Bruce Nelson, M.AIRAH

Colmac Coil Manufacturing
Chair Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation (ARF)

Ultra-low GWP refrigeration using natural refrigerants

Recent changes in the political landscape in the USA have resulted in renewed pressure at the federal level to accelerate the phase-out of F-gas refrigerants. One of the first actions taken by the new administration was to renew the commitment of the USA to participate in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Certain states have continued to put aggressive public policy initiatives in place to ban HFC refrigerants in spite of the actions of the previous administration. Most notable is the state of California and the actions of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which recently has banned the use of refrigerants with a GWP greater than 150 in new stationary refrigeration systems containing more than 50lb (22.5kg) of refrigerant, effective January 1, 2022. 

Nelson will review the use of ultra-low GWP natural refrigerants (air, water, hydrocarbons, ammonia, CO2) in various refrigeration applications as a means of meeting these environmental policy goals. He will focus on the opportunities and challenges associated with applying each of the natural refrigerants in refrigeration machines including a review of commercially available equipment. Current and pending safety standards for the use of natural refrigerants having flammability and/or toxicity characteristics will also be discussed.
About Nelson
Nelson is Director of Innovation at Colmac Coil Manufacturing, Inc. located in Colville, Washington USA. Colmac manufactures industrial refrigeration evaporators and air-cooled condensers, all types of heating and cooling coils, and heat pipes for heat recovery.

Nelson obtained his degree in Agricultural Engineering from Washington State University and has been employed at Colmac since 1981, where he has served in various capacities including Chief Engineer, Vice President, President, and most recently Director of Innovation. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Washington. 

Nelson is the Past Chairman of IIAR and ARF and has recently been voted Life Member of IIAR. He is a member of AIRAH, the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR), the Institute of Refrigeration (IoR), and ASHRAE. He has authored several technical papers related to the field of refrigeration and heat transfer and holds a number of US and international patents.