How to Choose the Chiller for your Application

Zero point five ton air cooled industrial water chiller behind side

Heat is a single common by-product of today’s manufacturing machines that include the advanced automation technology required for both high speed operation and high precision. Components such as spindle motors, variable frequency drives, laser and x-ray sources all require cooling to operate properly and reliably most often in the very adverse manufacturing environments.

As each industrial environment is different, ATO designed a 6-steps guide to help you choose right chiller for application:

Step 1: Determine the Heat Load

It is important to determine the heat load of your application to ensure the chosen chiller is big enough for the intended application. There are several ways to determine the heat load (in BTU) but understanding the process is essential to calculating an accurate heat load.

Step 2: Determine the Coolant Type, Temperature & Flow Rate

When the heat load is known, the next step is to determine the coolant, its target temperature and the flow rate that the chiller must provide to the process. This is determined by the method from which the heat is transferred from the process to the coolant and the type of coolant being used. For example, water has different characteristics than oil.

Step 3: Identify Installation Environment

In what environment the chiller will be installed or how to install water chiller? Indoor applications for example can see high temperatures and dirty atmospheres, while outdoor installations can experience both low and high ambient temperatures. This can effect chiller sizing and require accessories such as air filters, sump heaters, etc.

Step 4: Use Chiller performance curves

Now use the chiller performance curves available to select a chiller model that meets or exceeds the required capacity based on the chilled water supply temperature and the highest expected ambient air temperature. Consideration should be given to the safety margin of the application with respect to available frame sizes to maximize the value of the chiller selection.

Step 5: Check Pump performance curves

Check the pump performance curves available to ensure that the pump will provide enough pressure at the design flow rate to satisfy the application. Some liquid cooled systems have small coolant flow paths or longer distances that can have higher than average pressure losses.

Step 6: Final Selection

Finally, consider that the remaining application requirements such as power characteristics, control options, footprint, agency listing, color, etc. are met by the selected standard chiller. Choosing a standard chiller will bring you greater reliability, easier service with common spare parts and global support.

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