How Do Industrial Chillers Work?

Industrial water chillers are utilized for a wide range of applications across many different industries that use process equipment to circulate water or liquid.

Some of these applications include tool and die cutting, chemicals, injection molding, food and beverage, lasers, semiconductors, machine tools, and many others.

The technology of these chillers hasn’t gone through too many changes over the years, as their designs are relatively simple and utilize consistent parts.

Here are some details about how industrial chillers work.

Industrial Chillers Work

How They Operate

In most applications, a pumping system will circulate cool water or a solution made of water and glycol from the chiller to the process equipment.

The cool fluid removes heat from the process and the warm fluid then travels to the chiller. The process water enables heat to transfer from the process to the chilling equipment.

A typical process chiller contains a chemical refrigerant. There are many different types of refrigerant and applications based on the temperatures needed, but they all work on the same basic principle of compression along with the refrigerant’s change of state from a liquid to a gas, then back to a liquid.

The process of cooling and heating it, then changing states, is the refrigeration cycle.

The refrigeration cycle begins with a low-pressure liquid and gas mix that enters the evaporator. Heat from the process water or the water and glycol solution is now in the evaporator and boils the refrigerant to change it from a liquid to a gas.

This low-pressure gas then enters the compressor where it’s converted to a high-pressure gas. At this point, the gas enters the condenser where ambient air or condenser water cools the gas, turning it into a high-pressure fluid.

This substance then goes to the expansion valve, which regulates the level of liquid refrigerant that enters the evaporator. Then the cycle restarts.

Two types of condensers are used in industrial chillers: water-cooled and air-cooled. Air-cooled condensers use ambient air to condense and cool the heated refrigerant gas to a liquid. These condensers can be either inside the chiller or used remotely. And if they break, you will need to get the chillers repaired.

Water-cooled condensers, on the other hand, cool water from the cooling tower and condenses the refrigerant.

Determining Which Chiller is Best to Use

Chiller systems are available in a wide range of designs and sizes and industries, from small localized units to larger central units for more advanced processes.

Ultimately, you should consult with a chiller company to help decide on the right chiller system and get professional installation at your facility.

With a complete chiller system, you’ll be able to maintain control over temperatures in your facility and maintain a safer working space.