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What Are Differences Between Chiller and Refrigerator?

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The main difference between Refrigerator and Chiller is that the Refrigerator is a household appliance for preserving food at a low temperature and Chiller is a machine that removes heat from a liquid via a vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycle.


What Is a Chiller?

A chiller can be regarded a cooling system that cools materials down by removing heat from a liquid via a vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycle. The liquid gets circulated through a heat exchanger to cool equipment. In a chiller system, there is always a liquid working as a refrigerant going through the heat exchanger in order to transfer the heat energy. When the heat gets absorbed by the liquid, materials get chilled.


What Is a Refrigerator?

A refrigerator is a household appliance that can keep food and drink cool by means of ice or mechanical refrigeration. In the working process of a refrigerator, the refrigerant can circulate inside it, changing from a liquid into a gas. Thus the surrounding area can be cooled to obtain the desired effect.


What Are Types of Chillers?

There are three major types of chillers in use based on the condenser type, which are air-cooled chillers, water-cooled chillers and evaporative condensed chillers.

As their name suggests, the air-cooled chillers use air to remove heat in the condenser by using fans to force air across the exposed tubes of the condenser, while the water-cooled chillers use water to remove heat by using pumps to send water through a sealed condenser. The latter is generally more energy-efficient than air-cooled chillers. The evaporative condensed chillers can condense a substance from its gas state to its liquid state by cooling it. Then the heat is released by the substance and transferred to the surrounding environment. It is usually considered as an alternative device to air or water cooled chillers.

 air-cooled chillers

water-cooled chillers

What Are Components of a Chiller

The mechanical compression cycle has four basic components through which the refrigerant passes: (1) the evaporator (2) the compressor (3) the condenser (4) the expansion valve. The evaporator in the chiller will operate at a lower pressure and lower temperature than the condenser.


Chiller V.S. Refrigerator

Both chillers and refrigerators are cooling machines. Their working principle is basically same, extracting heat from materials through refrigeration and evaporation. There are some differences between chillers and refrigerators as well. Something detailed is as follows.

1. Different Cooling Ranges

Chillers can lower the temperature of liquids in the range of 7 to -1 degree celcius, while fridges can be used for cooling the objects as well but to the temperature range of 3 to 5 degree celcius.

2. Different Cooling Materials and Application Fields

Chillers are usually used to lower the temperature of liquids and cool chemical substances and materials, which are widely adopted in industrial, chemical, biological fields and other fields. However, fridges are more often used to preserve food and make it stay fresh, highly using at home. It may be the main difference between them.

3. Different Sizes

They have different sizes. Due to the various application fields, lab chillers usually have a smaller size than household refrigerators, while industrial chillers is more large-scale than refrigerators. 

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