Why Use Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Systems?

Why Use Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Systems?

In many large facilities today, industrial ammonia refrigeration systems are common. You won’t see these systems in residential use and small commercial applications. Why is ammonia (R717) the preferred choice for large food processing companies, dairy, and cold storage services? Let’s look closer at the process to see.


R717 was one of the first refrigerants used. In the early days, even residential refrigerators used ammonia. It is one of the most efficient and effective refrigerants, but there is one main problem, especially with residential applications. If you have a leak in an R717 system, the gas can be toxic. Fumes can burn the eyes, lungs, and skin, so refrigerants like R22 were developed. Although they weren’t as efficient, the fumes were far less toxic. Yet, because R717 is so efficient, it’s still used in large industrial ammonia refrigeration systems.

Good Things about R717

There are several benefits to using large ammonia cooling systems. Efficiency is important for large operations, and you can receive as much as ten percent more overall efficiency with an R717 system. Here are some more benefits:

Cost – it’s cheaper to purchase R717 than halocarbon type refrigerants. Also, due to CFC concerns, R22 will no longer be available, and it’s being phased out. Replacements for R22 can be very expensive, and this makes the cost or R717 even more affordable and attractive to businesses.
Higher heat transfer – this provides greater efficiency

Smaller piping needed – this can save space and money on installation costs.

Easy leak detection – strong fumes are easy to detect.

Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration and the Environment

If your business has environmental concerns, ammonia refrigerant is one of the best choices you can make. It breaks down in the atmosphere, and unlike CFC materials, it does no harm to the ozone layer.

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