Chairman’s Message by Bob Port

One of the most important functions of the IIAR Board of Directors is to set the strategic direction of the association every year. This year, board members met at the headquarters of ConAgra Foods in Omaha, Nebraska, to talk about ongoing initiatives and start making plans for the year ahead.

The ongoing initiative getting the most focus right now is the re-write of the IIAR-2 standard. As you may have read in the last issue of the Condenser, IIAR-2 is currently undergoing a comprehensive update to reflect the industry’s technological change, and will evolve into a single source document for safety and design of ammonia refrigeration systems.

Prior to this update, IIAR-2 was more closely focused on design standards for systems and equipment with some coverage of installation. It has not previously covered all the aspects of safety that need to be considered, such as the applications of systems – where ammonia equipment can be used and how safety standards should be applied to different applications.

The new, updated document represents one of the most important efforts IIAR has ever undertaken on behalf of the industry, and it will have significant code implications.

That’s why I’d like to take this opportunity to remind IIAR members to participate in the public review of the standard, which opens later this month. Your comments represent the knowledge base and voice of our industry, and have a significant impact on our future.

The development of IIAR-2 represents a great deal of work by staff and the IIAR Standards Committee, who are methodically working to incorporate public input and identify all the detail the updated standard should address.

The committee is currently working to meet the next 2014 publication deadline for updating IIAR-2, which is a very aggressive schedule considering the complexities of the American National Standards Institute guidelines that IIAR follows for development of IIAR standards.

Speaking of standards development, another one of IIAR’s ongoing initiatives is to continue the process of refining IIAR’s suite of eight standards.

These standards are important because they equip the industry with well-defined practices and designs. They also bridge some of the RAGAGAP that’s currently in the field and address some of the lingering issues faced by the industry.

Another issue discussed at our Omaha meeting was the application of ammonia-based heat pumps and the fact that current IIAR standards don’t necessarily cover their application. Understanding what the gap is when it comes to how we address heat pumps in our standards is a priority for IIAR.

As your Chairman, I have been charged with the creation of a task force to investigate how the use of ammonia in heat pump applications fits into our suite of standards.

I’m calling for volunteers to help form this important group, and encourage any member with an interest in the subject to contact IIAR headquarters.

Another topic that received some attention at the recent board meeting was a discussion about whether or not IIAR should have an energy efficiency committee.

Energy efficiency is an important, but broad subject, which is currently addressed by several different handbooks and publications across the industry. The major question for IIAR is: what information, if any, should the organization supply members on this subject? What would the purpose or output of an IIAR energy committee be?

Once again, I’d like to use this month’s column to solicit input from IIAR members. If you have good ideas about energy efficiency, or are passionate about the subject, and have a vision for the direction of a future energy efficiency committee, we’d like to hear from you.

As always, your board is focused on many different initiatives. Some represent big steps the industry is taking to advance standards and safety, as in the case of the IIAR-2 rewrite. And some initiatives represent smaller, but just as important goals, like the creation of new task forces and committees.

It is the ongoing support and participation of IIAR members that make these conversations possible. Thank you for continuing to enrich our industry with your collaboration, input, and knowledge.