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What To Look For In A Custom Chiller

Making standard equipment work efficiently and meet all your cooling requirements isn’t always a simple task. Of course, the system might be technically available, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a perfect fit for your application. And when that’s the case, efficiency and reliability suffer greatly.

Partnering with process cooling experts will help you choose the best solution for cooling your facility. Sometimes, it’s an off-the-shelf air-cooled chiller and sometimes that standard unit needs some slight modifications for it to suit your application demands. At times, complete customization is necessary.

Custom chillers are typically available from a cooling capacity of 0.25 tons to 60 tons in standard configurations. And the good news is that these standard configurations can be fully customized to meet your facility’s unique demands. Keep reading to learn more about custom chillers, how to choose the best model, and what modifications can be made to enhance productivity.

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Corrosion resistance –By utilizing stainless steel frames plus covers, you can prevent corrosion of the chiller unit. However, specialized materials are also available, including cupro-nickel and plastic piping. Just be sure to choose chiller materials that are both affordable and efficient.

Specialized configurations – If your application needs a unique physical configuration, you may want to consider investing in a custom chiller. From https://northslopechillers.com/custom/. For instance, your special workstation arrangement might need a tailor-made chiller system for cooling high-speed spindles. There are unique configurations that include exceptional designs to fit into your system. It all depends on what exactly you want and how much you’re willing to spend.

Automated controls – Some chillers units incorporate remote sensors that monitor process parameters and regulate heat to make the process more efficient. Remote controls allow for the placement of chillers in distant locations, while the controls remain in a more convenient position.

Electrical specifications – Explosion-proof electrics are essential for situations where the chiller must operate in hazardous environments. Where harsh conditions are always prevalent (Div.1 specification), special electrical equipment is mandated. And where harsh conditions aren’t prevalent (Div.2 specification), pressurized electrical enclosures provide the required safety at a reasonable cost.

Dual refrigeration systems – Dual compressors can be fitted to chillers that are commonly used in applications with widely varying loads and where back-up or redundancy is important.

Standard options – A custom chiller can include special paints and colors. Plus, it features special instrumentation, outdoor installation packages, digital/analog control, as well as special temperature controllers. There are also additional safety switches for low-flow, high temperature, low temperature, and low water pressure.

How to Pick the Right Custom Chiller for Your Process

Heat is a common by-product in today’s manufacturing operations, including those involving the use of advanced automation technology. Components such as x-ray sources, spindle motors, lasers, and variable frequency drive all require sufficient cooling to operate properly and reliably.

With the limited amount of manufacturing space, machine packages have become extremely smaller and liquid cooling has emerged to be an efficient and economical way of removing process heat. Ideally, liquid cooling is well-adapted to harsh environmental conditions, where it provides an effective means of removing heat from the machine and not dispersing it back to the environment.

Different industrial settings have different cooling requirements. This guide will help you choose the perfect chiller for your application.

Calculate the Heat Load

Before purchasing a chiller for your application, it’s extremely important that you determine its heat load. You want to make sure that you choose a model that’s perfectly suited for your intended process.

There are several ways through which you can determine the heat load, but understanding the process is crucial to calculating an accurate heat load.

Determine the Coolant Type

Once you’ve determined the heat load, go ahead and select the right type of coolant, its target temperature, as well as the desired flow rate. This is often determined by the method through which the heat is transferred from your process to the coolant as well as the type of coolant being utilized. For instance, water has numerous characteristics than oil.

Evaluate the Installation Environment

Are you planning to install the chiller in an indoor or an outdoor setting? Indoor applications often experience high temperatures plus dirty atmospheres, whereas outdoor installations can experience both low as well as high ambient temperatures. And this can significantly affect the chiller sizing and even require accessories like sump heaters and air filters.

Utilize Chiller Performance Curves

You could as well consider using the available chiller performance curves to choose a model that meets the required process capacity. But this will solely depend on the highest expected air temperature and the chilled water supply temperature. Always give consideration to your application’s safety margin with respect to available frame sizes so as to optimize the value of chiller selection.

With the right custom chiller, there are so many things you can do; minimize health risks, avoid equipment damage, boost productivity, and improve profitability. No industrial application is complete without proper cooling. So, be sure to invest in a high-end chilling system that’ll deliver the required cooling capacity for your process.

Check Pump Performance Curves

Ask the manufacturer for the pump performance curves and ensure that the model you’re considering will provide sufficient pressure to satisfy the demands of your application. Certain liquid-cooled systems feature small coolant flow paths while others come with longer distances that can have greater pressure losses. So, be sure to shop around for a custom chiller that serves all your application demands. You also want to make sure that the system is cost-effective because you really don’t want to break your bank at such a time when you’ve so many projects to implement.

Conclusion

When it comes to industrial applications, custom chillers are the ultimate solution. They’re flexible, efficient, and can be tailored to fit your specific needs. But before purchasing one, start by determining the heat load, coolant type, and flow rate. You can do this with the help of chiller performance curves as well as pump performance curves. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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