly well suited for industrial refrigeration systems such as cold storage warehouses, refrigerated transportation, and food processing facilities.

Safety is a primary concern when working with ammonia refrigeration systems, as ammonia is toxic and flammable. Special precautions must be taken when designing, installing, and maintaining these systems to ensure the safety of workers and the surrounding community. And also, regular maintenance and testing of safety equipment such as pressure relief valves, emergency shut-off valves, and ammonia detectors is essential.

Additionally, being environmentally friendly, it is not being phased out as a refrigerant like CFC and HCFC refrigerants, by regulatory bodies.