10 Points to Consider When Selecting a Chiller

For critical process cooling applications, carefully taking into account the conditions in which your process chiller will be used, and the process for which it will be used, will help you identify the features most needed on your system. Use the following checklist as a guideline for purchasing industrial process chillers.

20 hp 17 ton air cooled industrial water chiller behind side

Will the condenser be cooled with air or water?

1. If air where will the condenser be located? indoors or out?
Things to take into consideration are serviceability, ceiling heights, obstructions, walls, highest and lowest ambient air temperatures, and general location and general location.
2. If water cooled, what is your source of cooling fluid?
What are the highest and lowest temperatures of the condenser coolant?
3. Will you have approximately 3 gal/ min per ton through your water-cooled condenser?
4. Will you require filtration before this coolant enters your chiller condenser?

Will the chiller be a packaged or split system?

1. Will the chiller (if a packaged unit) or remote condenser (if a split system) be located indoors or outdoors?
2. The location of the chiller or condenser will warrant consideration.

How accurate of temperature control will your process require?

If tight temperature control is needed, then you may require a two-loop process water chiller to maintain an onboard or separate tank at a specific temperature.

What voltages do you have available for the new chiller?

1. What electrical work is required to power the new chiller based on the voltage you select?
2. If comparable, which voltage could potentially be more efficient during operation?

What is fluid will you be cooling?

1. Will it require filtration before entering the chiller?
2. Does the fluid contain corrosives or chemicals that could damage wetted components?
3. How and will your operating temperatures affect the fluid viscosity?

What are your estimated chiller inlet/ outlet temperatures?

1. If too high, you may require a buffer tank or other precautions to protect the compressor.
2. If high temperatures returning to the water chiller are temporary during startup only, and then reduce to within the safe operating range, other precautions may not be necessary.

What level of freeze protection is required?

1. What is the coldest leaving fluid temperature of the chiller during operation?
2. Determine the suction temperature by subtracting about 10°F from the coldest leaving fluid temperature?
3. What is the coldest ambient temperature the chiller/ condenser could see in the winter?
4. Select the colder of these two values: suction temperature of water chiller or coldest ambient temperature, and freeze protect about 10°F below that figure.

What is the expected flow rate through your process?

1. Will the standard evaporator handle your required flow rate?
2. Will it handle your fluid viscosity at operating temperature?
3. Will the internal tank, piping and components handle the expected flow rate?

Will the chiller require a system pump or not?

1. Will you be using city water pressure?
2. Will your process flow start and stop, or be constant?
3. Do you have a process pump already within the circuit? If not, what are the flow and pressure requirements of your process?

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