Industrial chillers use a variety of cooling methods to cool areas or components down to a specific temperature. Each method has its ups and downs, which we’ve outlined below:
Evaporative coolers work by cooling air through the evaporation of water.
- The most energy-efficient – Evaporative chillers are very energy-efficient. In most cases, they can use 70% less energy compared to air cooled chilling.
- Cheaper costs – Evaporative chillers are cheaper to build overall. You can also save a lot on energy costs thanks to their energy efficiency.
- Increases humidity – In dry climates, evaporative cooling is great not only for cooling but also for increasing the area’s humidity.
- Requires a constant supply of water – Evaporation relies on water for cooling, thus, evaporative cooling may be impossible in some areas, particularly if water is difficult to obtain.
- Less cooling efficiency in high humid areas – Evaporative chillers lose most of their effectiveness in locations with high humidity and/or low temperatures.
- Increased humidity can be a problem – High levels of humidity can cause problems for moisture-sensitive equipment and items, and encourages the growth of bacteria and mould. High humidity also gives a feeling of being in a “swamp”, which most people find uncomfortable.
- Requires air circulation – Open circulation through windows or ducts is required to take advantage of evaporation.
Aside from evaporation, water can be used in another form of cooling called water cooling. Most chillers that use water cooling systems use closed loop systems to transfer and remove heat, while others use open loop systems which rely on cooling towers.
- Medium energy efficiency – Water cooling is more effective than air cooling, but less effective compared to evaporative cooling.
- Open loop cooling – If you require more efficient cooling but can’t use evaporative cooling for some reason, open loop cooling may be the choice for you. These are much more effective than closed loop systems, although it requires the installation of cooling towers. Open loop systems are also ideal if a ready supply of water is available nearby.
- Slightly more expensive construction costs – It depends on the system but water chillers are usually expensive compared to other types of chillers.
- Requires constant maintenance – There’s always the danger of a leak, corrosion or contamination, so regular maintenance (at least every year) will be required.
- Encourages biological growth – The presence of water provides a venue for mould and bacteria to grow.
Air cooling systems work by cooling the air directly and dissipating the heat to another location. They are widely used in chillers, refrigerators and air conditioning systems.
- Dehumidify – Compared to evaporative chillers, air-cooled chillers dehumidify the area instead. This means air cooling is great for areas with high levels of relative humidity.
- Does not need circulation – Unlike evaporative cooling, air cooling chillers do not rely on air circulation.
- Versatile – Air cooling chillers can be used in most situations or locations and may be the only available choice in some circumstances.
- The worst at energy efficiency – Air cooling industrial chillers are the least efficient in terms of energy efficiency and cost.
- Harmful to the environment – Industrial chillers that rely on air cooling may use vapour-compression refrigeration. This form of cooling uses refrigerants that are harmful to the environment, which depletes the ozone layer.