The upcoming games of the XXX Olympiad in London are featuring some of the latest state-of-the-art refrigeration and air conditioning equipment as well as the use of one of the oldest refrigerants, namely ammonia, as well as other natural refrigerants such as CO2 and HCs.

The idea is to showcase a sustainable approach in the construction method and supply concepts for the facilities that will be used by the athletes as well as spectators.

Eurammon logoFor refrigeration and air conditioning, natural refrigerants such as ammonia offer an environmentally compatible solution, said Monika Witt, chair of Eurammon, a European advocacy organization for natural refrigerants. “Ammonia is not only highly energy efficient but also very environmentally friendly to use. Ammonia has no global warming potential and therefore makes no contribution to the greenhouse effect.”

At the London games, ammonia will be used as the refrigerant at the Energy Centre which will service all the facilities of the Olympic Park. Necessary refrigeration is generated by combining an electric compression refrigeration system with an absorption unit that uses the waste heat from the Energy Centre.

Other natural refrigerants will be showcased as well. The British retailer Marks & Spencer built a store in the Olympic Village that uses carbon dioxide and propane for refrigeration. And Coca-Cola will supply soft drink machines running on non-f gas refrigerants.

“Not every natural refrigerant is suitable for a certain application,” said Witt. “But today it is possible to find the right solution for energy-efficient, environmentally friendly refrigeration with natural alternatives for all application areas, thanks to the various properties of ammonia, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons.

“As refrigerants, they are definitely worthy of a gold medal.”

Publication date: 05/28/2012