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Rene van Gerwen - Articles and news items

Packaged chillers with ammonia as a refrigerant: the natural choice

Issue 4 2012  •  6 September 2012  •  René van Gerwen, Global Lead Engineer Refrigeration & HVAC, Unilever Engineering Services

Industrial chillers for the supply of chilled water, cold glycol or brine, are frequently used over a long time, and have become even more attractive for several applications to replace direct refrigeration systems. Greenhouse gas footprint and lifecycle costs of ownership of industrial chillers can be significantly reduced by using ammonia as a refrigerant, instead of the traditionally used HFCs. Ammonia does not contribute to ozone depletion nor global warming and ammonia chillers are generally more energy efficient than equivalent HFC chillers. Packaged chillers, using ammonia as a refrigerant, are currently available from several suppliers.

On the basis of supplier information, com – parisons have been made between a typical packaged ammonia chiller and an equivalent HFC chiller, confirming that packaged ammonia chillers are an attractive and feasible alternative for conventional HFC chillers, particularly in industrial applications. As the chiller community is unfamiliar with ammonia as a refrigerant, more standardisation in safety regulations, equipment and housing details, simplified operation and maintenance procedures and lower equipment costs may further help in accelerating the wider use of the natural refrigerant ammonia in this new application area.

Refrigeration and Unilever

Issue 1 2010, Past issues  •  22 February 2010  •  Rene van Gerwen, Global Lead Engineer Refrigeration & HVAC, Engineering Excellence Team (EET), Unilever Global Supply Chain and Jan Krieg, Expertise Team Leader Systems & Process Engineering, Unilever R&D

Unilever is one of the world’s largest FMCG companies, branding, selling and producing food, personal care, cleaning and washing products. The company has a global turnover of more than 40 billion Euros per year (divided equally between the three major regions: Western Europe, the Americas and Africa/Asia/Central-Eastern Europe). Unilever sells products in 150 countries and has more than 400 production facilities in 100 countries.


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