What is the best refrigerant for my system? As government regulations push the industry away from high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants towards low GWP options, now is the right time for natural refrigerants. Zero Zone natural refrigerant systems provide the solutions you need to meet your objectives and government regulations. A couple recent projects include a CO2 transcritical system for Rufus Brubaker Refrigeration and an ammonia chiller for Air Management Technologies.

System Facts: 200-Ton CO2 Transcritical System

  • Customer: Rufus Brubaker Refrigeration
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Application: Process refrigeration
  • System Type: Parallel system located indoors
  • Capacity: 150 tons used for medium temp, 50 tons used for low temp
  • Features: Parallel compression, adiabatic gas cooler, hot gas defrost
  • Energy Savings: Heat reclaim for facility water

CO2 refrigerant (R-744) grows increasingly important to the refrigeration industry as a natural replacement for high GWP refrigerants. Improvements to CO2 transcritical technology make CO2 feasible and reliable in more regions, including Pennsylvania where this new system is located. CO2 compressor discharge offers high-quality heat that can be repurposed through a heat reclaim system. Rufus Brubaker’s customer uses that reclaimed heat for their facility’s warm water.

John Collins, Industrial Sales Manager – East for Zero Zone, commented that “Rufus Brubaker is a longtime customer of Zero Zone. When they made the decision to pursue CO2 refrigeration for their customer, they came to Zero Zone as a trusted partner to deliver a successful project. Our team worked closely with Rufus Brubaker all the way through design concept, fabrication, installation, and start-up to assure a smooth project delivery and satisfied end user.”

System Facts: 150-Ton Ammonia Chiller

  • Customer: Air Management Technologies
  • State: Illinois
  • Application: Process chilling
  • System Type: Outdoor parallel system (OPS) configuration
  • Capacity: 150 tons used for process cooling
  • Features: Screw compressors, adiabatic condenser, low-charge plate chiller heat exchanger
  • Energy Savings: VFD compressor control and DC motor condenser control

A large food processing organization globally recognized for their environmental and sustainable processes chose to install a low-charge ammonia (R-717) chiller manufactured by Zero Zone as part of a worldwide R-22 equipment phase-out. The low-charge ammonia chiller was selected to meet health and safety standards for both their employees and the surrounding neighborhood community. The package chiller was customized to provide the same low temperature glycol refrigeration capabilities of chemical refrigerant chillers while exceeding target GWP objectives. John Collins chimed in that choosing ammonia “is a future proof and environmentally friendly solution.”

Making an Educated Decision

There are many practical reasons to still consider HFCs. Traditionally, HFCs are seen as a low cost and familiar option. However, it is sometimes difficult to know where HFCs can be used because high GWP refrigerants are being increasingly regulated by individual states. To get started on understanding HFC restrictions, read our news article and white paper about state refrigerant regulations.

Likewise, there are many practical reasons for using natural refrigerants. CO2 is one of the safest refrigerants to use. Ammonia systems are some of the most efficient and have been used safely in industrial applications for many decades. Both CO2 refrigerant and ammonia refrigerant are readily available. Of course, the biggest benefit to natural refrigerants is that they are environmentally sound and meet global sustainability goals.

So, if either synthetic refrigerants or natural refrigerants can be reasonable choices, how do you know which to pick? A good place to begin is by contacting your local Zero Zone sales representative and starting a conversation. They will help you select the best refrigerant for your needs, whether it is synthetic or natural. Fill out a contact form or give us a call (cases 800-247-4496; systems 800-708-3735). We would love to talk refrigerants with you.