As global warming potential becomes more of an issue, a growing number of industries and businesses moving toward new refrigerants. One of the best examples is the recent upgrade completed by Kaltra for ArcelorMittal’s hot strip rolling mill cooling in Belgium. Recently, the cooling system was driven by water-cooled chillers charged with large amounts of refrigerant R134a, which is characterized by high GWP value of 1430.
Based on the results of an in-depth audit, the company began the search for a replacement of old units with ones featuring environmental friendliness and higher energy efficiency. The final choice was made in favor of Kaltra’s Turbocor-based chillers with low-GWP refrigerant R1234ze equipped with economical shell-and-tube heat exchangers. The chillers were customized with refrigerant leak detectors, flash tank economizers, and energy monitoring system which enables to track energy usage of individual units and entire cooling plant.
In parallel, the owner completed the installation of new, highly efficient cooling towers and enabled lower condenser water temperatures for newly installed chillers, thus further reduced compressors energy consumption.
The new, 8-megawatt cooling plant was commissioned in 2018 and operate at full capacity.