Derek Hamilton

Derek Hamilton: “ammonia systems in general are very safe”

USA: UK company Star Refrigeration has established a subsidiary in the US to manufacture and supply the company’s “low-charge ammonia” Azane technology.

Based in Chambersburg, PA, Azane Inc will manufacture Star’s Azanechiller and Azanefreezer products to US standards and regulations for supply nationwide. Azane Inc will also provide dedicated technical support, site surveys, proposals and training to contractors, consultants and operators and end-users.

The Azanechiller and Azanefrezeer are factory-built industrial refrigeration packages which are both highly efficient and environmentally conscious. All Azane packages use ammonia but have been designed to operate with as little as one tenth of the charge of a traditional refrigeration system, therefore avoiding the burden of OSHA’s PSM and the EPA RPM requirements.

“In the USA, the use of ammonia has historically been restricted to large, distributed refrigeration systems,” says US business development manager Derek Hamilton. “These systems are typically site-installed and require a central machinery room to house the refrigeration equipment. These systems also tend to use ‘pumped circulation’ technology which requires a relatively large quantity of ammonia. The advent of ‘low charge ammonia’ means that ammonia is now being considered in applications which were typically the domain of ‘commercial’ systems.”

Derek Hamilton recognises that some users of HFC systems may be reluctant to switch to an ammonia system because of safety concerns. “However the reality is that ammonia systems in general are very safe and the low-charge, packaged approach alleviates these concerns further by using the minimum amount of ammonia and ensuring that it stays within the refrigeration system,”  he explains.