Our Guide to Optimizing Your Commercial Chiller System
Commercial chillers are excellent devices for controlling the core temperatures of industrial equipment and buildings. With liquid or air-cooling systems, these handy pieces of technology are often used for air conditioning and cooling moving mechanical components that generate great amounts of heat in factories. However, the amount of power required to keep them up and running is immense, resulting in unnecessarily high energy bills and putting strain on their equipment.
Enhancing chiller efficiency can lead to a multitude of benefits for a business, but knowing how to do so isn’t always the most clear. This article covers the importance of efficient industrial chillers, highlights commonly associated problems, and provides tips on optimizing them.
Evaluating Your Commercial Chiller
Understanding how your commercial chiller systems operate can help identify causes for deficiency, necessary repairs, energy expenditures, and ways to increase efficiency. Become familiar with your chiller by evaluating its current condition. Has it been well-maintained and regularly inspected? Does the equipment appear to be operational, with all systems flowing smoothly? What are its typical measurements, such as the amount of power it consumes, its average core temperature, and other metrics?
Examining its control systems is equally as important. Does it utilize liquid cooling, or is it an air-cooled chiller? Has it been calibrated for maximum productivity? Have employees been properly instructed on maintaining and operating its systems for peak efficiency? Knowing the ins and outs of your commercial chiller is vital to ensuring it works at a sufficient rate.
Common Commercial Chiller Issues
An evaluation may uncover certain chiller problems, but many are fairly common. These can happen for several reasons, including user error, incorrect coolant sizing, or infrequent maintenance. Some of the most frequent incidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Pumping failure: Pumping issues can completely disrupt a chiller because of issues such as a broken valve, low coolant volume, or a mechanical error.
- Poor cooling: Just because a chiller is pumping doesn’t mean it’s cooling. A frozen evaporator or coolant fluid could prevent temperatures from increasing above the standard protocol.
- Startup errors: Chillers that don’t start like they are meant to often fail because of a blown fuse or faulty wiring.
While regular assessments can prevent or troubleshoot these problems, commercial services should be able to easily provide solutions.
Commercial chillers require regular maintenance and repairs to operate at a high capacity. With experienced chiller services, this is all but guaranteed. Read here to learn more:
Why Maximizing Commercial Chiller Efficiency Is Crucial
Chillers are incredibly useful pieces of machinery, without which many operations throughout the country would be unable to continue—but their energy consumption is astronomical. To put things into perspective, they account for 20% of all the energy used in North America.
Optimizing commercial chillers would not only benefit businesses by decreasing energy bills and capital expenditures, while increasing the longevity of their equipment, but it would also help the planet by lowering global carbon emissions and other pollutants.
Anytime companies can cut production costs, improve sustainability, and aid the Earth is a win.
5 Tips for Increasing Chiller Efficiency
1. Variable Frequency Drives
The motors of commercial chillers tend to be the largest electrical load in any building, using massive amounts of power. However, using variable frequency drives can minimize energy consumption. By controlling the frequency of power supplying the chiller, it can regulate motor speeds to adjust input frequency and voltage. This ensures that the motor only goes as fast as the demands on it require, rather than constantly spinning at a particular speed.
2. Increase Water Supply Temperatures
A majority of commercial chillers rely on a cooled water supply that circulates throughout the system to maintain consistent dehumidification and air supply temperatures. But doing so for long periods takes considerable energy, especially with a target range of 40-45 degrees. Raising the temperature of water supplies dramatically reduces the energy needed to regulate fluid to a refrigerant. Every degree change has a positive effect on the system’s optimization.
3. Sustain Optimal Refrigerant Levels
Because a commercial chiller’s efficiency is closely tied to its pump compressor, which sends the cooling agent throughout the entire system, it is prudent that chiller refrigerant remains at an optimal level. Watching for dramatic increases or decreases can assist in finding clogs or leaks, which clearing early on could help overall optimization.
4. Regular Maintenance
Conducting recurring maintenance on your commercial chiller is one of the best ways to guarantee that it continues running at peak efficiency. Doing so slows mechanical degradation and prevents breakdowns. Recording the system’s condition and measurements during these routine checkups can also make it easier to detect issues when they initially arise. But when it comes to repairs and preventative maintenance, letting a professional service handle things is likely best to avoid user errors.
5. Maintain Fluid Quality
Fluid quality plays a significant role in optimized chillers. Consistent cleaning of evaporator and condenser coils prevents them from becoming jammed and unable to function properly. With the correct fluid levels, you can ensure that these components don’t get clogged.
Kick Your Commercial Chiller Into Overdrive With A&G Piping
If you’re looking for a reliable service to assess your current chilling systems and get them running as efficiently as possible, you’ve come to the right place. A&G Services has provided its professional expertise for Texas industrial facilities for nearly 40 years. As chiller technology has continued to advance, we’ve grown alongside it, honing our skills and industry knowledge to provide our customers with the best possible results.
Give us a call for simple, high-quality maintenance and chiller repair services that guarantee success.