Your equipment will age over time. This is a basic fact of the universe we live in. But what can you do about it? Here are three maintenance tips to help! Although it can’t stop wear and tear, you’ll reduce unexpected downtime, save money, and improve efficiency by taking care of your chiller on a regular schedule.
Before we get started, let’s define what a chiller is.
Industrial-scale chillers use three primary methods to remove heat: a vapour-compression refrigeration cycle, an absorption refrigeration cycle, and an adsorption refrigeration cycle. A working fluid (such as water) is vapourised in all three methods. The vapour is condensed using either a mechanical compressor or cooling coils, then re-condensed, removing heat from the process stream. Each type of cycle has its pros and cons.
There are many different types of chillers, from small residential rooftop units that can handle a few tons to large industrial ones that contain, in some cases, hundreds of tons of refrigerant. A chiller’s primary purpose is to remove heat from some process stream (such as hot wastewater) that needs to be cooled to maintain some threshold temperature.
The key to a long-lasting chiller is proper maintenance. Today, let’s explore some essential hacks that your facility should start doing. Here’s what you need to know:
Track Daily Operations
The first step to ensuring a chiller is working at maximum performance is tracking daily usage. If you’re using the unit for cooling hot water or wastewater, you’ll want to follow the discharge temperature. If you’re using the unit for heating, you’ll want to track the temperature at the heat sink. You can use a temperature logger to record these daily readings.
Looking at the data from one day can give you a general idea of whether the chiller operates efficiently. But it’s more important to examine a three- to five-day usage trend, especially if the unit is new. By looking at longer data periods, you can compare operating temperature to ambient temperature. Ideally, the unit should be operating close to the ambient for heating and cooling.
Clean It as Often as Possible
You should clean your chiller as often as possible. This will help ensure that the unit runs efficiently and that the seals, compressor, and other components aren’t contaminated.
The best way to do this is to use compressed air. Try to avoid using any chemicals or cleaners. You can buy an air compressor or rent one from a local tool shop. You can also rent a small propane-powered jet engine. This device will deliver a high-pressure air stream to blast away any dirt or debris on the chiller. It’s like a very high-powered version of a leafblower.
Mind the Condenser Water
The condenser water gets dirtier and dirtier over time. It’s key to keep it clear of sediment and other contaminants. You can do this by flushing the unit with clean water immediately after a batch or system shutdown. This will help reduce the build-up of dirt and sludge.
You should also pay attention to the water feed lines. These are usually copper, and copper corrodes if not appropriately maintained. You can purchase copper coatings that can be applied to the feed lines to protect them from oxidisation.
The Bottom Line
These tips should help you manage your chiller better, ensuring that it works at its maximum efficiency. By following these steps, you will reduce unexpected downtime and save money. This will also improve efficiency and ensure that the chiller continues to run at peak performance.
If you are looking for commercial chillers, we can help you. Here at London Climate Hire, we are HVAC specialists providing the complete Turnkey rental solution. We supply boilers, chillers, heaters, portable air-conditioning, generators, and ancillaries. Contact us today to learn more and get started!