A Reminder of the Past and Present

First and foremost, I want to thank all IIAR members for your past support of IIAR through your participation in all the activities and programs that make our industry safer and more successful than ever before, especially for your most recent financial support and participation with IIAR’s first-ever virtual conference.

IIAR’s first-ever virtual conference. Your grace and patience as we processed thousands of refunds from our canceled Orlando conference speaks volumes for the solidarity of our industry.

Presently we, the IIAR staff, and the many IIAR committee members continue with our mission to provide advocacy, education, and standards for the benefit of the global community in the safe and sustainable design, installation, and operation of ammonia and other natural refrigerant systems. Lots of words, but what specifically is being done to support our members and the industry as a whole?

dive into the things I believe make this organization (and this industry) truly great.

Advocacy: Presently, through our Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation, scholarships are provided annually to Junior and Senior level full-time college students pursuing a degree in engineering or related technical field leading to a career in the refrigeration industry. The 9 scholarships awarded in 2019/2020 with 3-5 more to be added in 2020/2021 fill the pipeline of good candidates for employment by our members.

Research projects coordinated by the Research Committee and IIAR staff, and funded by the Foundation, resulted in a forthcoming guideline for Mechanical Insulation Installation and three new computer programs available in conjunction with the IIAR Ammonia Piping Handbook reflecting significant changes to the pipe sizing chapter, wet suction riser selection, and economic considerations.

Ongoing and proposed research projects will result in a better understanding of ammonia dispersion and detection in refrigerated space and engine rooms, estimating ammonia release quantities, and best piping practices to avoid hydraulic shock based on CFD modeling and comparisons to actual past events.

Routine interaction with OSHA, EPA, CSB, and DHS has resulted in many past advancements of our mission towards safety but also the removal of regulations that were impractical to implement. Presently we interfaced with DHS (FEMA) to secure free face masks for distribution to our members in the early days of the pandemic when PPE was difficult to secure.

We are actively engaging with OSHA and NIOSH on the development of an Emergency Preparedness Guideline that would recommend and allow the practical use of air-purifying respirators, with the CSB to remove the additional burden of reporting an ammonia release to the CSB when such releases are already reported to the NRC, and with the EPA in managing their expectations of the initiative to improve compliance with the General Duty Clause of the Clean Air Act at facilities with small ammonia refrigeration systems.

Lastly, work continues with the many code bodies of IMC, UMC, NFPA, and IFC, and having them continue to recognize IIAR standards and to remove any requirements that are conflicting with IIAR standards and potentially harmful to personnel and the ammonia industry if implemented.

Education: Presently we create and present bi-monthly on-line webinars, publish peer-reviewed technical papers, develop and update online videos providing training on basic refrigeration, service, and design, and produce and update online Academy Courses providing training on the many IIAR standards and guidelines.

This vast resource of non-commercialized educational materials, many also available in Spanish, significantly supports all members concerned with the safe and sustainable design, installation, and operation of ammonia and other natural refrigeration systems. These educational materials are continually being expanded and I feel it is possible to further integrate into the platform quality educational material from other affiliate organizations providing even more educational services to the world.

Standards: These are the core of IIAR. Currently, we have nine (9) ANSI certified Closed-Circuit Ammonia Refrigeration Systems standards, four of which were updated in 2019, and three of which are being updated in 2020. Spanish versions are updated when the English versions are complete. New standards under development include Safety standards for Closed-Circuit CO2 refrigeration systems and Hydrocarbon systems. Currently, we have six (6) Handbooks and Guidelines, five of which relate to Ammonia with a CO2 Handbook recently updated in 2018. New guidelines are in development for Emergency Preparedness for an ammonia facility, Manual Hand-valve Management, and insulation installation.

IIAR was started as an Ammonia only organization. Most of our activity and work produced remains focused on ammonia. In the future, we are expanding to support all-natural refrigerants so natural refrigerants are safely applied to all cooling applications, which creates environmental safety and sustainability for our future world.

We invite you to become involved and encourage your friends and colleagues to become members and support our efforts to promote and defend our industry.