Understanding the Different Types of Chillers for Industrial and Commercial Use

15 July 2020

A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system helps dehumidify and cool certain industrial and commercial buildings and facilities. One equipment that is part of the said system is chillers. They basically help regulate and cool the temperature of certain facilities like hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and manufacturing plants. They do this specific functionality by facilitating the heat transfer from an internal environment to an external environment through the circulation of refrigerant throughout their system.

The compressor of a chiller does a lot of things. First, it removes the refrigerant from the evaporator and makes sure that the pressure remains low in the evaporator for effective heat absorption. Second, it increases the pressure in outgoing refrigerant vapor so that its temperature will be high enough to release heat when it reaches the condenser. At this point, the refrigerant returns to a liquid state, while its latent heat is removed from the environment through a cooling medium.

The cooling medium sets different types of chillers apart. One type of chiller is air-cooled, while the other one is water-cooled.

Air-Cooled Chillers

Air-cooled chillers have a condenser that is cooled by ambient air with the help of air fans. They are mostly used in smaller or medium installations where the space is limited and constrained. These chillers are also maximised for spaces that do not have to worry about heat discharge since they tend to produce a significant amount of heat. Additionally, if the water resources on a specific area are scarce, then this type of chillers is greatly recommended.

The installation costs of air-cooled chillers are much lower compared to water-cooled chillers. The relative simplicity of these chillers also makes them simpler and cheaper to maintain. Although they can take up a little space, air-cooled chillers are typically required to be installed outside a facility. Therefore, most of their damages will come from outdoor elements. Additionally, their cooling fans can produce a significant amount of noise that can somehow distract some employees.

Water-Cooled Chillers

Water-cooled chillers have a condenser that is connected with an external cooling tower. Medium and large spaces that have a sufficient water supply mostly benefit from these chillers. Compared to air-cooled chillers, water-cooled chillers can produce a more consistent performance for commercial and industrial applications. The consistent performance stems from the chiller’s relative independence to fluctuations of the ambient temperature.

The condensing temperature and pressure of refrigerant of water-cooled chillers can operate lower than what air-cooled chillers can achieve, which makes the former operate more effectively and efficiently. The fact that water-cooled chillers are typically installed indoors makes them last longer compared to other chiller types. However, the presence of an external cooling tower makes the overall installation and maintenance costs of these chillers higher than their counterpart. Regular maintenance must also be done since the formation of mineral deposits in the system can be drastic. Knowing the characteristics of these two types of chillers helps you determine the correct one for your industrial or commercial facility. If you want to have your own chiller, just give us a call at Protector Air Care. We have been providing high-quality services for the air conditioning and mechanical services sector since January 1993 and will continue to do so in the future. Since our inception, the company has been constantly evolving to deliver exceptional service with an innovative approach to providing sound economical solutions to our customers.

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