With recent headlines on our mind, we thought we would concentrate our latest blog around process cooling efficiency.
Cooling systems often account for the majority of energy consumption for a company. As a general rule in the US, industrial chillers use around 20% of the total electrical power generated - an incredible figure! Fortunately, not all cooling systems have to consume such high levels of energy and are far more energy efficient.
What exactly is meant by energy efficiency?
With regard to chiller systems, “energy efficiency” is the production of cooling power (usually measured in tons) with the lowest power usage (usually measured in kilowatts). Because chiller systems are complex entities many factors can affect system efficiency.
Chiller efficiency is obviously adversely affected by high ambient temperatures, however did you know that the same can be said of very low ambient temperatures.
In indoor installations, allowing an adequate supply of fresh air will aid the commercial chiller’s efficiency. Hot air discharged by the chiller’s condenser fan must be expelled away from the unit. Clearly, ventilation is usually far less of an issue with an outdoor location. However, to avoid excessive heat from the sun, it is best to place the chiller on the north-facing side of the plant in shade whenever possible.
In colder conditions, the chiller should be equipped with wind baffles, variable-speed fans or other head-pressure controls. Unless these elements are incorporated into the chiller construction, low ambient operation may cause low-head pressure and low-compression ratio, potentially causing the system to shutdown.
For the best chiller performance, know what the manufacturer’s acceptable ambient air temperature range is and aim to keep the chiller operating in these parameters.
One common maintenance area but often overlooked is the refrigerant – both the quantity and quality of the refrigerant affect the efficiency and overall long-term condition of a chiller. Low refrigerant levels cause the compressor to work harder, which uses more energy, and lowers efficiency. Low levels are often caused because of a leak – something that an experienced service provider such as BRS are specially trained to locate and rectify for a variety of chiller such as Daikin Chillers and York Chillers
Regular servicing is vital to maintain long-term efficiency and peak operational condition. Small measures such as control calibrations and sensor adjustments can have big impacts if not performed regularly. Get in touch with BRS today and find out more about our servicing and maintenance packages, and help save on those future energy bills.