Ammonia and Industrial Refrigeration

Custom Ammonia Refrigeration system at a client facilityShambaugh's Refrigeration Group designs, builds, commissions, and services large, centralized industrial refrigeration systems for process cooling and storage applications. 

Installations primarily use anhydrous ammonia as the refrigerant, along with secondary refrigerants including CO2, propylene glycol, and calcium chloride. 

We have some of the broadest refrigeration capabilities in the country, and our project execution model spans from smaller, stand-alone refrigeration projects—like single-stage systems for commercial clients—to large multi-divisional, single source design-build projects— such as expanded ammonia systems for cold storage warehouses.

Proven Refrigeration Excellence

Our depth of refrigeration experience is virtually unmatched in the industry, and we have earned a reputation for outstanding engineering and the highest levels of quality and service. Our leadership team combines for over 70 years of experience in the industrial refrigeration industry. As a testament to our quality, we have worked with some the nation’s most high-profile organizations, including Kraft Heinz, Keurig Dr Pepper, Unilever, Nestle, and General Mills.

Why We Use Anhydrous Ammonia

  • Naturally occurring, “green” refrigerant
  • Zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and zero Global Warming Potential (GWP)
  • Thermodynamically efficient
  • Low cost
  • Readily available
  • Chemically stable

Core Capabilities

We are one of the largest ammonia refrigeration contractors in the nation, one of the largest Frick® Factors (Johnson Controls’ hand-picked refrigeration partners) distributors in the continental United States, and one of EVAPCO equipment’s largest purchasers in North America.

Our core capabilities include:

  • Design and construction of centralized ammonia refrigeration systems
  • Fabrication and installation of modular refrigerant piping systems
  • Installation of distributed glycol piping and secondary refrigerant piping systems
  • Piping fabrication 
  • 3D BIM modeling
  • Demolition and removal of existing ammonia piping and equipment

Refrigeration and Cooling Systems

We provide total turnkey refrigeration design and installation for virtually every type of application and are capable of handling anhydrous ammonia, CO2, and specialty Freon systems.

Our system expertise includes:

  • CO2, NH3, and halocarbon systems
  • Cooler and freezer rooms
  • Process areas
  • Freezer process equipment
  • Ice floors
  • Environmental chambers
  • Low-to-medium temperature rooms
  • Special humidity-controlled systems

Manufacturer Certifications and Training

  • Frick Factory Training
  • RETA | Certified Industrial Refrigeration Operators (CIRO)
  • STAR CO2 Certified Designers  
  • ASME B31.5 Certified Welders
  • OSHA 30-hour Certified Personnel
  • Annual Emergency HAZMAT Training for all service and technical personnel

Chobani - Greek Yogurt Facility, Twin Falls, ID

Value Delivered

Chobani selected Shambaugh to be the project’s prime Design-Build partner to deliver the project on a hyper-tracked, 10-month schedule. The plant occupies nearly 1 million square feet of space, has 14 product lines, and can process 11 million pounds of milk per day.

Upon completion, the facility won several awards, including U.S. Food Plant of the Year and DBIA Project of the Year.

Client Objectives

Chobani, LLC needed to build a greenfield facility to manufacture Greek yogurt products. They sought to design the plant with a major focus on efficiency and cost-effective process, as well as to provide infrastructure for future expansion opportunities.

Scope of Services

Shambaugh was the prime partner for all building and site infrastructure. Our team self-performed the plant’s mechanical, electrical, ammonia refrigeration, fire protection, and utility piping systems work.

Shambaugh performed ammonia refrigeration services for the 28,000-square-foot refrigeration room, incorporating the following cooling systems:

  • Four variable-speed, 1,050-ton packaged ammonia chillers producing 34-degrees-Fahrenheit chilled water, with expansion to eight 1,050-ton chillers
  • Two variable-speed, 800-ton packaged ammonia chillers producing 18-degrees-Fahrenheit, 30 percent propylene glycol, with expansion to three 800-ton chillers
  • 11 cooling towers powered at 14 MBH, producing 34,700-gallons-per-minute of condensing water
  • Four 5-MBH fluid coolers, which produce 1,650 gallons per minute of 75-degree process cooling glycol
  • A centralized refrigeration control system

Mechanical systems included:

  • 26 propylene glycol unit evaporators operating at 18 degrees Fahrenheit
  • A 400,000-gallon domestic water use tank with a plant-wide booster system
  • 35 indoor process air handling units delivering 910,000 cubic feet-per-minute of conditioned air (composed of 24% outside air) to 19 processing rooms
  • Five 800-horsepower high-pressure steam boilers producing 124,000 pounds-per-hour of 125-psig steam, with expansion to ten 800-horsepower boilers and 248,400 pounds per hour.
  • A 200,000-gallon waste water equalization and neutralization system
  • 24-inch chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipe process waste system and lift station designed for peak flows as high as 8,700 gallons per minute

Shambaugh installed 14 electrical services to supply 34 megawatts of total connected power, as well as open cable and bus ducts designed to distribute power throughout the facility.

Our fire suppression systems included:

  • Eight K-25 early suppression, fast response glycol sprinkler systems for the cooler and warehouse areas
  • Three K-25 early suppression, fast response wet sprinkler systems for ambient warehouse areas
  • Seven Ordinary Hazard Group 2 sprinkler systems designed for up to four levels

Shambaugh focused on energy and water efficiency throughout the engineering and design processes, resulting in the following equipment features:

  • Stack economizers and parallel positioning oxygen trim controls for all boilers to optimize their operating efficiency
  • A centralized master boiler control to optimize boiler sequencing and staging
  • Reverse osmosis boiler make-up system to minimize water waste, chemical usage and blowdown heat losses
  • LED lighting installed in warehousing, cooler facility support, and parking areas to reduce lighting power consumption without sacrificing overall illumination levels
  • A water and heat reclaim system for plant reuse, including waste pretreatment with capture capability for any unexpected product upset
  • Clean, walkable panel ceilings which allow maintenance staff to work up above the process without interruption or contamination of the process floor
  • Infrastructure design allowing for potential expansion in nearly every direction, including utilities capable of accommodating a doubling in size

Client Background

Chobani, LLC is a New York-based producer of dairy products that specializes in strained yogurt.