A commercial water chiller is a cooling system used for removing heat from water, contrary to general belief that these machines cool water, such as a refrigerator. In most cases, commercial water chillers are the largest electric load in a plant. But factor in leaking refrigerant, pump problems, fouled tubes or numerous other factors can quickly increase the operating costs by up to 10%. To save electric energy and maintenance costs, you need to ensure your commercial water chillers to operate at their peak performance. This requires proper maintenance.
Do you know how to maintain your water chillers and ensure they are operating at peak performance? Here are few ways that can help you ensure high efficiency.
Keep a Daily Log – Keeping a daily log is one of the most effective ways to maintain your commercial water chillers. Write your daily operations and operating conditions, such as temperatures, pressures, fluid levels, flow rates, etc., and start building a history of your chillers. The highly advanced remote monitoring technologies can help you inspect your equipment regularly, eliminating the need of monthly check ups. And since it will help you identify any maintenance need, you can deal with it before it becomes a major problem.
Have the Tubes Clean – Since the transfer of heat is the most important performance factor, you must have the tubes clean. The tubes may contain a variety of contaminants that can increase the thermal resistance and impact the performance of your commercial water chillers. Therefore, check the tubes regularly and keep them clean by brushing them on yearly basis or according to your maintenance schedule.
Install Variable Speed Drives – As aforementioned, commercial water chillers are the largest electrical load in most plants. This means they consume a lot of energy to work properly, which is something you want to avoid. To save on energy by increasing the motor efficiency, you should use variable speed drives. These drives also decrease the inrush current for start-up of the motor.
Maintain a Suitable Refrigerant Charge – The amount of cooling commercial water chillers provide depends on how much refrigerant they move through the compressor. Maintaining a proper level of refrigerant for particular conditions is very important for the performance of chillers. If there is a refrigerant leak or some moisture or air in the system, the efficiency will decrease. Also, the chillers will work harder for less cooling.
Treat Condenser Water – The condenser water that uses open cooling sources requires some treatment in order to eliminate scale or corrosion. Treating the condenser water is very important, because any kind of condenser-related problem can decrease the effectiveness of commercial water chillers. Check the chiller water loops annually with remote monitoring for water quality improvement and increased efficiency.