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Where Are Chillers Used?

Oct. 12, 2022

Chillers have become an essential HVAC component in a variety of commercial facilities, including hotels, restaurants, hospitals, stadiums, industrial and manufacturing plants, and more. Typically, chillers help transfer heat from the internal environment to the external environment. This heat transfer device relies on the physical state of the refrigerant as it circulates through the refrigeration system. Of course, chillers can be used as the core of any central HVAC system.

How do chillers work?

Chillers move heat out of a space that needs climate control, just like traditional split systems or packaged units, but they do so using water (or an aqueous solution) rather than air. There are two types of chillers: water-cooled chiller and air-cooled chiller

They work in a similar manner for much of the process before the refrigerant reaches the condenser,which work in a similar way for most of the process before the refrigerant reaches the condenser. The following sections outline the working principle of water-cooled chillers and air-cooled chillers.

 Water Cooled Scroll Chiller

Water Cooled Scroll Chiller

Water-cooled chillers

The cooling process begins when water enters the evaporator from the main circuit, where heat is transferred from the water to the refrigerant.


The now cooled water is then sent through the main supply source to the tank, where it is distributed to the individual climate controlled spaces via pumps. As stated in the second law of thermodynamics, heat always changes from hot to cold, so the chilled water absorbs ambient heat from the conditioned space in the air handler. A fan then forces the cooling air through the ductwork into the space. The warm water is then returned to the chiller to be cooled again.


At the same time, the heat absorbed by the refrigerant in the evaporator needs to be transferred in order for the refrigerant to absorb more heat. The low pressure, high temperature refrigerant moves from the evaporator to the electric compressor, which increases the pressure and temperature.


After that, the refrigerant goes to the condenser. The water cooled chiller uses water to surround the refrigerant piping and draw in heat. The water is then pumped into a cooling tower to release the heat. After condensation, the refrigerant passes through an expansion valve to reduce pressure (and temperature) and then returns to the evaporator to start the process again.

 Air Cooled Scroll Chiller

Air Cooled Scroll Chiller

Air Cooled Chillers

As with water-cooled chillers, the process begins with a primary return that brings warm water into the chiller. The heat is transferred to the refrigerant in the evaporator, while the water reaches the cooling space through the main water supply system. The refrigerant passes through the compressor to raise the pressure and temperature and then reaches the condenser. 

Here, a fan circulates outside air through the condenser, which absorbs heat from the refrigerant (again, the second law of thermodynamics states that heat moves to cold) and then discharges this heat into the ambient air. The refrigerant then passes through the expansion valve (as before) and returns to the evaporator. Let us help you find the best chiller for your project. Welcome to contact us today or visit our website to learn more about chillers. 

Where are water chillers used?

  • Water chillers are used for a variety of purposes and are sometimes preferred over traditional split systems or packaged units because water conducts heat better than air. This is why water-cooled chillers are known for their more consistent and efficient performance as well as for having a longer service life than air-cooled chillers. Water-cooled chillers are commonly used in medium and large facilities (as long as they have an adequate water supply), such as airports, hospitals, hotels, shopping malls, commercial buildings, etc. 


  • Air-cooled chillers are more common in small to medium sized facilities where space and water may be limited. The cost to install and maintain these chillers is lower than water-cooled chillers, but they typically have a shorter life span. These chillers are commonly used in restaurants, corporate and sporting events, and temporary structures.


Chillers are also often used in industrial or medical applications. Assembly equipment, construction sites, lasers, MRI machines and a variety of other high-powered equipment and facilities may require chillers to maintain operating temperatures.

Jiangsu Huazhao Refrigeration Equipment CO., Ltd. is a manufacturing enterprise focus on high quality industrial refrigeration equipment research and development, production and sales. Our company various industrial chiller with competitive price include: Air cooled chiller; Water cooled chiller; Low temperature glycol/brine water cooled chiller; Heat pump hot water chiller; Maglev inverter centrifugal water chiller; Oxidation dedicated water cooled chiller.

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