What Refrigerants Do Medical Chillers Use?

Doctors Looking at MRI Images

Medical chillers are essential for the safe and proper function of complex medical machines. Essentially, chillers work to regulate the temperature of important medical equipment. 

For example, an MRI machine is one piece of medical equipment dependent on chillers to function properly. Read on to learn more about professional medical chillers, why medical facilities need them, how they work, and what kind of refrigerants they require.  

Why Do Hospitals and Medical Facilities Use Medical Chillers? 

Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to produce images of organs and tissues in the body. With nearly 40 million MRI scans performed each year, MRI machines must function properly. 

These machines are truly vital to patient care, and that is why hospitals and medical facilities are in such need of medical chillers. 

How Do Professional Medical Chillers Help MRI Machines? 

The MRI machine’s magnets must remain cool at all times. The ideal temperature for an MRI scanner is about -270 °C or -450 °F. For MRI machines to continue to function correctly, they must remain within this temperature range. Ultimately, the use of professional medical chillers allows the MRI machine to stay cool and function properly. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that these MRI scans consume a great deal of energy and generate a considerable amount of heat through their internal components. Therefore, if the temperature is not maintained within the specified limits, the MRI machine can quickly overheat and malfunction during a scan. 

Sadly, any malfunction of this nature greatly hinders a patient’s care. Therefore, it is essential that medical chillers are utilized properly to ensure patients receive high-quality care.

How Do Professional Medical Chillers Work?

Professional medical chillers are vital for proper medical equipment functions. This, in turn, also makes them essential to patient care. So, how do medical chillers really work? 

Well, the magnets inside the MRI machine need constant cold running water to keep them cool. The constant running water ensures that the medical MRI machine will continue to run efficiently as the low cooling temperature is achieved through the circulating liquid helium around the machine’s magnetic coils. 

Both air-cooled and water-cooled medical chillers can be utilized in the process of running cold water around the MRI’s magnet to ensure that the magnet coils remain within the correct temperature range. 

While both air-cooled and water-cooled medical chillers can be used with MRI machines, they do not act in the same manner. Instead, the different systems transfer heat to different areas. 

Water-Cooled Medical Chillers

  • Water-cooled chillers transfer heat to a water source. 
  • This water source can be a plant chilled water system or a cooling tower. 

Air-Cooled Medical Chillers 

  • Air-cooled chillers transfer heat to the surrounding ambient air.
  • Air-cooled chillers work great for facilities that don’t have access to a water source.

Common Types Refrigerants Used in Medical Chillers 

Medical chillers also require refrigerants to function properly. A refrigerant is a working fluid that undergoes a repeated phase transition from liquid to gas and back. This process allows medical chillers to maintain the temperature of equipment. The following are two common types of refrigerants used in medical chillers. 

  • R-134a Refrigerant

The R-134a refrigerant, also known as Freon 134a, is a type of refrigerant that possesses completely stable thermal characteristics. It is used in KKT Chillers’s Nema-Line.

  • R-410A Refrigerant  

The R-410A refrigerant, also known as Forane 410A, is a non-flammable hydrofluorocarbon blend. It is toxic and requires precise handling and storage. It is used in KKT Chillers’s Vario Line and the Compact Line.

Consult With the KKT Chillers

If your facility is in need of a new chiller system, KKT Chillers can provide you with the chiller system you need. At KKT Chillers, we have installed chillers worldwide and are happy to provide service to clients in adverse conditions. Contact us today to find out more about professional medical chillers. We look forward to hearing from you!