In spite of the fact that anhydrous ammonia is classified as a highly hazardous chemical, it continues to be the preferred refrigerant for industrial refrigeration users. Ammonia systems offer high-energy efficiency, low capital cost, and simplicity that other systems simply cannot match. This paper summarizes Tropicana’s approach to addressing possible safety concerns with their large refrigeration systems, by developing and implementing “World-Class” standards, and upgrading existing plant facilities. The largest single undertaking in this process was the building of a 14,000-ton compressor room in Bradenton, Florida, to replace a large and antiquated central machine room. This complex and difficult project required a thorough consideration of refrigeration design principles and serves as the major backdrop for the following discussion. It is hoped that others can learn from this juice processor’s experience in search of “World-Class” standards for safety, reliability, and efficiency of their refrigeration systems. Enhancing the safety of a plant’s ammonia systems should be a common goal for all processors in our industry.
Paper published with permission.