Laws and Regulations
15. September 2023

TRAS 110 for Ammonia Refrigeration Systems and Heat Pumps

The TRAS 110 (Technical Regulations for Plant Safety) consolidates the safety requirements for ammonia refrigeration systems and ammonia heat pumps.

The TRAS 110 is a technical framework specifically designed for ammonia systems and is available for free download on the internet. You can download the regulations directly from the Federal Gazette's website as the primary source.


TRAS 110 für Ammoniak-Kälteanlagen und Wärmepumpen


The TRAS 110 (Technical Regulations for Plant Safety) outlines the safety requirements for ammonia refrigeration systems and ammonia heat pumps. Industrial heat pumps operated with ammonia (NH3 or R717) are considered refrigeration systems from a thermodynamic perspective, thus subject to all requirements, rules, and standards for refrigeration systems, including DIN EN 378.

The TRAS 110 must be applied in all cases with an ammonia filling quantity of 3,000 kg or more. It is recommended to use the regulations for filling volumes of 300 kg or more, especially when there are protected objects in the vicinity of the facility. What are considered protected objects? Essentially, any buildings or open assembly areas where people who are not associated with the ammonia facility may be present.

It should be noted that the filling volume at the site is always the decisive factor. This means, for example, that individual ammonia heat pumps must be combined with their ammonia quantities. This fact is outlined in the Federal Emissions Control Act (BimschG) §3 Definitions, where it states under 5a: "...An operating area is the entire area under the control of an operator in which hazardous substances... in one or more facilities, including common or interconnected infrastructures..."

In essence, TRAS 110 describes the equipment and requirements of the machinery room itself, as well as the technical requirements of the refrigeration system to protect the environment and individuals. In the event of malfunctions, the operator must develop a concept for self-monitoring and an emergency response plan. The regulations also include examples of emergency response plans with images and diagrams. Furthermore, they provide organizational charts for reporting chains during malfunctions and a functional matrix of safety devices.

The regulations also cover the necessary approvals for new systems and recurring inspections. Depending on the competent authority, either notification or an application for approval of the refrigeration system is required. The scope of documentation and the evaluation by a qualified person are also addressed in TRAS 110.