Conversion from R22/R502 to R717: Practical Experiences from
Conversion from R22/R502 to R717: Practical Experiences from Four Industrial Plants (1997)-The practical experiences associated with the conversion of four industrial refrigeration systems from R22 to R717 (ammonia) refrigerant are described in this presentation. The refrigeration plants all service commercial cold storage facilities and the conversions took place from 1991 to 1995. In all cases, the refrigerant changeover coincided with a conversion from single stage to dual stage compression. In two of four cases, the refrigerant feed was liquid recirculation both before and after the change; in two cases the feed was altered from direct expansion to liquid recirculation as part of the change. All facilities included chilled and frozen storage; two of four plants incorporated blast freezers. Three facilities were extended as part of the refrigerant change, one was not. In three cases, the refrigerant change (R22) had to be completed within a 48 hour period in order to avoid product spoilage. It is concluded that, although complete R22 removal prior to charging R717 is desirable to minimize chemical residue in the system, this is almost impossible within a 48 hour period. The practical consequences of less than adequate R22 removal are described and comments are made in relation to the effects of the conversion on compressor wear, gaskets and seals. Guidelines are provided for planning of similar conversions and safety issues are discussed. Energy savings of 5% to 17% directly attributable to the refrigerant change are recorded for one plant.
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