Case Study of Hydraulic Shock Events in an Ammonia Refrigera
Case Study of Hydraulic Shock Events in an Ammonia Refrigerating System (1998)-Occurrences of “hydraulic shock” events in ammonia refrigerating systems have been widely reported, particularly as they have been associated with hot gas defrosting of low temperature systems. In most of the reported cases the “shock” or “hammer,” as it is often referred to, was of sufficient magnitude to be destructive; that is, some component of the system failed to the extent of fracture resulting in a release of ammonia. Many aspects of those hammer events that are associated with hot gas defrost are understood to some degree and there are published guidelines to help designers and operators avoid their occurrence [IIAR (1992)]. There are, however, numerous other hammer events that regularly occur in ammonia refrigerating systems. Some of these other hammer events are less well understood and not widely reported. But, it is important that the design and operating issues that affect the potential for the occurrence of all types of hydraulic shock events be understood. In this way the likelihood of their occurrence can be reduced by “designing out” possible contributing factors. This paper deals with hydraulic shock events that occurred during commissioning of a major addition to the refrigerating system in a large food processing plant. Two separate recurring hydraulic shock events in different parts of the piping system are reviewed. It is intended that this discussion will add to the body of knowledge about these kinds of events and the contributing factors so that they can be eliminated from future projects.
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