View Full Version : careers in ammonia

Oregon Jim
29-03-2008, 04:30 PM
I was just wondering what everyone on the NH3 forum actually does. Do you design ammonia systems, repair the equipment, operate the systems? Do you work on ammonia systems exclusively, or do you work with other refrigerants as well? Tell me about yourself...

As for me, I have been an ammonia refrigeration operator for a bit more than twenty years, employed by a company that freezes hundreds of millions of pounds of food each year. I supervise, operate and repair air blast freezers, a plate freezer, scraped-surface heat exchangers, chill rooms and use both single stage and two stage refrigeration.

I am eager to know more about all of you!

31-03-2008, 12:33 PM
I work in OSHA PSM and EPA RMP compliance for three ammonia systems for a grocery chain: A dairy, an ice cream plant and a meat cutting facility.

They aren't particularly large systems (between 10,500 and 17,000 pounds NH3 each) but they all have reams of compliance paperwork associated with them.

I didn't know a single thing about refrigeration when I took the position so I took the RETA industrial refrigeration courses to get up to speed. It is amazing how much you can learn in two years. In writing the SOPs I had to write a TOS (basically - what does this equipment do, how and why does it do it) for every component in the system and although it was a challenge it made me know the systems as well as anyone else can. I have guys who worked with the system for 10 years asking me how something works now.

One thing that is nice is that with three facilities I get to work with a large range of equipment. Just in compressors we have M&M, Frick, FES and Vilter.

31-03-2008, 01:34 PM
I am the maintenance manager for a refrigerated warehouse company on the east coast, the company has 14 facilitys, and I look over 5 of the warehouses, anything dealing with the building, refrigeration, forklifts, PSM/RMP, I've got my hands in. Single stage and two stage systems, blasting... A little bit of everything.

Oregon Jim
01-04-2008, 03:23 AM
I wrote our PSM too. This may sound a bit wierd, but I actually enjoyed doing it and I continue to work on it frequently. I put the PSM on my computer and have managed to use hyperlinks to just tie everything together in a way that is useful and readable.

I got together with the local fire department and the area HazMat teams to conduct a few training exercises at our plant, and after working with them a bit to understand their needs I put together a site survey for emergencies. I put in all the information they could use, such as maps of the building, locations of dangerous chemicals, MSDS's, emergency contact information, schematics and drawings, pictures of equipment, and much more. I made a small folder with everything in it and then put it on a CD too. I hope we never need it, but if the time comes I will have tons of information at hand, ready to use.

Iceman Canada
16-04-2008, 08:49 PM
I work in a hockey arena with 3 - 100 hp screw compressors. The smell of ammonia is the smell of money!!

09-06-2008, 03:35 AM
i began my industrial refrigeration career in 1976 out of necessity. at that time I did not know anything about refrigeration or its machinery. I was freezing shrimp and storing them in a rented fish factory which was run on ammonia system. Through self help and DIY only after one year I built my own equipment such as evaporators for sub zero fahrenheit cold stores for frozen fish. for that I purchased 1 inch od pipe from a junk yard and punched washers with collars our of old rejected shrimp trays used for holding fish in the plate freezers. I also made the U mends myself . when it came to commissioning I was shocked to find that it wont cool down more than a little. that was my first experience with ammonia evaporators,,,,the mistake I did was that i ran it on dry system. Immdetely ifixed headers to it and it is still working on the flooded system.
then I designed another seafood factory complete with machine room...compound compressors , evaporators, atmospheric and all other types of condensers, coolong towers,,,,,for blast freezers and double contact freezers,,,,,producing about 60 metric tons of shrimp per day and storage for more than 30 40- foot containers.

I always liked challenging jobs and would make my own equipment if it is not availble in my country ( until beginning 80's
it was impossible to get refrigeration equipment here ,,,,not even from the scrap yards and import was terribly expensive due to 300 per cent customs duty.

so whatever I learnt about NH3 refrigeration is from trial and error , self study and hard work.
I did not oprate the compressors myself as many operators were available who wont let the boss do it for safety reasons....as we did not even have safety valves and or even safety discs available for gate valves !!

later I will send you a report about me as appeared in one of FAO's journal in 1984

I worked with all types of compressors,,,Yourk, JE hall, frick, elstern, grasso, sabroe, hasegawa, mitsubishi, mycom, linde, VEB , and some local stuff...all second hand and very old! Initially I built my own compound compressors out of two compressors through external hookup.
In 1982 or so I was also selected as an associate member of ASHRAE

09-06-2008, 12:52 PM
with 21 years of refrigeration experience seven years in industrial refrigeration starting as an apprentice ,operator,and finally as refrigeration tech after four years handling small refrigeration plant.Now on my late forties and into commercial refrigeration,my short stint in industrial refrigeration is the most exiting and chalenging moments in the industry.

Mark Selby
30-07-2008, 12:35 AM
I started at the bottom and now own a small service company in the Houston area. 90% of all work I do is with screw compressors and NH3 systems they run on. I use to travel the world troubleshooting and repairing systems, when I wasent doing start ups. Now I take it a bit easier and enjoy watching my kids grow.

30-07-2008, 06:33 AM
with 11 years experience five year in manufacturing of Industrial ammonia equipments like reciprocating compressor, low and high pressure vessels, Hot dip galvanized air cooling units. and Inspection of the same. Two years in Projects including installation and commissioning and till now i am in sales of turnkey solution for the food 7 beverages industry. Now i am deputy manager

01-08-2008, 03:05 AM
I am working in this area for only 6 years. I work hard and learn a lot of things about industrial refrigeration. I designed several kinds of systems:DX , flooded, recirculated for NH3 , R22 etc, The compressor i met including: Grasso, Howden, Mycom, Bitzer etc. Most of the equipment i met is for Chemical refrigeration. Lots of instrumentation and lots of things not necessary for common refrigeration system. Actually, I feel that there is still many things to be learnt of refrigeration. It is a long way for people to learn refrigeration but we need to get more money as soon as possible. Does any people know any field of refrigeration can get good paid?