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How Much Do You Know About Air Cooled Chillers?

Aug. 08, 2022

Air-cooled chillers are refrigeration systems used in commercial and industrial facilities to cool fluids and/or dehumidify air. They are used in a variety of environments, including hotels, corporate events, restaurants, sporting events, large buildings, industrial and manufacturing plants, etc. Our portable air-cooled chillers are perfect for one-time events or permanent infrastructure. They are compact, efficient, and easy to install and dismantle. This makes them ideal for supplemental, temporary or emergency applications.


While it's common to think of water-cooled chillers as more efficient than air-cooled chillers, that's only true if you consider only the cost of the compressor. If you look closely at variable speed controls and centrifugal compressors, an air-cooled chiller may be a better choice.


Portable Chiller

 Portable Chiller

How do air-cooled chillers work?

Air-cooled chillers actively absorb heat from the process water; they then transfer this heat to the air surrounding the chiller unit. This type of unit is typically used in areas where additional heat emission is not a problem, but rather as a benefit. For example, the extra heat can be used to heat the space in the winter at a lower cost than a conventional heating system.


The cycle begins with the evaporator, which has liquid refrigerant flowing through the evaporator tube bundle and evaporating there. During this process, heat is absorbed from the chilled water circulating through the tube bundle. The compressor then draws the refrigerant vapor from the evaporator. The task of the compressor is then to pump the refrigerant vapor to the condenser, which raises the temperature and pressure. The refrigerant condenses in the condenser tube, releasing its internal heat into the air or cooling water. The high-pressure liquid then passes through the expansion device into the evaporator; in the process, the refrigerant pressure decreases with temperature. To complete the continuous cycle, the refrigerant flows back to the chilled water coil and absorbs more heat.


Air-Cooled Chiller                                                                  

What is the difference between air-cooled chillers and water-cooled chillers?

Water-cooled and air-cooled chillers work in very similar ways. They both have an evaporator, a compressor, a condenser and an expansion valve. The main difference is that one uses air to fuel the condenser cooling and the other uses water.


- All chillers require basic maintenance to operate at optimal levels, but air-cooled chillers are easier and less expensive to maintain than water-cooled chillers.


-Air-cooled chillers do not require cooling towers or condensate pumps.


-Air-cooled chillers consume about 10% more electricity than water-cooled units; moist surfaces transfer heat better than dry surfaces.


Types of air-cooled chillers

- Stationary air-cooled chillers: Used when overheating is not a problem.


-Portable air-cooled chillers: These units are portable and just as practical as stationary chillers.


Arrangement of air-cooled chillers

Air-cooled chillers are usually located in mechanical equipment rooms or in areas of a building near the cooling point. In some industrial environments, chillers are placed next to the area they are cooling; this depends on the size of the chiller and compressor. In some cases, the chillers are placed outdoors. One of our cooling experts can help you determine the best placement for your air-cooled chillers.

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