Joliet Cold Storage, Joliet, Ill., selected Colmac Coil’s new Advanced Direct Expansion (DX) ammonia technology to cool its new refrigerated warehouse in Joliet.

Compared to traditional pumped ammonia systems, Colmac Coil’s refrigeration technology significantly reduces the overall amount of ammonia (the ‘charge’) required at the facility. And, the system’s first cost and operating costs are said to be lower compared to conventional pump recirculated (‘pumped’) ammonia refrigeration.

Joliet Cold Storage turned to AMS Mechanical, Burr Ridge, Ill., to design the refrigeration system for the new cold storage facility. The cold storage provider already had a number of facilities in operation, however they all used HFC and HCFC refrigerants. Rick Waters, vice president of refrigeration group for AMS Mechanical outlined the benefits of using ammonia as the best choice for a refrigerant because of its low cost, energy efficiency and low environmental impact. However, there was concern about the potential for added regulatory burdens associated with having large amounts of ammonia on site.

Selecting the new low charge Advanced DX technology allowed the first phase of the project to be installed with only 5,200 pounds of ammonia, well under the 10,000-pound threshold established by EPA and OSHA for added reporting and inspections.

“Our customer came to us looking for a cost-effective ammonia refrigeration solution for their new facility that would minimize the amount of ammonia required on the site,” says Waters. “The Colmac Advanced DX Ammonia refrigeration system allowed us to get the cooling capacity we needed with roughly one-fourth the amount of ammonia that would have been required by a conventional pump recirculated design. From start to finish, we received excellent technical and after?sales support from Colmac. The Colmac equipment was delivered on time and is working well. We are excited about the outcome, and are actively promoting this technology for new projects.”

Colmac Advanced DX Ammonia offers a safe and cost?effective alternative to traditional pumped ammonia systems. In addition to reduced first cost and the potential for reduced regulatory burdens, the risk of exposure to ammonia for workers and product in the facilities is greatly reduced since Advanced DX Ammonia reduces the amount of ammonia in the evaporator cooling units by 30-50 times compared to conventional pumped ammonia evaporators. Along with reduced safety risks, Advanced DX Ammonia also has the potential to reduce energy consumption. The smaller ammonia charge allows for a faster pump out and shorter defrost cycles, thus improving energy efficiency. Also, by eliminating recirculation vessels, pumps and wet suction lines, power consumption is further reduced.

Colmac Coil Manufacturing, headquartered in Colville, Wash.