Industrial refrigeration largely depends on ammonia which is a dangerous chemical when handled in a haphazard manner. Ammonia per se is very environment friendly chemical as it does not deplete the ozone layer. It has the required levels of thermodynamic qualities which reduces the usage of electricity. Further with insulated panels in place, the pungent odour of ammonia when leakages takes place instantly sends out an alarm which in itself acts as a safety valve.
Using Ammonia refrigeration in poultry, meat, ice cream and breweries are very versatile, efficient and environment friendly. But if handled without care, can have health hazards to the technicians and others as well.
Three common mistakes while handling ammonia refrigeration are:
Failure to use protective personal equipment, specifically when performing the maintenance works, wearing proper eye and face protection equipment is must f not the full face respirator. When draining oil in industrial refrigerators, this is the common mistake.
To purge the component, one has to isolate the repair and valves in order to control the hazards. Ensure that ammonia is not trapped in the pipe before opening up the component.
Finally, while repairing the insulated panels on the roof of building, one has to be careful as to how to handle the vapours from endangering others. There has to be alternate intakes for premises before beginning the repair works. As ammonia is lighter than air, it usually rises above the building and vaporizes. But due to uneventful winds and drafts, there may be instances when ammonia may drift back into the building and endanger the lives. Hence, one should have proper planning before attempting to repair the refrigeration in industrial appliances. To handle, this alternative escape points should be provided and also alarm should be in place to evacuate the humans in premises.