The cold chain fever seems to have spread all over, and is particularly noticeable in India. October was eventful, with ACR TrendZ happening at Pune. Rajendra Shende, former director of UNEP based in France, made an interesting presentation on issues with the old and the new range of refrigerants. A major focus was on HFCs, currently being used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. The concern now is no more ozone depletion, but global warming and the total equivalent warming impact. Europeans have already switched over to hydrocarbons for many refrigeration applications. CO2 has also emerged as a refrigerant as well as a secondary medium like brine. Newer refrigerants like HFOs are still not so popular due to high cost and low production rates. In this scenario, it is no wonder that the old trusted friend ammonia is going from strength to strength. In the same program, the need for sustainable refrigeration in cold chain was emphasized by Arvind Surange. Ramesh Paranjpey explained the safety features in ammonia plants and Pradeep Wani spoke about low charge ammonia systems.
The most important event in the world of refrigeration and cold chain happened at Nuremberg in Germany: Chillventa – one of the world’s largest and most interesting events in this field, which also covers HVAC to some extent, was held from October 14 to 16. There were a large number of Indian participants, both stall holders and visitors. The event showcased a large number of innovative products such as R-290 (propane) based systems and equipment for CO2 refrigeration. Low charge ammonia systems and ammonia DX systems were some of the interesting exhibits. A chiller based on R723, a mixture of ammonia and di-methly ether, was an attraction. Some of the industry majors like Emerson, Bitzer, Rivacold, Dorin, Kirloskars, Witt, Danfoss, MTH, GEA, etc. Had impressive stalls. Carel showcased some new innovative control products. Daikin had an interesting stall that showcased its intent towards being environmentally friendly. Chillventa takes place once in two years and has a large number of visitors, especially those interested in refrigeration and cold chain. It off ers good networking opportunities not only during expo timings but also during the get-togethers held on the campus, which extend till late night. It is an event that participants always look forward to even after the end of Oktoberfest in Germany.A small delegation of Indian visitors including the authors made a visit to Th. Witt Kaltemaschinenfabrik GmBH at Aachen. They saw the production of ammonia refrigerant pumps, especially the hermetic type that has been accepted as a better alternative to open type pumps. Another interesting product was the high pressure float, which finds an application in low charge ammonia systems. Such systems are popular in Europe, and are simple in design as they do not need an elaborate control system. Some such systems have already been installed in India. The need for eco-friendly refrigerants and automation of plant operations is expected to give a fillip to the use of ammonia direct expansion systems in the years to come. Fortunately, ammonia air cooled condensers, DX evaporators and electronic expansion valves are all available in our country. ICE, the annual event organized by Global Cold Chain Alliance, took place this year in Ahmedabad with the support of a number of cold store associations, NCCD, ISHRAE and other organizations. A number of issues relevant to India were discussed along with some global issues. Awards were presented in various categories. Some more events would have happened by the time this issue is in 1the hands of the readers: the India Cold Chain Show in Mumbai, and Refcon in Pune organized by ISHRAE Pune Chapter. Preparations for the Refrigeration and Cold Chain seminar and workshop and the dedicated Refrigeration and Cold Chain pavilion at ACREX 2015 are in full swing. Quite a few international organizations and visitors are expected to participate in this event. So block these dates and plan your trip to Bengaluru. Remember the dates: February 26 to 28, 2015.