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HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Leads the Eco-Friendly Era with Ship HVAC Systems

HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has developed an environmentally friendly ship air conditioning system that eliminates pollution.

On July 5, HHI received the "Approval In Principle" certification from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for its "Ammonia Refrigerant HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) System," marking a significant milestone in eco-friendly shipbuilding technology.

The certification ceremony, held at the Ulsan headquarters, was attended by HHI's Mr. Lee Hwan-sik, Head of Ship Design Office, and Mr. Kim Sung-hoon, Korean Sales Representative of ABS, along with other representatives from both organizations.

The HVAC system regulates the internal air conditions of ships, including heating, cooling, and ventilation, to maintain a comfortable environment. HHI's newly developed HVAC system utilizes environmentally friendly ammonia as the refrigerant.

Ammonia, with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) close to 1, is an eco-friendly refrigerant that minimally impacts global warming. Compared to R410A, a commonly used refrigerant in household air conditioners with 2,000 GWP, ammonia emissions have negligible effects on global warming and seldom cause ozone depletion or carbon emissions.

However, due to concerns such as flammability and toxicity, ammonia has been limited to industrial-scale systems for refrigeration, freezing, and chilling on land, and has not been applied to ship HVAC systems.

With increasing demands for eco-friendly technologies in response to climate change and the transition to a low-carbon society, HHI, in collaboration with ABS, embarked on the development of an HVAC system using ammonia as the refrigerant.

HHI developed the ammonia refrigerant HVAC system based on the newly established ABS regulations for ammonia refrigerant application. ABS conducted legal and technical reviews of the system.

The developed HVAC system ensures safety by installing ammonia refrigeration units in dedicated spaces, incorporating gas detectors, alarms, and emergency ventilation systems to prevent ammonia leaks. Additionally, by separating the ammonia refrigeration units, HHI minimized costs while placing HVAC air conditioners in close proximity to crew living areas.

Mr. Lee Hwan-sik, Head of Ship Design Office at HHI, stated, "By enhancing the environmental friendliness of ships as a whole, we will continue to strive for carbon neutrality at sea."