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Package units revolutionise ammonia refrigeration

The first of three PAM ammonia packaged units to leave their workshop in Killarney Gardens.  The packages are to be installed on a hake long line trawler to fish off the Cape West coast. The first of three PAM ammonia packaged units to leave their workshop in Killarney Gardens. The packages are to be installed on a hake long line trawler to fish off the Cape West coast.

The new ammonia package refrigeration unit is to revolutionise industrial refrigeration. 

With a footprint of only 700 x 1800mm, the PAM package has a refrigeration capacity of 82kW at -20ºC and 40kW at -35ºC and 30ºC condensing.  The package with an overall height of only 1600mm has a Bitzer direct drive screw compressor, oil separator with thermo siphon oil cooling, shell and tube condenser, oil cooler, suction accumulator and gauge panel.

The PAM package is an alternative to central ammonia plant in expansive plant rooms with large surge drums and ammonia pumps or pumper drums. Site installation is minimal without many technicians and contractors all trying to work at the same time   

“All that is needed on site is to connect a water supply to and from the condenser, the ammonia liquid supply to a blast freezer, or blower coil or plate heat exchanger for chilling water and an ammonia return line to the suction accumulator.  The applications for the PAM Package are unlimited and is also suitable for marine applications where space on fishing vessels is very limited.  The added advantage of the package in the instance of Greenfield projects is that there is no need for a large plant room to cater for further expansion.  As the facility grows further packages can be added and the initial capital outlay is much reduced,” Evert Potgieter, Managing Director, PAM Refrigeration (Pty) Ltd.

The entire package is manufactured in the workshop with a focus on quality of workmanship and standardisation.  “We also manufacture our own shell and tube condensers with titanium tubes which is a standard feature on all the packages so as to be suitable for marine applications.  Being of a LPR (low pressure receiver) design there is no need for ammonia pumps and the ammonia charge of the largest model is only 37 kgs.” Potgieter.

There is an international swing toward natural refrigerants as the only alternative to the never ending phase out of synthetic refrigerants.  CFC’s have been phased. HCFC’s including R22, is being phased out.  HFC’s are now also under threat.  Natural refrigerants ie ammonia, CO2 and hydro carbons have been around for many years and remain unthreatened by phase out because of being harmful to the environment. Natural refrigerants also have a very GWP of single digits compared to HFCs which mostly exceed 1,000.

“The compact PAM package will alleviate the many concerns in the industry that ammonia plants need to be of a central plant design in a plant room  and complex to operate.  Our package is simple and easy to operate.  The low refrigerant charge limits the safety issues and is addressed by operators being trained in the safe handling of ammonia.  After years of design and development, we see a great potential for the PAM ammonia package in a very wide range of applications in refrigeration, industrial cooling, processing, marine (land base and sea) and environmental temperature control.” Evert Potgieter.

Two of the packages will each be piped to a blast freezer with a galvanised GEA Grasso coil.  The third pack will be piped to a hold with a single galvanised coil to maintain product at -30ºC.

The two blast freezer packages each have a Bitzer OSNA7451 (40kWr @ -35/30OC)  screw compressor coupled to a 37kW motor.  The third pack has a Bitzer OSNA5361 with a 30kw motor (25kWR -35/30ºC.) Live bait is held in three tanks on board.  Once all the live bait is used, the tanks are drained and the tanks which have stainless steel coiling coils then become storage holds for frozen product.  The cooling capacity of the small package is sufficient to maintain the temperature in the hold and the three “tank holds.”

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