If you work in an industrial plant, you may have come across a mechanical chiller. Chillers are components of an industrial cooling system that ensures the air in facilities is maintained at desirable temperatures. In any factory, the equipment therein usually generates heat and to prevent drastic wear, tear and melting of parts, it is essential to keep the temperatures low. These components are useful, mainly where cold water flows through within the particular machine moving heat from areas within to the outside to cool it off. Water or coolants are commonly used liquids in industrial chillers. So how exactly does your chiller work? Let us have a look.
In simpler terms, a circulation system is one that goes round and round without an end. How does this relate to the function of a chiller? A chiller moves heat from your equipment to somewhere else, usually, to the outside of your machine. What drives the heat? Water or a mixture of water and glycol move heat to and from the chiller. This process requires the chiller to have a storage and pumping system to keep the liquid flowing.
In many industrial chillers, the pumping system moves cold water or a mixture of water and glycol from the chilling unit to the equipment. This cold liquid expels heat from the equipment, and the warm liquid comes back to the chiller. The water is the platform by which heat moves from your machine to the chiller.
For your chiller to perform exceptionally, there must be a unique component known as the coolant. There is a wide variety of coolants on the market, and their functionality depends on your equipment’s temperature demand. The refrigeration cycle is the process whereby the coolant is transformed from gas to liquid and liquid to gas.
The refrigeration cycle usually starts with liquid or gas at low pressure accessing the evaporator. Here the coolants heat up and coverts from a lower pressure liquid to a lower pressure gas. This gas then enters into the condenser where it is converted into a high-pressure gaseous compound.
This gas then enters into the condenser where the air around the water gets rid of the heat to cool it to a high pressured liquid. This liquid goes into the expansion valve, then controls how much fluid coolant enters the evaporator, consequently starting the refrigeration cycle once more.
Inside the chillers, you will find two types of condensers. These are air and water-cooled. For the air condenser, the air is usually used to cool and ensure the hot gas condenses into liquid form. It can be found inside the chiller or outside the unit. Generally, it expels heat from the chilling unit to the surrounding air. In a water condenser, water cools and usually condense the coolant.
Regardless of your industry and processes, ensuring that you have adequate cooling is fundamental to efficiency and lower cost. Without chillers, your equipment will wear and be out of order within a short time.
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