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Christian Cook
Christian Cook

Hvac Water Chillers And Cooling Towers

Heated water from an industrial process can enter a heat exchanger or condenser and flow through the pipework into the cooling tower for heat removal, or flow directly through the tower. Spray nozzles inside the tower spray the water on a fill material whose larger surface area allows for maximum contact with air and increases the rate of evaporation.

Hvac Water Chillers and Cooling Towers

A cooling tower is comprised of water pumps and a large basin. The pumps provide water for cooling while the basin collects and drains discharged water from the system. The basin is a large hyperboloid, cylindrical or rectangular structure made of plastic, composite, concrete or steel and contains the spray nozzles, cooling tower fill media, and other heat dispersion equipment.

Cooling towers are typically used in large-scale cooling operations such as power generation, oil and gas refining, and thermal power stations. One very important deciding factor on choosing a chiller or a cooling tower should be based on the required coolant temperature.

Industrial chillers can be air-cooled or water-cooled, depending on the medium for dissipating heat from the system. In air-cooled chillers, the hot coolant which has undergone a phase change into a gas (in the evaporator) is exposed to the air around the system which cools it and turns it back into a liquid. In water-cooled chillers, a cooling tower provides water to cool and condense the coolant.

Cold Shot Chillers has several types of chiller systems available including water-cooled chillers (that use a stream of water from a cooling tower to reject heat from the coolant in the condenser) and air-cooled chillers (that use ambient air and cooling fans to remove heat from the condenser coolant).

Before making the decision to utilize both, consider factors such as your required volume of cooling, access to water, available space, and budget. Feel free to use our tools to help make an informed chiller capacity calculation for your application.

For small-scale applications such as chilling small rooms and exhausts of equipment, you can use a suitably sized air-cooled or water-cooled chiller and a portable cooling tower installed on the roof of your building. For large-scale cooling operations, combining the two systems might be a more cost-effective option than using them separately.

How does a chiller work alongside a cooling tower? Pairing the two together can help create a central cooling plant for a large building. The chiller unit can be located at the base floor of the building (when using a water-cooled chiller) or on the roof (when using an air-cooled chiller).

The cooling tower should also stay on top of the roof for optimum heat dissipation. Pipes (known as risers) running from the chiller to the cooling tower transport chilled water and refrigerant throughout the building.

At Cold Shot Chillers, we provide dependable air-cooled and water-cooled industrial chiller systems of varying capacities to suit your budget and application. Our chillers are suitable for a wide range of industrial uses, from craft breweries to medical facilities and petrochemical refineries.

Chillers transfer heat away from a space that requires climate control much like a traditional split system or package unit does, but they use water (or a water solution) to do so instead of air. There are two types of chillers: water-cooled and air-cooled. They work similarly throughout most of the process until the refrigerant reaches the condenser, and both are outlined in the following sections.

After that, the refrigerant enters the condenser. Water-cooled chillers use water to surround the refrigerant pipes and draw in the heat (path shown in red). The water is then pumped into a cooling tower to release the heat. After condensing, the refrigerant goes through an expansion valve to reduce pressure (and temperature) before returning to the evaporator, where the process begins again.

Like with water-cooled chillers, the process begins with the primary return bringing warm water to the chiller. Heat is transferred in the evaporator to the refrigerant, and the water runs through the primary supply to the cooled space. The refrigerant moves through the compressor to raise the pressure and temperature, and then it reaches the condenser. Here, fans circulate outside air through the condenser, which absorbs heat from the refrigerant (again, the second law of thermodynamics dictates that hot moves to cold) before expelling this heat to the ambient air. The refrigerant then goes through the expansion valve (as before) and returns to the evaporator.

Chillers have several uses and are sometimes preferred over traditional split systems or package units because the water conducts heat better than air. This is also why water-cooled chillers are known for being more consistent and efficient in their performance and for having a longer lifespan than their air-cooled counterparts. Water-cooled chillers are common in medium and larger facilities (so long as they have an adequate water supply), such as airports, hospitals, hotels, shopping malls, commercial buildings, and more. (Pictured: A portable chiller)

Air-cooled chillers are more prevalent in small to medium sized facilities where space and water may be limited. The costs to install and maintain these chillers are lower than that of their water-cooled counterparts, but they typically have a shorter lifespan. These chillers are commonly used for restaurants, corporate and sporting events, and temporary structures.

As mentioned above, these chillers draw heat directly from the system coolant. Some chiller systems use water as their means of heat transfer, which is one of the most efficient types of cooling available. However, water cooling chiller system can be too efficient at times and may produce excess heat because they are so effective at removing it from the system. In cold environments, this extra heat removal can make the water too cold and could produce unexpected issues.

Other types of chillers, called Air-Cooled Chillers, use air rather than water for the transfer process. Air-cooled chillers are not as effective for large operations as water-cooled options. The benefit of air-cooled chillers is that they are an affordable and effective choice for factories that do not output significant quantities of heat. Maintenance is relatively inexpensive, and very little or no water treatment may be necessary.

Cooling towers are available in different styles and types. The most common are crossflow and counterflow cooling towers. As their names suggest, these towers operate by blowing air across hot water as it returns from the condenser or heat exchanger; the only difference is what direction the air blows.

In a crossflow tower, the air cools by blowing across the hot water stream; in a counterflow tower, it blows air in the opposite direction of the water flow. Other facilities have found success with induced draft cooling towers, which use a fan to draw hot air up and out.

Paper production facilities, chemical management locations, power plants, and other energy refinement processes (such as oil, gas, and thermal power) often select cooling towers over chillers. However, you should evaluate your specific situation to decide whether industry averages apply to you or if you will need something more non-standard.

Cooling towers cost anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 to replace, but they often come with additional hardware like water treatment systems, sand filters and other machinery that may be necessary for your facility. Energy ROI will play a role as cooling towers are generally much more efficient than air cooled (from 100 to 1000 times more efficient).

A chiller is a machine that removes heat from a liquid coolant via a vapor-compression, adsorption refrigeration, or absorption refrigeration cycles. This liquid can then be circulated through a heat exchanger to cool equipment, or another process stream (such as air or process water). As a necessary by-product, refrigeration creates waste heat that must be exhausted to ambience, or for greater efficiency, recovered for heating purposes.[1] Vapor compression chillers may use any of a number of different types of compressors. Most common today are the hermetic scroll, semi-hermetic screw, or centrifugal compressors. The condensing side of the chiller can be either air or water cooled. Even when liquid cooled, the chiller is often cooled by an induced or forced draft cooling tower. Absorption and adsorption chillers require a heat source to function.[2][3]

Chilled water is used to cool and dehumidify air in mid- to large-size commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities. Water cooled chillers can be liquid-cooled (through cooling towers), air-cooled, or evaporatively cooled. Water or liquid-cooled systems can provide efficiency and environmental impact advantages over air-cooled systems.[4]

In air conditioning systems, chilled coolant, usually chilled water mixed with ethylene glycol, from a chiller in an air conditioning or cooling plant is typically distributed to heat exchangers, or coils, in air handlers or other types of terminal devices which cool the air in their respective space(s). The water is then recirculated to the chiller to be recooled. These cooling coils transfer sensible heat and latent heat from the air to the chilled water, thus cooling and usually dehumidifying the air stream. A typical chiller for air conditioning applications is rated between 50 kW (170 thousand BTU/h) and 7 MW (24 million BTU/h), and at least two manufacturers (York international and LG) can produce chillers capable of up to 21 MW (72 million BTU/h) cooling.[5][6] Chilled water temperatures (leaving from the chiller) usually range from 1 to 7 C (34 to 45 F),[7] depending upon application requirements.[8] Commonly, chillers receive water at 12C (entering temperature), and cool it to 7C (leaving temperature).[7][9]

When the chillers for air conditioning systems are not operable or they are in need of repair or replacement, emergency chillers may be used to supply chilled water. Rental chillers are mounted on a trailer so that they can be quickly deployed to the site. Large chilled water hoses are used to connect between rental chillers and air conditioning systems.[10] 041b061a72


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