Do We Want a Monopoly?

Do We Want a Monopoly?

Is it time to move to a single standard in ammonia refrigeration?

Creating a single provider of standards for the ammonia refrigeration industry may seem like a good if not great idea, but what are some potential ramifications of such a move?

The American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers, (ASHRAE) Standard 15 has some good information; the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) has some very good information. Singling one or the other out as the superior of the two can be difficult and there will be sides chosen if this does occur. But there are too many benefits of having both organizations providing their separate views on design and installation. Having two different and entirely separate organizations provide best practices for our industry, one industry, seems detrimental at face value, but it allows for continued growth and development from two separate entities looking to achieve the same goal; safe design, installation and operation of ammonia refrigeration systems.

The absolute beauty in having a choice lies simply in the fact that a choice exists and can be made. Removing ammonia from ASHRAE standard 15 is arguably not the best option for our industry. Is it not logical to think that having two different creators of best practices leaves us, the end user, with a better pool of standards to choose from? While it is true that too many options can be detrimental, having a choice is beneficial.

It can be said that IIAR would handle being sole proprietor to the ammonia refrigeration standards for design and installation with great responsibility and due diligence, having an ultimate authority in best practices. Even though both organizations are considered on par with each other, both organizations should continue their growth and improve their specific outlooks or interpretations of ammonia refrigeration standards.

Garden City Ammonia Program is a firm believer in the belief that competition breeds improvement, it is the foundation of the program and attributed to its increased success. So instead of ASHRAE writing ammonia out, ASHRAE should expand its presence in regards to ammonia standards. The question shouldn’t be whether ASHRAE should remove ammonia but instead who loses when two organizations attempt to increase safety?

Recently article by theNEWS interviewed Jeffrey M. Shapiro, president, International Code Consultants, and a full time consultant to the IIAR about this exact topic.