Watch Out For These "Chilling" Enemies

Posted on: 15 December 2016

An industrial energy management plan is a must-have for today's business owners. Being that chillers are among the largest consumers of electric power in the industrial set-up, strategies aimed at increasing chiller efficiency should be a prominent feature of your energy management plan.

Industrial chillers become less-efficient for a number of reasons. This article explores a few of these reasons.

Misconceptions And Poor Operational Practices

The thought that increasing the amount of water flowing through a chilling system will increase the quantity of cool water delivered to an industrial premises is an example of a common misconception. An excessive rate of water flow could easily be detrimental to chiller efficiency. A higher rate of flow means that there'll be more aggressive contact between the water and the tubes within the chiller. Such aggressive contact is known to accelerate the rate of tube erosion, thereby encouraging the possibility of their premature failure.

Thus, chiller operators could easily adopt poor operational practices based on such misconceptions.

Erratic Maintenance

Commercial chilling systems are subjected to rigorous and often continuous work cycles. Chiller efficiency during these cycles is dependent on the system's ability to transfer the maximum quantity of heat possible with minimal heat loss during the process.

 Actual transfer of heat in the chilling system takes place on evaporator and condenser tubes. The rigorous work cycles encourage the development of scale on these tubes. Scaled tubes can't have the operational efficiency of tubes that are spick and span. Regular maintenance (e.g. cleaning of heat exchange surfaces) is the most effective way to prevent development of scale within the system.

Unfortunately, many industrial plants downplay the importance of observing a strict maintenance schedule for their chilling equipment in a bid to cut down on operational costs.

Delayed Repairs/Replacements

Regular maintenance will extend the life of various chiller components. However, each component has a definite shelf life. As they get closer to their shelf life, the various components create the need for more frequent repairs and/or replacement of various parts of thee chilling system.

Delayed repairs are often responsible for the eventual failure of industrial chillers. The one-time cost of repairing/replacing defective components of a chilling system in good time is nothing compared to the financial implications of bringing a failed system back to life or that of purchasing a new system.

Even more important is the fact that you ought to hire a certified HVAC contractor to perform the chiller repair.

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