Depending on your cooling needs, there are several types of industrial chillers on the market today. The basic types are air, water, and evaporative condensers with additional options for compressors that can customize your unit to fit your business needs. How to do know which type of OEM chiller system is right for you? Keep reading to learn more.
As the name implies, air chillers use air and the movement of it to cool office buildings and freezer units. They range from small units used in some residential applications all the way up to units with 1,500 tons of cooling capacity for industrial applications in the food and medical industries. An air handler pulls air from outside of the unit, and a fan forces the air over coils filled with refrigerant. Cool air is then pumped into your facility through a network of ducts.
While the air chiller uses air and induction to cool the air, water chillers use water as the condensing source. A water chiller system pulls heat from the environment using a heat pump. Heat is absorbed by the water in the system and circulated through a series of cooling towers where the heat is disbursed. Air chillers must be installed outside, but water chillers perform better indoors. They're also more efficient when compared to an air chiller because they don’t need electricity to operate a fan. Water chillers can help reduce energy consumption by an average of 15 percent. They're also quieter than other chillers on the market, which means you won’t have to soundproof your chiller storage room if you decide to install a water-based system inside.
Evaporative Condensed Chillers
Evaporative condenser chillers work similarly to water chillers, but they use mist instead of water to remove heat from the environment. These chillers use evaporating coils to move water through the system. Water is expelled as mist within the unit while air is forced over the coils. Temperatures are monitored constantly with a device called a wet bulb. The wet bulb controls how often mist is used, which helps reduce wear and tear on the unit. Evaporative condensed chillers aren't as energy efficient as water chillers.
The Right Compressor for Your Chiller
Industrial chillers, like residential HVAC units, use compressors to force air through the system. The type of condenser in your unit can affect its efficiency and energy usage. There are four types of compressors: reciprocating, centrifugal, screw driven, and absorption. A reciprocating compressor works like your car engine with pistons and a crankshaft. It works by compressing and delivering refrigerant in small amounts at very high speeds. Centrifugal compressors are very popular because they are easy to service with various parts that can be replaced as needed. Screw-driven compressors rotate inside the housing while gas is forced between them. They have the highest power range with up to 1,000 horsepower, a must for large industrial chillers. Absorption compressors use two liquids, one to cool the air and one to absorb heat simultaneously.