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How Does a Cooling Tower and Chiller Work Together?

Jun. 21, 2023

If you need a system that can effectively cool a food processing unit or power plant, the two main types of system that can be used for a variety of cooling purposes include chillers and cooling towers. While both systems are designed to remove any heat from a liquid before it is used as a coolant, you should be fully aware of the distinct differences between the two systems.


A cooler is a relatively basic system in which heat is removed directly from the coolant before it is transferred to the surrounding air, which is essential to the cooling process. As for the cooling tower, the system is designed to remove heat from any water discharged from the condenser unit. Although these systems provide similar results, the subtle differences between the two are the reason why chillers and cooling towers are often used for different applications.


If you choose the wrong type of cooling system for your application, it may not cool correctly, thus reducing the efficiency of your system. A more detailed guide to the differences between chillers and cooling towers is provided below, which should help you make the right choice when selecting a cooling system for your power plant or food processing plant.

Air Cooled Scroll Chiller

 Air Cooled Scroll Chiller


Chillers vs cooling towers: the main components

When you are trying to decide which of these two systems is right for you, you may want to look at the different types of components used in chillers and cooling towers.


When looking specifically at chillers, these systems consist of just three separate components, including the compressor, evaporator heat exchanger and condenser heat exchanger. Due to the simplicity of these units, it is easy to determine which component has failed if a problem arises during the cooling process. The main objective of the heat exchanger is to effectively remove heat from the liquid before it is sent back to cool the industrial process.


As for cooling towers, they consist mainly of a pump and a water tank. When you use a cooling tower, the pump delivers water throughout the facility to cool the area. Regardless of the type of cooling tower you use in an industrial application, a cooling stream is created when the pump allows water to circulate through the tower. A distribution basin used in conjunction with the cooling tower will collect all the water that is discharged.

Box Type Water Cooled Scroll Chiller

Box Type Water Cooled Scroll Chiller


Chillers vs. cooling towers: uses and applications

While it is possible to use chillers and cooling towers in the same industry, it is important to pair the correct equipment with your specific industry if you want to maximise efficiency and reduce costs. Uses and applications for chillers include


Refrigeration applications

Plastics industry applications

Distilleries and small breweries

Metal finishing and water jet cutting applications

As for cooling towers, these cooling systems are typically used in the following applications.


Power plants close to rivers and lakes

Larger mechanical processes that generate large amounts of heat

Thermal power stations

Oil and gas refineries


The higher efficiency of cooling towers makes them more suitable for larger applications where large amounts of cooling are required. Cooling towers are often used in any plant that requires a continuous cooling flow of water. Chillers are used for smaller applications that are not directly affected by additional heat emissions.


Water Cooled Screw Chiller

 Water Cooled Screw Chiller

How chillers and cooling towers work together

Power plants Whichever type of cooling tower or chiller you want to use, one of the best aspects of these systems is that they are available in a number of different sizes. So it is actually possible to combine a smaller chiller with a smaller cooling tower. If you are using one of these systems for a smaller application or piece of equipment, you can pair a water or air-cooled chiller with a portable cooling tower mounted directly on the roof of an industrial building. However, it is also possible to use larger chillers in combination with cooling towers, which is usually done with water-cooled chillers.


If you want to use these systems in a small brewery or power plant, combining a large chiller with a large cooling tower can result in efficient cooling. If you have the budget to cover the upfront costs of both systems, then you should save a lot of money in the future. If you are using these systems in a power plant, you can create a central cooling facility by placing water-cooled chillers on the lowest floor of the building or air-cooled chillers on the roof. The cooling tower should always be on the roof to ensure that the heat is properly dissipated in the air.


Understanding chillers and cooling towers for your business

When choosing a chiller or cooling tower for your food processing plant or power plant, it is important to understand the difference between chillers and cooling towers if you want to choose the right system for your application. If your brewery requires an industrial chiller, there is no need for you to use a large naturally ventilated cooling tower as you do not need a constant supply of chilled water throughout the brewery. The type of system you choose depends on factors such as your water source, the amount of cooling required, your budget and the space you have available.


As mentioned earlier, it is actually possible to use chillers and cooling towers together to increase cooling efficiency. The decision you make depends entirely on your cooling needs. If energy efficiency is important to your company, then it is well known that chillers are usually less efficient than cooling towers. With this information in mind, you can make an informed decision.


To learn more about the differences between chillers and cooling towers, talk with our specialist or visit our web site https://www.huazhaochiller.com. Huazhao Refrigeration Equipment can help you to identify the best solution for your application.

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