When you use machinery, it often leads to the generation of excess heat. If that heat isn’t dealt with in time, it could result in overheating, causing costly damage that could’ve been easily avoided. This is where chillers come into play. A chiller can remove this excess heat, keeping your machines at an optimal temperature. Chiller preventive maintenance can ensure that your chiller continues to do its job effectively and efficiently in the long term.  

What is a Chiller?

A chiller is a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit component that’s responsible for keeping equipment cool. It’s able to accomplish this through the use of chilled water or fluid. The goal of the chiller is to remove heat from one area and release it in another area.   

How Does a Chiller Work?

An easy way to understand how a chiller works would be to think about it in terms of the human body. If your HVAC unit is the body, then the chiller would be the lungs. In short, your heart pumps deoxygenated blood to your lungs where gas exchange can occur. During this exchange, carbon dioxide is replaced with oxygen. The newly oxygenated blood will then flow through the rest of your body providing oxygen where needed. A chiller works in a similar way. 

In this scenario, replace blood with liquid, carbon dioxide with heat, and oxygen with cold. A machine pumps the warm water or fluid to the chiller. The chiller then cools the refrigerant through heat exchange. The newly chilled refrigerant is then sent out to restart the cooling cycle.

The Different Types of Chillers

There are two different types of chillers that are typically used for the industrial industry—water- and air-cooled chillers. While both industrial chiller systems perform the same job, the medium they use to cool down machinery is what makes them different.

  • Air-cooled chiller: This type of chiller uses ambient air to cool down hot refrigerant. This system usually sits outside and is the most commonly used type of chiller. However, air-cooled chillers are often less energy efficient than water-cooled chillers.
  • Water-cooled chiller: As the name suggests, this chiller cools equipment with water. Unlike the air-cooled chiller, this type uses a two-step method. When the hot equipment turns the chilled water into heated water vapor, the vapor makes its way to the chiller where it cools and condenses. The condensed water then gets pumped into a cooling tower where the heat is released into the air.  

Improving Efficiency With Maintenance

It’s no secret that chillers are taxing on your energy bill. In fact, chillers are known to use about 40 percent of the total energy consumed in commercial and industrial buildings. A chiller that has refrigerant leaks or other issues will eat up even more energy than a properly functioning machine. That’s why to maximize profits, it’s important to ensure that your chiller is running as efficiently as possible. 

Preventative maintenance can help you achieve optimal performance. As a general rule, HVAC chiller maintenance should be part of your regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance plan. When the time comes to perform maintenance, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Inspect and clean the coils: The condenser coils are where heat transfer occurs. If gunk and debris are allowed to accumulate on these coils, it will be harder for the system to cool down the refrigerant. Routine maintenance should include searching for clogs and ensure free air passage. 
  • Check refrigerant charge: Make sure your system has enough refrigerant. Proper levels of refrigerant charge can help lower cooling costs.
  • Check condenser water: Contaminants, such as sand or erosive solids, can inhibit the flow of water, ruining cooling efficiency.

 

    Trust A&G Piping for Your Industrial Chiller Repair and Maintenance Needs.

    Performing regular preventative maintenance on your HVAC unit can help to prolong its lifespan. This includes all components of the system, including the chiller. At A&G Piping, we’re experts in preventative maintenance and we’ll help you get the most out of your system. Contact us today to learn more about our services.