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Do You Know the Difference between Air-Cooled Chillers and Water-Cooled Chillers?

Aug. 18, 2022

Often asked to air-cooled, water-cooled which is a good problem, the next air-cooled chiller supplier will discuss with you to compare air-cooled and water-cooled how to choose combined with practical experience to do the following discussion.

Do you know the difference between air-cooled chillers and water-cooled chillers?

1.System structure

The air-cooled chillers unit adopts the air cooling method (fan cooling); the water-cooled unit adopts the cooling water cooling method, and the pump plus the cooling tower and circulation pipeline circulate the unit to cool down. From the installation of water cooling, it can be divided into two kinds: built-in water cooling and external water cooling. 

For built-in water cooling, it is mainly composed of radiator, water pipe, water pump and sufficient water source, which predetermines that most water cooling cooling systems are large in size and require sufficient space inside the chassis. Therefore, air-cooled units only need air-cooled condensers, i.e., fans. While water-cooled chillers need to be equipped with cooling towers, pumps and circulation pipes. Structurally, water-cooled is more complex than air-cooled.

Air Cooled Screw Chiller

 Air Cooled Screw Chiller

2.The scope of application

Air-cooled refrigeration units are suitable for regions with tight water supply; the longer the annual operating hours of the refrigeration system, the more favorable the use of air-cooled refrigeration units; the annual comprehensive cost of air-cooled refrigeration units is lower than that of water-cooled systems, but if the water-cooled system is managed properly, the annual cost of water-cooled units is lower than that of air-cooled systems if the water replenishment is controlled at 3% or less.

The air-cooled chiller unit adopts the air cooling method, which eliminates the cooling tower, cooling water pump and piping system essential to the cooling water system, avoids condenser scaling and water pipe blockage caused by poor water quality, and saves water resources, which is the most economical and simple type of refrigeration equipment for maintenance and repair.

Comparison of air-cooled and water-cooled requirements for the machine room

Water-cooled chillers

Water-cooled program in the cooling tower, cooling water circulation pump can be set on the roof of the open air, refrigeration machine system is generally required to be set in the equipment layer of the machine room. The foundation of the unit and chilled water pump should have sound insulation and vibration isolation treatment, and the room can be set in the basement or on the roof at any location.

Box Type Water Cooled Scroll Chiller

Box Type Water Cooled Scroll Chiller

Air-cooled chillers

In the air-cooled scheme, there is no cooling tower, no cooling water circulation pump, only the refrigeration unit and chilled water pump and piping system. The above equipment can be set up on the roof of the building, the equipment base only to take sound and vibration isolation measures can be taken, do not need a special room, does not occupy floor space, only need to put the net storage water in winter, completely open-air placement, which is also the biggest advantage of this kind of air conditioning program.

However, because of the number of chiller units selected, the self-weight and operating weight are large, and placed on the roof, the building structure is bound to increase the design strength, and because the units are placed in the open air, the four seasons wind and rain, the service life is much shorter than that of the water-cooled units placed in the machine room, and if it is in the coastal area, the sea breeze is strong and alkaline, and it is difficult to guarantee the quality of the units after running for several air-conditioning seasons.

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