Tennyson once posited something about spring and a young man’s fancy. As my own thoughts turn to spring, however, I am reminded of industry events such as the annual meeting and conference of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration. (Learn more about IIAR’s meeting in our show preview, which begins on page 40.) Depending on where you live, March also is a month when warmer temperatures return, a harbinger of the hot and humid season to come — and a season of increased demand on industrial refrigeration systems. Fortunately, the technical content in this issue can help you prepare for the ammonia refrigeration challenges you may face.

In “Mitigating Risks in Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration Installations,” Hernan Hidalgo and Jim Hower of Baltimore-based Danfoss Industrial Refrigeration look at refrigeration system designs that limit the ammonia charge. Widely known technologies such as electronic direct expansion (DX) systems, cascade systems using a secondary cooling medium and low charge, compact packaged ammonia refrigeration systems present opportunities to reduce the ammonia charge while meeting cooling demand. Being able to expand cooling and storage capacity while limiting or even reducing the ammonia load is an attractive option to processors requiring industrial refrigeration systems.

Of course, those familiar with ammonia refrigeration regulations know that facilities with an ammonia threshold of more than 10,000 lb must comply with OSHA’s PSM standard. The regulation promulgated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration comprises a 14-point plan intended to help ensure safe operation of industrial ammonia refrigeration systems. Key to complying with the PSM regulation is effective record-keeping, and in “How to Keep an Updated and Accurate PSM Program,” Christine Shelley of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Stellar Integrated Solutions explores digital PSM record-keeping and how it can help plants create and maintain PSM paperwork.

Elsewhere in this issue, we have “Optimizing Process Cooling Performance in Water-Scarce Environments” by Danny Blagojevich and Stan Armitage of Nalco, an Ecolab Co., Naperville, Ill. As plants reuse and recycle industrial at a higher rate, these impaired waters can strain the performance of cooling equipment. Adequate process documentation and water treatment logs can help identify system upsets and point the way to optimizing operations.


Linda Becker, Associate Publisher and Editor,