Difference between Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled Chillers

Difference between Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled Chillers

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1 September 2022

You may or may not know but the industrial process typically generates a huge amount of heat. It should be dissipated if you want to keep the damage to sensitive equipment and prevent finished items at bay. This is the point where a chiller system comes in handy. When it comes to the types, you can pick between the air-cooled and water-cooled chillers. However, businesses that are new to this concept often get puzzled about these options. To help them, Tsur Ben David – a leader in the water and energy industry has explained the difference so that they can make a wise choice.

Continue reading for detailed information.

Important factors to consider while picking a chiller

Even though the main function of both the chillers is to remove excess and unwanted heat, the methods may vary. Before we talk about the main differences, you should consider the following to know which type will suit your needs the best:

  • Cost of the chiller
  • Condenser mechanisms of the chiller
  • Capacity range
  • Location and related considerations
  • Environmental conditions

Now, look at the following to know how these factors play a crucial role in the selection of a good and most-suited chiller:

  • Cost

The pricing of the chiller is one of the most important factors that can affect your decision. Here, the cost is not restricted to the chiller’s price but it includes the installation and maintenance costs too – Tsur Ben David. Apart from this, you should also take its operational cost into consideration. An air-cooled chiller is expected to consume more energy and it will result in higher bills. A water-cooled chiller, on the other hand, will not cost you more in this aspect.

  • Condenser mechanisms

This will also help you decide better on the chiller type for your facility. Air-cooled chillers generally use motorized blowers for forcing air to cool down the processes. But water-cooled ones work in a slightly different way. This chiller type moves the heat from refrigerant vapors and then water is pumped to the cooling tower. Based on how you want your chiller works, you can decide on it.

  • Capacity

Both the chillers have different capacity ranges. Therefore, the selection will depend on your precise needs. Air-cooled chillers have sizes between 7.5 and 500 tons, while water-cooled options fall somewhere between 10 and 4000 tons.

  • Location and related considerations

Again, the selection of the chiller will depend on your site plans, says Tsur Ben David CEO. Based on it, there could be some pros and cons of each chiller. For example, if you are buying a chiller to place indoors, then you can buy both types but you must keep in mind that air-cooled chillers need more ambient air to be operated properly. When you place such chillers in poorly ventilated indoor places, it will affect their efficiency and cooling abilities.

  • Environmental conditions

If your facility has higher thermal outputs, then it is better to go with water-cooled chillers. But when the temperature is higher, air-cooled chillers will not perform well because they will struggle to disparate the generated heat.

Closing remarks

While buying a chiller, you should also consider its longevity. A water-cooled chiller typically lasts for 20-30 years easily. But when it comes to air-cooled systems, they can easily stand strong for around 15-20 years. By keeping all these aspects in your mind, you can decide better on the type of chiller your facility needs.

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