The 411 on Ammonia and Chillers

Ammonia is a common choice of refrigerant in very large cooling systems.  There are basically three reasons ammonia is often selected the refrigerant of choice:

  1.  Ammonia is economical, effective and efficient for large systems.  
    Ammonia is produced by biological processes and The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) states that ammonia is 3 to 10% more thermodynamically efficient than competitive refrigerants.   This allows an ammonia-based refrigeration system to achieve the same cooling effect while using less power.
  2. Ammonia breaks down quickly in the environment.
    Ammonia is a natural refrigerant and normally lasts less than a week in the air.  In addition ammonia has a GWP  (Global Warming Potential) rating of 0 and an ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) rating of 0 as well .
  3. Ammonia smells.  
    Any spill or even the slightest is quickly and easily detected due to the offending odor. However, it needs to be noted that steps must be taken to prevent liquid ammonia from getting into a sewage system or seeping into the ground.

Dangers of Using Ammonia 
Ammonia has many benefits when used in a chiller, however there are dangers when using ammonia.

  1. Mislabeled pipes.
    Ammonia pipes that aren’t labeled properly could pose a pose a serious safety risk to workers. Impurities can enter the system during repairs or normal service times. Potential issues that are associated with impure ammonia include the release of ammonia due to excess water within the system freezing, which causes broken pipes and equipment.
  2.  Leakage.
    Ammonia leaks may lead to seepage into food packaging and could contaminate food products.
  3. Effect on humans.
    Ammonia is not known to have long-term effects.  However, it be problematic. With direct contact a person may experience symptoms similar to frost-bite, irritated eyes coughing, congestion and difficulty breathing.  Exposure to high concentrations could lead to serious injuries.

Precautions when using ammonia 
Ammonia has many benefits when used in a chiller, however there are precautions that should be adhered to in order to keep everything operating properly and safely.

  1. Clear labeling of all pipes and equipment.
    IIAR Bulletin No. 114 specifies sizes, colors, and arrangements for ammonia pipe and component labels. This coherent system simplifies maintenance and promotes safety, and is compatible with ANSI/ASME A13.1, the most widely-used industrial standard for general facility pipe marking.
  2.  Stay current with the latest news and code updates.
    This information may be found by visiting The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration.  Their mission is to provide advocacy, education, and standards for the benefit of the global community in the safe and sustainable design, installation and operation of ammonia and other natural refrigerant systems.
  3. Effective training and ensuring safeguards are in place.
    Proper training and adhering to industry standards in regards to ammonia will tend to keep workplaces safe.


If you’re interested in learning more about Ammonia Chillers and how it could benefit your process, our sales team is able to assist you or feel free to call 440-918-0505 with any of your questions.


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Budzar Industries Announces the addition of Natural Refrigerant Chillers

Budzar Industries announces the addition of Natural Refrigerant Chillers to their line of process fluid heat transfer systems.  The term natural refrigerants refers to chemicals that occur in nature’s biochemical processes.  The major benefit of natural refrigerants is that they do not deplete the ozone layer and have a negligible effect in terms of global warming.  The most common natural refrigerants are Ammonia, Propane and Carbon Dioxide, although there are many others.

Used widely throughout Europe, interest in natural refrigerant chillers is growing in the United States.  Companies want to ensure their future cooling needs are met as they will need to phase out HCFCs and HFCs.  Low charge Ammonia is often the refrigerant of choice because it is safe, cost effective and energy efficient.  The term low-charge indicates that there is 1lb or less per ton of refrigerant utilized.

Given the low content in the Budzar Industries Low Charge Ammonia Chillers there is greatly reduced risk normally associated with conventional systems and given the strong odor of ammonia it is immediately apparent if there is a leak.  Other benefits of low-charge ammonia chillers include highly efficient, cost effective and most importantly will never “Phase-Out”.

Edward George has been tapped to spearhead the new line of Natural Refrigerant Chillers for Budzar Industries.  “Ed has extensive experience in our industry.  He has been selling temperature control systems to the rubber, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries for many years. Ed has also developed the large, low temperature, chiller market for the food and LNG industries” according to Dave Young, President of Budzar Industries.

“With the phase-out of HCFCs and HFCs companies need an alternative and using natural refrigerants is the answer.  Natural refrigerant chillers have been used in Europe for years and the US is just starting to catch up.  Ammonia is cost effective and energy efficient, and with the ecological benefits it makes sense. Historically, the US used ammonia for artificial ice production in the 1800’s, so, using ammonia as a refrigerant isn’t anything new,” said Ed George.  “Our line of low charge ammonia chillers includes portable and skid mounted chillers and can utilize 1lb, or less, of ammonia per ton which is incredibly safe.  The natural refrigerant chillers are designed to be used in the chemical, pharmaceutical, ice rinks, food processing, dairy, HVAC and beverage industries” George continued.

“As specialists in process fluid heat transfer systems for over 40 years, Budzar Industries must continue to lead the way in the heating and cooling technologies, said Young.  As the premier supplier of custom process cooling equipment, we have the engineering, design and manufacturing experience to develop new cooling options.  With Ed on board our position with natural refrigerants has been strengthened immeasurably.”

Budzar Industries specializes in process fluid heat transfer systems. Since 1975, Budzar Industries has earned a reputation for quality and ingenuity in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of temperature control systems. Today, Budzar Industries systems can be found throughout the world bringing accurate temperature measurement and control to the production of: pharmaceuticals, chemicals, petroleum, plastics, rubber, paper, power, steel, and food.

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