Brazil Event Highlights New Technologies


A group of Brazilian associations including ASHRAE’s Brazil Chapter, ABRAVA, ASBRAV and ANPRAC held a seminar on industrial and commercial refrigeration in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, April 2-3.

The program focused on three main areas the organizers wanted to highlight for Brazil’s refrigeration sector: safety in refrigeration installations and the corresponding standards, the commissioning of refrigeration installations and new technologies that utilize natural refrigerants, including CO2 and HC’s.

In 1997, and then again in 1999, ABIMAQ (the Brazilian Association of the Machinery and Equipment Industry) hosted an industrial refrigeration workshop in São Paulo, Brazil. IIAR was represented at both events by the author of this article and with technical presentations from two distinguished IIAR members including Ron Cole at the first event and the late Don Siller at the second. Since these two meetings, there has been a significant lack of technical events for Brazil’s refrigeration sector.

According to ASHRAE Brazil Chapter President Mario Alexandre Möller Ferreira, the idea of “&R” comes from the acronym “HVAC&R.” He points out that many of the associations representing this sector often overlook the “R.” So the intention of the “&R” event was to reaffirm the importance of refrigeration and revive the discussion of several important subjects related to it in the region.

Recognizing IIAR’s important work in the refrigeration sector, the ASHRAE Brazil Chapter reached out to IIAR to support and participate in the 2014 meeting. The local organizers believe this will represent a revival of the refrigeration workshops held in Brazil in the late 1990s, and always in collaboration with IIAR.

One of the local associations, ASBRAV (the Brazilian Association of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Ventilation), expects that the event will be held annually from now on with the support of entities like ASHRAE, ABRAVA, universities and industries of the sector, and IIAR.

The recent event in Porto Alegre was a success and exceeded the expectations of the attendees that filled the event room of the Deville hotel in Porto Alegre for the presentations. There were about 200 participants, including technicians and engineers from the refrigeration industry, university professors as well as end users from the many meat packing plants in Brazil’s southern region.

Brazilian and international speakers participated in the program consisting of fourteen technical presentations as well as five technical panels or debates on key themes of the meeting (safety, standards in Brazil and where they are headed, new requirements for new systems and commissioning and new refrigeration system technologies).

Safety, reduced charge ammonia installations and the application of HCs and CO2 stood out at the event. Representing ASHRAE, Doug Reindl of the University of Wisconsin began the technical program speaking about refrigerant inside and outside of the machinery room, showing various important application examples. In a second presentation, Reindl gave an overview of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15 while pointing out the latest revisions and updates.

IIAR Chairman Marcos Braz made three separate presentations related to the central themes of the meeting. First, he outlined the requirement for mechanical refrigerating systems with ammonia according to ANSI/IIAR Standard 2-2008. Then he presented a detailed case study of a retrofit in which an R22 system was replaced with a reduced ammonia charge air-cooled DX ammonia/glycol unit applied for air conditioning for the 25,000 square foot commercial offices of a large supermarket chain.

The compact skid-mounted unit was charged with less than 45 kg of ammonia, having a higher COP than the R22 system it replaced, provided economic benefits to the facility while meeting important design requirements in terms of safety, low charge and reliability, not to mention environmental sustainability.

The new IIAR Chairman’s final presentation covered the topic of startup and commissioning as described in ANSI/IIAR Standard 5-2008 and concluded with a shorter discussion of ANSI/IIAR Standard 7-2013 on the development of operating procedures. Braz pointed out that although the requirements of the latter standard help support compliance with PSM and RMP, they are recommended for any country.

Tomaz Cleto, director of Yawats Engenharia, Engineering, and the President Elect of the ASHRAE Brazil chapter, rounded out the discussion of standards with a presentation about the Brazilian standard ABNT NBR 16069:2010 on refrigeration system safety. He followed that with his talk covering ASHRAE’s guideline on commissioning refrigeration systems.

Besides IIAR, one other international organization –GIZ– supported the “&R” Workshop. GIZ is the German corporation managing much of the German government’s international development and cooperation initiatives worldwide, including the Proklima program which promotes environmentally friendly cooling technology worldwide on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, BMZ, and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, BMUB.

GIZ’s Rolf Huehren discussed the safe use of hydrocarbons in refrigeration; and made an additional presentation on the application in supermarkets, providing several examples from European manufacturers.

Hernan Hidalgo of Danfoss presented “Trends with Natural Refrigerants in the Global Cold Chain” including a discussion of the several refrigeration components available in the market. John Ritmann of Bitzer spoke about ammonia refrigeration systems and highlighted the launch of an ammonia refrigeration package using multiple screw compressors.

Carlos Suffert of SPM Engenharia, Engineering, surveyed experiences with HCs in the commercial or supermarket, and industrial sectors using practical examples. Jose Castro Chagas, Industrial Director for JCI Latin America, discussed the application of CO2 in industrial refrigeration, also providing practical examples.

Finally, Alessandro da Silva, a specialist in natural refrigerants, discussed the evolution of the application of CO2 in both the industrial and commercial sectors in Brazil. Coincidently, Alessandro won the “Andy Ammonia” award for presentation excellence for his presentation of this topic that was among the papers published in Spanish for the Industrial Refrigeration Conference in Nashville.