IoR-logoUK: The IoR’s 2015/16 series of evening paper presentations begins with an open talk on safe working with ammonia on October 29.

The talk is based on a paper prepared by refrigeration consultant Maurice Young and Andy Pearson, group engineering director at Star Refrigeration. It will be preceded by the Institute’s agm at London South Bank University.

While ammonia is an excellent choice of refrigerant for industrial applications, it is both toxic and flammable. Nevertheless, it has a good safety record but requires careful safety consideration in the design and operation of refrigeration systems. And although ignition of ammonia is a very rare occurrence – virtually unknown in systems which comply with recognised European Standards – compliance with the requirements of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002 in accordance with the EU ATEX Directives requires a different approach.

DSEAR requires that appropriate assessments are carried out, potential risks are identified, and areas of the workplace classified where explosive atmospheres may occur to avoid ignition sources (from unprotected equipment, for example) in those areas.

This paper provides an overview of the current legal framework and explains the procedure to be followed in classification of hazardous areas in accordance with IEC EN 60079-10-1.  An approach using new software to model potential releases and calculate the hazard range, is described and new guidance is introduced for those involved in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of ammonia refrigeration systems.

Further information on the Institute of Refrigeration website.