Regulatory & Code Implications for Low Charge Ammonia System
Regulatory & Code Implications for Low Charge Ammonia Systems (2015)-How is the regulatory burden impacted by installing low charge ammonia refrigeration systems? With the rapidly growing interest, development and application of limited or low charge ammonia systems, there is an increasing need for market awareness and definition of what the benefits and/or implications are from a regulatory and code perspective for such a system, as compared to larger traditional or existing ammonia systems. For example, codes and standards such as OSHA, IIAR, ASHRAE, IBC, IMC and UMC all have various design references and/or criteria related to the quantity of refrigerant in a system, and specify actions or designs that must be undertaken as a result of their specific refrigerant threshold quantity (TQ). This paper will seek to identify these regulated threshold quantities among the various applicable codes or standards so that designers, contractors and end users can better understand the fact or fiction of the various threshold requirements. This is a very large and broad undertaking because there are so many regulations, codes and standards that may or may not apply to all users. Therefore, the paper is also meant to set the stage for continued investigation, collaboration and validation on the subject matter. Many of the regulations and codes have been coordinated over the years and contain some common requirements. However, as shown in this paper, there is a lack of refrigerant threshold quantities related to charge management, as well as a lack of discussion on refrigerant quantity guidelines. Nevertheless, technological advances and industry awareness now provide a real opportunity to incorporate new TQ’s into the regulations and codes. This continued work needs to influence regulatory agencies and code writing bodies to update their documents and to keep pace with the tremendous benefits that low charge technology provides the ammonia refrigeration industry.
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