Click to ExpandHow-Does-Refrigeration-Work

Most manufacturers are accustomed to using CFC-based or even older Freon-based refrigeration systems. However, these refrigerants may not be ideal in industrial settings because of their expense and the damage they exert on the environment. One of the preferred alternatives is ammonia as a refrigerant.

Ammonia refrigeration is a trusted, effective system with a long history of reliable and proven use. Ammonia is used to transfer heat from one place to another for dissipation. Concentrated ammonia is useful for keeping things cool due to its high latent heat value meaning it has the ability to pick up large amounts of heat from a space.

What Is Refrigeration?

Refrigeration lowers and maintains the temperature of a space, material, or system below that of the surrounding air, while the heat extracted is rejected at a higher temperature. Therefore, this process is a type of mechanical cooling.

Four essential parts must be present in a system for the refrigeration cycle to function. These include the following:


The compressor is the principal part of the system, as it is the main driver of the refrigerant. It compresses the gas and generates a pressure differential that propels the refrigerant through the system in a constant cycle.


The refrigerant gas leaving the compressor is de-superheated, condensed, and transformed from a vapor to a liquid by the condenser, thus allowing it to do work once again.

Expansion Valve

The expansion valve limits the flow of liquid refrigerant while creating a pressure differential with the evaporator.This pressure differential creates what is called flash gas and allows the refrigerant to cool itself prior to entering the evaporator. Since it determines the amount of refrigerant entering the evaporator, it is more frequently referred to as a metering device.


Before returning to the compressor, the heat from the room enters the evaporator and transfers into the refrigerant by boiling the liquid refrigerant inside of the cooling coil.

How Does Refrigeration Work?

In a nutshell, the following describes the path of a fully functioning refrigeration system:

  1. The refrigerant’s low-pressure vapor form is introduced into the compressor.
  2. The compressor compresses the gas, resulting in a high-pressure, superheated gas.
  3. The super-heated gas starts to cool down inside the condenser and transform into vapor. The refrigerant vapor is further cooled within the condenser, condensing into a high-pressure liquid.
  4. The ammonia is then metered through an expansion valve cooling down the liquid refrigerant and preparing it to do work once again.
  5. The evaporator allows the transfer of heat from the room into the refrigerant where it is once again compressed by the compressor, thus repeating the cycle.

Ammonia Refrigeration System: Key Points To Ponder

To ensure that the right processes and standards are followed while starting up ammonia industrial refrigeration systems, remember that this process could be influenced by the kind of equipment used, where it is located, and what each refrigeration system does.

Before proceeding, ensure the following have been checked:

  • The insulation, electrical components, and plumbing have all been installed properly.
  • All safety measures have been evaluated and established.
  • The devices and associated piping have undergone pressure testing.
  • Sufficient connections have been made for the test and startup equipment.

Partner With Kuhlman for Your Refrigeration Needs!

Here at Kuhlman, we are committed to assisting our customers in finding customized solutions for all your refrigeration needs. Our solutions are cost-effective, efficient, and backed by decades of experience and seasoned professionals in the industry!

Contact us today to learn more about our ammonia refrigeration system services, or get a free quote to start working with Kuhlman! You may also call 262-252-9400 to reach our Wisconsin Corporate Headquarters or 502-543-7021 for our Kentucky Satellite Office.

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