An Industrial chiller is a refrigeration system that removes heat from a process fluid and transfers that heat to the environment through dehumidification. The technology is used in industrial and commercial facilities. The implementation of the absorption cycle or vapor compression results in the formation of chilled water, which has a variety of applications in air conditioning and process cooling.
Note that industrial chillers are closed-loop systems; this means they are sealed from the atmosphere to prevent entry of atmospheric air.
Components of an Industrial Chiller
The mechanical compression mechanism of a standard industrial chiller has the following four components.
Evaporators – There are two types of evaporators in the industrial chiller, shell & tube evaporators as well as Brazed plate evaporators. In the shell & tube evaporators, the refrigerant flows through the tube of the evaporator while the process fluid is pumped through the shell. The construction of the tube is typically made from copper, stainless steel or cupronickel. The shell & Tube evaporator implements low pressure drops to initiate a successful chilling process. Brazed plate evaporators are the most recent and utilize advanced heat transfer technology to achieve higher efficiency and low maintenance costs.
Compressors – There are three types of compressors in an industrial chiller. The list includes; Centrifugal compressor, reciprocating compressor, and the screw compressor. The centrifugal compressor achieves compression through the use of a few moving parts to apply centrifugal force to an air mass. These compressors are more suitable for low pressure but high volume applications like in ventilation fans, air movers and cooling units. Reciprocating compressors implements a crankshaft that is used to drive a pressure piston. These compressors carry dual voltage and are mainly used to deliver extremely high pressure to a small quantity of refrigerant. The fact that reciprocating compressors are semi-hermetic compressors means they are easily serviceable. Screw Compressors are male and female screws that are compressed together in stationary housing to achieve pressure compression. Screw compressors also carry a dual voltage ranging between 40-1000 horsepower.
The Condenser – As the name suggests, the condenser cools the gas into the liquid. The pressure of the condenser must be higher than that of the compressor to achieve optimum efficiency.
The Expansion valve – The expansion valve is a thermostatic adjustable restriction that forces a reduction in the liquid refrigerant pressure so that the chiller can maintain constant superheating on the evaporation gateway.
How does a Chiller Work?
Cool water or a water/glycol solution is pumped back and forth the chiller and a tank. An adjustable thermostat is fitted to sense the fluid temperature and therefore cycles the chiller to maintain constant tank temperature. The water, therefore, pumps from the chiller to the refrigeration’s point of use and back. Note that the chillers contain a refrigerant. A refrigerant is a chemical compound that works by the principal of phase change and compression, from a liquid to a gas and to a liquid again, so as to complete the refrigeration cycle and create a cooling effect.
Uses of an Industrial Chiller
Various industries and commercial facilities have adopted industrial chiller as a way of achieving machinery efficiency through cooling. The following are the industrial applications of industrial chillers.
Plastic industry machinery is subject to wear and tear if exposed to severe heat and energy. Plastic manufacturing is a high energy process and therefore impossible to avoid the occurrence of excess heat. Implementing the industrial chiller in the cooling of these machinery helps prolong the lifespan of the machines as well as increase the efficiency of the process.
Laser & cutting Industry
The light projection and laser cutting industry require an effective cooling mechanism for their overheated machinery as well as for cooling the lasers. Industrial chillers are found to be the best solution for this.
The rubber industry makes the best use of industrial chiller by utilizing it in a variety of applications. These applications include the following;
Cooling of rubber extruded barrels
Cooling rubber mixtures
Cooling rubber mills
Cooling multi-zone water systems
The plastic rollers in printing mills generate a lot of heat which may result in a lot of wear and tear. Implementing an industrial chiller in printing mills would save lots of machinery from wearing out. Additionally, the industrial chillers in printing industries help cool the papers after the ink drying machine has finished up with it.
During industrial cooking, mixing and pasteurization processes, industrial chillers help cool the generated heat.
The hard coating process during anodizing generates a lot of heat. The chillers are used to remove process heat from the machines through the air or water cooled chillers.
Data Service Centers
Data centers in the information technology industry are known to generate a lot of heat. This is likely to cause electric accidents and therefore the implementation of a cooling mechanism is essential. The most effective system used is an industrial chiller.
Benefits of Industrial Chillers
The implementation of industrial chillers in manufacturing industries and commercial facilities helps in lowering maintenance costs of machinery. Adequate cooling during summer seasons is essential for any industrial process. In fact, the chillers effectively guarantee you with an energy saving mechanism that is indeed supportive of a company’s future goals.
Industrial chillers help a company in saving water and related costs, mainly because the industrial chillers constantly re-use and recycle used water. In fact, they do not require a sewage service because once water is pumped into the tank; it works in a closed chilling loop.
The use of industrial chillers helps prevent incidents of fire, overheating or electrical short circuits. Lowering the level of temperatures lowers the possibility of accidents as well as providing a conducive and safe environment for industrial machinery.
Industrial chillers are an essential component of every industrial process. As heat coolant, the help increases process efficiency, save on costs as well as reduce accidents. The chillers are designed to perform at optimum performance, which guarantees a very meager room for mistakes. The location of the industrial chiller is highly essential for effective operation. Mostly, they are located in the mechanical equipment rooms of manufacturing factories, and very close to the room/machinery, or building that they are cooling.