Natural Refrigeration Award 2017

Press release


Press release

Natural Refrigeration Award 2017 announced

For the seventh time now, eurammon is looking for the three best scientific theses on natural refrigerants for refrigeration applications, air-conditioning applications and heat pumps.


Frankfurt, 01/16/2017 – Every two years, eurammon presents an award for the three best academic theses in the field of natural refrigerants and their areas of application. As a joint initiative between companies, institutions and individuals campaigning for the increased use of natural refrigerants, eurammon uses this emerging talent award to promote young academics – from graduates with bachelor's and master's degrees to Ph.D. students – who further develop the topic of natural refrigerants at the scientific level. The Natural Refrigeration Award includes €5,000 in prize money and will be awarded in 2017 together with the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany and the trade journal CHLAZENÍ from the Czech Republic. Interested parties can submit their application through March 27, 2017.


"The economic and ecological potential of natural refrigerants is enormous. With the Natural Refrigeration Award, we make young scientists more aware of the significance of natural refrigerants," explains Bernd Kaltenbrunner, Chairperson of eurammon. "The award is intended to promote research in the area of natural refrigerants and to actively advance the development of innovative, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient systems," according to Kaltenbrunner.


Graduates and students, including those working toward a Ph.D., at colleges, universities, technical colleges and similar institutions of higher learning, whose academic work has been acknowledged as a bachelor's, master's, doctoral or comparable thesis may apply. The subject of the thesis must concern refrigeration technology with natural refrigerants – such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons or water – and it must have been evaluated between May 2015 and March 2017.


To participate in the Natural Refrigeration Award 2017, applicants must submit an abstract in English, a complete application form and their thesis. A jury composed of international experts in science, business and the media will select the three best theses.


Please find below the call for papers and the application form.

Natural Refrigeration Award 2017: Presentations


Presentation Peng Gao




Presentation Dennis Lerch & Stefan Brinkmöller




Presentation Marco Cefarin



Award winners honoured at the eurammon Symposium in Schaffhausen

Every two years, eurammon, the initiative for natural refrigerants, rewards young scientists for pioneering research in the field of natural refrigerants. This year, the Natural Refrigeration Award prize of €5,000 was awarded with support from the Technical University Braunschweig and the Czech trade journal Chlazení. The prizes were awarded to the three winners on 22 June 2017 during the eurammon Symposium, where they were also able to present and discuss their research work and results relating to the use of natural refrigerants such as ammonia and CO2 with the international expert audience at the symposium.


The first prize was won this year by Peng Gao from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China). His dissertation related to the development of an innovative solid sorption freezing system for refrigerated trucks. The system uses the exhaust gas generated by combustion of the fuel in the truck engine at temperatures between 200°C and 500°C for refrigeration in a two-stage solid sorption freezing cycle operated with the natural refrigerant ammonia. The innovative system is superior to the mechanical vapour compression refrigeration system usually to be found in refrigerated trucks in terms of both costs and environmental protection: the operating costs and the related CO2 emissions for the refrigeration system are close to zero. The system is also suitable for refrigerated lorries carrying frozen goods, even in ambient temperatures of up to +30°C. The research results convinced the international jury and triggered great interest among those attending the eurammon Symposium. "The dissertation clearly shows the potential of research in the field of natural refrigerants, also indicating the economical and ecological advantages that can be achieved with innovative applications", explained Monika Witt, Vice-chair of eurammon.


The second prize went to the students Dennis Lerch and Stefan Brinkmöller for their project assignment as part of their engineering course at HsKA Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (Germany). They developed the BFBGL – the "Green Line Bavarian Breakfast Preparation Unit". The mobile high-temperature heat pump has a cold and a hot water basin for cooling 35 bottles of wheat bear from 20°C to 5°C, while at the same time heating 70 Bavarian "Weisswurst" sausages from 20°C to 80°C. The unit uses the natural refrigerant isobutane (R 600a). With view to the high pressure ratio required a semi hermetic piston compressor was selected. The beer is cooled by a self-designed tube coil evaporator with medium-high finned tubes, which absorbs the thermal energy effectively through the circulating pump. The condenser was constructed as a plate heat exchanger that transfers the heat to the hot water basin keeping the refrigerant charge as low as possible.  A thermostatic expansion valve was also developed especially for the project. The BFBGL is a prime example how natural refrigerants can be used in environmentally friendly refrigeration technology, impressively and practically underlining the efficiency.


The third prize was awarded to the dissertation by Marco Cefarin from the Università degli Studi di Udine (Italy). The aim of the parametric study was to design an NH3-H2O absorption refrigeration system that is also capable of making maximum use of industrial waste heat at low temperatures. A mathematical reference model with a pre-condenser heat exchange dephlegmator reached a COP level of 0.471. While maintaining constant condensating and evaporating temperatures, there was a drop in efficiency at low generator temperatures. The optimum minimum generator temperature was also influenced by different system parameters, such as the size of the heat exchanger and the fluid flow rate. The concentration gradient of ammonia between rich and lean solution was identified as being a central criterion for possibly using a heat recovery concept. The data predicted in the theoretical model were then verified and confirmed in a reference system.


Presentation by Peng Gao



Presentation by Dennis Lerch



Presentation by Marco Cefarin