Technical Papers Provide In-Depth Thought Leadership at the IIAR Conference

During the annual IIAR Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition, industry experts will come together to present technical papers at the IIAR Technical Program. This year, the session will feature a dozen papers covering a broad range of topics.

The papers will address several key categories, including commercial refrigeration applications, industrial use, energy efficiency, and safety and regulatory issues. Eric Smith, IIAR’s vice president and technical director, said the papers provide breadth and depth that isn’t available in any other refrigeration specific conference. “Our members and technical paper authors provide not only practical insight, but also contemplate academic and engineering analysis that is the basis for refrigeration technology.

Several papers stand out within this year’s lineup. “Benefits of Ammonia Heat Pump Implementation in the Industry and for District Heating” is interesting due to the current push in low global-warming-potential alternatives and a push for lower greenhouse gas emissions. “Ammonia heat pumps can be very beneficial because of favorable coefficients of performance. A group of gentlemen from GEA who have experience with large-scale heat pump projects have developed an informative paper about this topic,” Smith said. “Using ammonia heat pumps for college campuses, hospitals or large industrial applications with a need for heat could gain in popularity, and this paper will demonstrate advantages that can be attained and bolster further interest.”

The favorable thermodynamic properties of ammonia and good system design leads to high efficiency and short payback, and over the last 15 years, the market for high temperature ammonia heat pumps has been growing in Europe and is taking off in North America. Kenneth Hoffmann, application manager heat pumps, GEA Heating and Refrigeration Technologies, will present the paper, which shares examples and lessons learned through three case stories.

The paper “Oil Management Design Considerations for Industrial Transcritical CO2 Systems” is timely given that carbon dioxide as a refrigerant is becoming increasingly more popular on a global scale. “At this phase of their implementation and use, it is worthwhile to drill into the more detailed aspects of these types of systems and oil management is one of those topics that nearly everyone will benefit from a better understanding,” Smith said. “As more and more of these systems become prevalent, people need to know about the ins and outs of how to design and manage them.”

Unlike in ammonia systems, oil in CO2 systems is miscible and can create unique challenges in its management. In this paper, Alessandro Silva, senior application engineer, BITZER US, and Joe Sanchez, vice president of engineering, BITZER US, explore a comparison to commercial systems as a baseline of tried-and-true oil management. They then explain some of the unique challenges that an industrial system might find and offer potential solutions in how to solve these challenges.

Two papers being presented are the result of IIAR research projects. The first is CFD Monitoring of Condensate Induced Hydraulic Events. “This is a report on research done that implements the use of computational fluid dynamics modeling to aid in the design of systems to help prevent hydraulic shock events,” Smith said.

The next one is Machinery Room Ventilation Study, which implements CFD modeling of ammonia releases in machinery rooms to examine ventilation effects. “What the researcher has found is that release rates are quite high for the assumed type of leak, Smith said, adding that the nature of the release is affected by many factors, such as impingement of flume by equipment within the room, pooling effects of liquid ammonia on the floor, and buoyancy effects. “Now that we further understand the nature of releases in a machinery room, we must next analyze the risks versus the benefits of more or less ventilation flow rate.”

Given the increase in COVID cases, Smith said there are some concerns about presenters not being able to travel in for the meeting. IIAR is making arrangements to have tele-presentations, if necessary, or alternative speakers. “There will be a full program and the audience will be given a presentation in any case,” Smith said.