AIR VS. WATER COOLED CHILLERS
What is an Air Cooled Chiller?
Air cooled chillers are among the most commonly used refrigeration systems for commercial and industrial facilities. They work by absorbing heat from process water and then transferring this heat, meaning that they should be used in areas where heat discharge is not a serious issue. Like water cooled chillers, they have a compressor, condenser, evaporator, and expansion valve that work to chill water and absorb heat. As opposed to water cooled chillers, they use air to fuel condenser cooling. Most if not all outdoor applications for chillers will use air cooled chillers as excess heat is released into the ambient air.
What is a Water Cooled Chiller?
Water Cooled chillers are also used frequently to refrigerate facilities of all kinds, cooling products and machinery among other applications. Water Cooled chillers often are used with a cooling tower or adiabatic system. Water cooled chillers are generally smaller than air cooled chillers and for that reason can be placed indoors without as much need for ventilation.Water cooled chillers are also often used more effectively in high temperature areas as they are cooled using an external source.
Air vs. Water Cooled Chiller Cost Comparison
Conventional thinking has been that water cooled chillers are more efficient than air cooled chillers. If we only look at compressor costs, this may be true. However, using state-of-the-art technology with centrifugal compressors and variable speed control, air-cooled chillers are often the better choice. When taking a deeper look into air cooled chillers versus water cooled chillers, it is recommended to consider the entire operating costs associated with each chiller system.