Nevin Forry from Frick presenting the new low-charge ammonia chiller
Nevin Forry from Frick presenting the new low-charge packaged ammonia chiller during IIAR. Image: Michael Garry

Frick Launches Low-Charge Packaged Ammonia Chiller in North America

The launch of the Frick IPAC-S, a product already well established on European markets, was announced during the IIAR 2022 Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Frick Industrial Refrigeration, a division of U.S.-based Johnson Controls, has launched a new low-charge inline packaged ammonia/NH3 (R717) chiller for the North American market. This was announced by Nevin Forry, Senior Product Manager for Frick, during a presentation at the 2022 IIAR Expo in Savannah, Georgia (U.S.).

The new North America Inline Packaged Ammonia Chiller (IPAC-S) from Frick is a “very low-charge” chiller, typically using about 1lb/TR, (0.13kg/kW), Forry said. The IPAC-S is designed with Frick ammonia screw compressors. These are available in 12 sizes, from IPAC-24 to IPAC-222, giving the chiller cooling capacities from 30TR to 390TR (105.5 to 1,371.6kW).

The new Frick IPAC ammonia chiller is based on technology developed in Europe, where it’s called the ComPAC. The ComPAC has been installed in more than 100 facilities already. 

“We’re going to be using the Frick HD controller, the same controller that we use on our power pack,” Forry explained. “We’re also going to be taking the proprietary Johnson Controls heat exchangers and adapting them to ASME codes for North America. So what we end up with is the North American version.” 

The chiller has a very compact layout, with stacked heat exchangers giving it a footprint that is around 35% smaller than similar models, and making it suitable for multiple parallel chillers. The heat exchanger is a plate-and-shell type, incorporating both the evaporation section and the liquid-vapor separation into the same chamber. This reduces the size of the heat exchanger and eliminates the flooded submergence effect, ultimately reducing the refrigerant charge needed. The heat exchanger is also sealed, removing the risk of leaks and reducing maintenance and service costs, Forry noted.

The compact layout of the IPAC ammonia chiller from Frick also gives easy access for maintenance and service. For electrical connections, the units have a single plug-in, and fluid connections are placed at the end of the heat exchangers, making them easy to access. The overall compact design also allows for easy transport and shipping, as they fit on a standard U.S. flatbed trailer.

Frick maintains a presence in North America, South America and other locations around the world, including Denmark, Hungary and China. The company has been involved in natural refrigerants for a long time, introducing its first ammonia compressor back in the late 1800s and its first screw compressor in 1982. The company has successfully been installing low-charge central ammonia systems in North America for a few years now. 

Frick is not the only company to offer low-charge packaged ammonia chillers to the U.S. markets. Other manufacturers include Evapco, Mayekawa, Azane and M&M Carnot. Evapco debuted a low-capacity version of its air-cooled low-charge ammonia chiller at IIAR 2022 while Mayekawa also unveiled a new air-cooled low-charge ammonia chiller at the event.

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