Star Technical Solutions attended the 24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration in Yokohama, Japan from 16 – 22 August 2015. The refrigeration consultancy contributed to the Technical Lecture Programme with a presentation on ammonia refrigeration compliance.

As one of the most influential events of the refrigeration industry calendar, the ICR 2015 is attended by key industry players from all over the globe, with many experts presenting papers on refrigeration and heating related topics.

Star Technical Solutions consultant Dr Pearson presented a paper on “Compliance on flammability requirements for ammonia refrigeration systems.” The lecture offered a brief introduction to the use of ammonia as a refrigerant over the last 150 years and touched on European legislation requirements such as DSEAR, conducting a hazard analysis for refrigeration installations and risk assessment of hazardous areas.

The refrigerant, which engenders a strong sense of loyalty in its proponents due to its environmental credentials and high efficiency in a very extensive variety of applications, also has an inherited characteristic that requires close assessment and management. According to Pearson, ammonia’s potential flammability requires careful safety consideration during both the design and operation of a refrigeration system. However, ignition of ammonia is a very rare occurence and is virtually unknown in systems which comply with European Standards requirements.

Pearson offered an overview of the legal framework including the requirements of the regulations derived from the ATEX directive 94/9/EC, which in the UK is covered by the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (2002), known as DSEAR.

The technical lecture also highlighted the procedure to be followed in conducting a hazard analysis for a new installation and clarified the difficulties with EN60079.

Pearson concluded with some practical examples of zoning for various types of ammonia plant, and risk assessment of hazardous areas was also highlighted.

The event featured a wide variety of emerging technologies including magnetic refrigeration, ejectors for energy recovery, heat pumps in drying applications, cryogenics and gas liquefaction, and Nano technology.

Bruce Smeaton, STS Consulting Engineer, said: “Meeting like minded refrigeration professionals was the highlight of the congress. We also had the opportunity to connect with suppliers and keep informed of technological developments within the HVACR industry. The presentations opened up my mind to a wide variety of new, exciting ideas and technologies which can offer great potential in the future.”

This year’s conference also featured a diverse range of engaging workshops, including “Risk Assessment of Flammable Refrigerants” and “Pioneering challenge on Thermodynamic Properties Research on Refrigerants.” Keynote speakers included Yoichiro Ikeya of Sumimoto Heavy Industries, Mark O. McLinden of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US, and Kuniaki Kawamura of Mayekawa in Japan.

Reflecting on the event, Bruce said: “The 24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration was fascinating and informative. Star will continue to participate and contribute to the event in the future. Many thanks to Graeme Maidment and the rest of the IOR team that were all very hands on and enthusiastic about promoting refrigeration to young people.”

STS presents on Ammonia Compliance for the Refrigeration Industry at ICR 2015