Andy Pearson, Ph.D., group managing director of Star Refrigeration and Azane Inc., earned ASHRAE’s Comfort Cooling Award for Project Excellence for leading the design of the world’s largest ammonia water-source heat pump for a Norwegian town’s heating and cooling system.  

Pearson was presented the award at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ winter meeting this past January in Las Vegas.

Pearson’s 13-megawatt water source district HVAC system supplies heat, hot water and cooling to businesses, schools, hospitals and buildings in Drammen, Norway, which has a population of 65,000. The design uses ammonia — a natural refrigerant with zero ozone depletion and global warming potential, officials said — instead of the high global-warming potential hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant.

 “I am very honored to accept this award from my fellow members of ASHRAE and on behalf of all of the team at Star Refrigeration who worked hard to deliver Drammen’s vision of a community-wide, carbon-free heating system,” Pearson said. “In particular, I’d like to thank Jon Ivar Bakk and the rest of (Norwegian energy supplier) Drammen Fjernvarme’s management team for the support and enthusiasm they showed throughout the whole project.”

Officials said the district heating and cooling system has been providing the town with 85 percent of the city’s heat demand and has delivered over 400 gigawatt-hours of clean heat since its installation in 2011.

“The award not only credits innovation, but offers an insight to the considerable scope for the environmental and economic benefits that district heating and cooling systems can offer to entire communities,” Pearson said.