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Why air-cooled chiller is so important?
In contrast to cooling towers, air-cooled chillers do not require them. Chillers that are water-cooled require cooling towers, which require intensive maintenance. Water treatment, chiller condenser-tube cleaning, tower mechanical maintenance, and freeze protection. On the other hand, water-cooled chillers are more compact, less noisy, have longer operating lives, and are more energy efficient than air-cooled chillers.
An industrial air-cooled chiller is a refrigeration system that cools fluids and works in tandem with a facility's air handler system. A chiller has four main parts: an evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion valve. An air-cooled chiller works by absorbing the heat from processed water.
Instead of using cooling towers, air-cooled chillers use two fans to reject heat outside the building. As a result, air-cooled chillers require less space than water-cooled chillers.
Most air-cooled chillers are either using scroll compressors or screw compressors. So far, there are no air-cooled chillers with centrifugal compressors.
In general, air-cooled chillers are simpler than water-cooled chillers. The air-cooled chiller is also referred to as a modular chiller due to the fact that it can be stacked horizontally like legos in order to increase its cooling capacity.
The available cooling capacity of a typical air-cooled chiller can range from around 0.5 RT to around 600 RT. With scroll compressors, a single air-cooled chiller may be designed with a maximum cooling capacity of around 200 RT. But, with screw compressors, a single air-cooled chiller can go up to 600 RT of cooling capacity.
Usually, an air-cooled chiller has at least one or multiple compressors. It is possible to continue operating the chiller with only 50% cooling capacity if one of the compressors malfunctions.
There is a difference between air-cooled and water-cooled chillers in terms of their efficiency. Approximately 1.00 kW/ton is their energy efficiency. In this way, air-cooled chillers are half as efficient as water-cooled chillers.
The main advantage of air-cooled chillers over water-cooled chillers is that air-cooled chillers are much better at handling low cooling load applications because they have smaller compressors that can switch on and off much more frequently and effectively.
Although air-cooled chillers may seem to occupy less space than water-cooled chillers, they may occupy much more space than water-cooled chillers when used for large cooling capacity applications due to the sheer amount of chiller quantity. Air-cooled or water-cooled chillers both are important in their own filed of action.
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