The role of an industrial chiller is to keep equipment cool. The name chiller is a misnomer as it doesn’t actually cool the machine but instead removes the heat. It does this by turning the warm liquid into a vapor and then back into a liquid again and releasing the heat. By going through a process that includes refrigeration, evaporation, compression, and condensation, facilities are able to cool their equipment quickly and effectively. Here are the four steps involved when using industrial chillers systems.
The first step of the process is absorbing the existing heat produced by the equipment. This part of the process is known as refrigeration. Coolant, or refrigerant, is pumped through the process which removes the existing heat from one side of the system and lowers the temperature before shifting it to the other side. The purpose of this part of the process is to capture the heat that exists inside the equipment when it runs.
Once the heat from within the equipment has been captured, it evaporates with assistance by either water or air, depending on whether the system is using a water-cooled or air-cooled chiller. Having been absorbed into the refrigerant, the heat is carried into the evaporator. The refrigerant then evaporates which transfers the heat from a liquid source into a vapor. The coolant then becomes cooled before the heat transfers back to the newly-cooled refrigerant.
The purpose of the compressor is to lower and then raise the pressure of the refrigerant. First, it lowers the pressure so that the system is able to absorb the heat. Then it raises the pressure back up again high enough that the heat can be released into the condenser. The compression process prepares the refrigerant to exit the system while in the condenser, finishing the cycle.
The final step in the cooling process is condensation. Once the refrigerant reaches the condenser, the temperature is lowered, allowing the vapor to turn back into a liquid. The now liquid-form refrigerant transports the heat away from the system by either air or water. Once the condensation portion of the process is finished, the remaining liquid moves back to the evaporator where the cycle begins again and continues to repeat itself.
Cooling equipment within a facility allows that equipment to last longer and be more efficient. Industrial chillers systems don’t directly cool equipment, but it extracts the heat produced by the equipment to lower its temperature.