Until the beginning of this century, natural refrigerants were mainly used in large industrial refrigeration and freezing plants. Ammonia, in particular, was a widely used refrigerant.
Due to the (still ongoing) phasing-out of HCFK, the market is searching for more alternative (natural) refrigerants. The average refrigerant content has decreased dramatically, due to this effort; old refrigerants have been re-discovered and installations have been developed further.
Nowadays, Van Abeelen hardly ever constructs installations with chemical refrigerants. We’ve thus gained extensive experience and expertise in this area.
Why natural refrigerants?
Natural refrigerants are made of substances that occur naturally. These cause no (or minimal) damage to the ozone layer and have a negligible effect on global warming (substantially lower GWP)) and are, therefore, much less harmful to the environment. If you choose a natural refrigerant, a sustainable solution is guaranteed.
If a natural refrigerant cannot be used, we offer the best alternative by finding a refrigerant which has the lowest possible GWP. For example, we can use: R449a or R523a. One possible alternative could be a chiller with a natural refrigerant; this may also be a good solution.
The purchase of energy-efficient installations using natural refrigerants is subsidized by the government. As a result, the cost of these installations often works out at a rate not much higher than installations using chemical refrigerants.
Overview of the main advantages of natural refrigerants:
- Far less harmful to the environment
- More energy efficient
Ammonia, CO2 and propane
We use the three most common and best-suited natural refrigerants. These are: NH3 (or ammonia), CO2 (carbon dioxide) and R290 (propane). These three variants have very different properties. Therefore, we determine which refrigerant, or combination of refrigerants, to apply, based on your needs.
During the design phase, we take your installation’s energy consumption into account right from the start. This is calculated from A to Z, taking all conditions into account. The efficiency of your installation is decisive throughout its lifetime. Often, any extra costs in creating an optimized energy-efficient design are recouped in no time.
Energy consumption is determined independently of the cooling design, through the intelligence of the control system. A more optimally-designed control centre for installations ensures less energy consumption. Smart control strategies are a standard component in our PLC programs.
These smart computer controllers can also be built into existing installations. Energy savings of 20 to 30 per cent are not uncommon.
Every cooling installation, no matter how energy-efficient, provides residual heat. Often, this residual heat can be transferred and converted into hot water for cleaning production spaces, or heating offices. In this way, heat which would otherwise dissipate into the atmosphere is used effectively.
Would you like to know more about natural refrigerants?
Of course! Call +31 (0)161 230 052 or fill in the contact form below. We will contact you as soon as possible.