Chillin' out with a new compressor fluid
However, when maintenance personnel at Hexkoel Beperk inspected the cooling systems, they discovered excessive wear of the control valves as well as frequently clogged filters and strainers. "Our compressor oil was circulating with the ammonia gas in the cooling system," says Johan Muller, technical manager with the firm. "This resulted in significant wax build-up on compressor components. The wax was clogging up our filters, which in turn allowed dirt and metal chips through. The problem was compounded because wax had also built up on the control valves, trapping dirt and metal chips. This acted like sandpaper between the moving parts."
Hexkoel Beperk's oil distributor, Cool Lubricants, suggested trying Petro-Canada's REFLO 68A compressor fluid, which is designed to lubricate compressors in ammonia refrigeration systems. Muller decided to test it in one of Hexkoel Beperk's Sullair compressors. The company operates nine screw compressors to cool grapes to 32