Ammonia Vs Freon? Whether to choose an ammonia refrigerant or an alternative CFC refrigerant is an all too frequent debate. Meanwhile, the operator or operating board is simply looking for the best solution to their maintenance, upgrade, and cost concerns. The question then becomes: “I’ve got an aging system. What would happen if a leak occurred and leaked into the mechanical room, or worse, into the rink itself?”
Ammonia Fear – A Real and Present Danger
Ammonia has been a leading refrigerant in the industry as the legacy refrigerant. However, when there is a potential leak from the typical 700-1000lb ammonia refrigeration plant – the fatal conclusion has operators, operating boards, and fire departments across the country looking for an alternative to reduce their liability, improve employee safety, and find a solution to their hazmat concerns.
As often typical, safety concerns are tied to environmental concerns. History has proven one is always connected to the other. To mitigate these lethal and environmental concerns and move commercial refrigeration into a new era, Emerald Environmental Technologies has chosen to use a CFC (R410-A) refrigerant in their ice3 Cube Systems.
CFC (R410-A) – An Environmentally Sound Choice
A CFC is an organic compound that contains carbon, chlorine, and fluorine, produced as a volatile derivative of methane and ethane. CFC substitutes, hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), contain hydrogen and are also commonly called “Freon” a trade name that is generally used to cover a broad range of refrigerants. Unlike alkyl halide refrigerants that contain bromine or chlorine, R-410A (which contains only fluorine) does not contribute to ozone depletion, and is therefore becoming more widely used, as ozone-depleting refrigerants like R-22 are phased out. Since R-410A allows for higher SEER ratings than an R-22 system, by reducing power consumption, the overall impact on global warming of R-410A systems will be substantially lower than that of R-22 systems due to reduced greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. 
Furthermore, Emerald Environmental Technologies has reduced and contained the R410-A refrigerant to less than 20lbs per ice3 Cube, an impressively low charge. Because each ice3 Cube is under the hazmat required maximum of 25lbs, they effectively eliminate the need for hazmat measures such as a foam sprinkler system, an alarm system, hazmat equipment, specialized exhaust systems and a nervous fire department are all avoided.
Case studies over the years have shown we can achieve the efficiency of ammonia without the risk by using Emerald Environmental Technologies’ ice3 Cube Systems – Phillips Academy, Boston College, Deerfield Academy, Colgate University, and others, have already made this change.
Request a Consultation
The expert team at Emerald Environmental Technologies can help define and customize which ice3 Cube combinations are ideal for your community/municipal/outdoor, upgrade project, or collegiate rink refrigeration system. Emerald Environmental Technologies is based in New England and services the entire east coast up through Canada. Contact us today to request a free consultation.