Many manufacturing and processing companies rely on industrial chillers to provide critical cooling for everything from machinery to finished goods. However, chillers consume more electricity than most other devices. These powerful systems are responsible for 20% of the total energy consumption in North America. Looking ahead, it’s more important than ever to figure out how to use industrial chillers more efficiently. This article will cover some tips and strategies for improving water and air-cooled chiller efficiency in 2023.

The Importance of Achieving Optimal Chiller Efficiency

Improving chiller efficiency can lead to significant savings on electricity bills. According to the Department of Energy, chillers use 30% more energy due to inefficiency. Energy consumption is one of the major contributors to carbon emissions.

Therefore, reducing the energy consumption of your industrial chiller benefits the environment by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. In addition, companies that can effectively use industrial chillers can gain a competitive advantage by reducing their production costs. This can ultimately help them become more profitable and sustainable in the long run.

How to Calculate Chiller Efficiency

There is a fairly easy formula that you can use for any chiller efficiency calculation. Chiller efficiency is measured in “COP,” which stands for “coefficient of performance.” The coefficient of performance is the ratio of the chiller’s refrigeration effect to the amount of electrical energy that goes into the machine’s system. Both of these units are measured in kilowatts (kW).

For example, if a chiller produces 3,000 kW of cooling while consuming 500 kW of electrical energy, its COP will be:

3,000 kW / 500 kW = 6.

This means that the chiller produces 6 kW of cooling for every 1 kW of electricity consumed.

For the imperial calculation, you first have to convert BTU to kW. If your chiller’s total cooling is measured in BTU, multiply it by 0.000293 to convert it to kW before using this chiller efficiency formula.

6 Tips to Maximize Chiller Efficiency

The following tips can help maximize the efficiency of your chiller:

1. Conduct Routine Maintenance

Keep a record of the system’s condition so you can easily detect any common chiller problems with the system. This will allow you to perform regular chiller maintenance to ensure that the unit operates at peak efficiency and reduce the likelihood of a breakdown. It is preferable to have a qualified technician perform the chiller repairs and preventative maintenance, particularly for tasks requiring technical knowledge, such as refrigerant handling.

2. Maintain Proper Refrigerant Levels

The efficiency of a chiller is closely related to how well the compressor can pump the refrigerant through the system. As a result, maintaining proper chiller refrigerant levels is critical to ensuring the compressor’s efficiency. Leaks are the primary cause of low refrigerant levels. Therefore, make sure to monitor changes in refrigerant levels so that you can detect leaks.

3. Have An Effective Water Treatment Program

Open cooling sources in chiller condenser water loops can cause fouling and damage to the tubes, piping, and other materials. These may pit the tubes and decrease their effectiveness. Therefore, it is critical to have a water treatment program in place. A cooling tower blowdown, for example, can assist in the removal of solids and contaminants. You can also carry out a visual inspection to ensure general water quality.

4. Don’t Neglect Fluid Quality

Chiller units have condenser and evaporator coils that require proper cleaning and monitoring. The chiller’s efficiency decreases when these components become fouled or clogged and are unable to work effectively. Therefore, maintaining the correct fluid concentration and quality is essential.

5. Add a Variable Speed Drive (VSD)

Chiller motors are usually the largest single electrical load in a building. Most constant-speed compressors match capacity to load by using inlet vanes, which restrict the amount of gas that enters the compressor impellers. However, this method isn’t very efficient at modulating chiller capacity. You can use variable speed drives to increase energy savings in the machine. They reduce the inrush current of the motor to nearly the same level as the amps used when operating at full capacity.

6. Increase Supply Temperatures

Most types of chillers are designed with a chilled water supply temperature to ensure proper dehumidification and an adequate supply of air temperature for occupant spaces during peak times. However, the system often fails to reach these peak weather conditions. Increased water supply temperature reduces the amount of energy required to transfer heat from the fluid to the refrigerant, resulting in higher water chiller efficiency.

Get the Most Out of Your Chiller in 2023

Cold Shot Chillers is dedicated to ensuring that your business has access to the most efficient chillers for your operations. Upgrade to our dependable air-cooled and water-cooled chillers, designed to maintain ideal temperatures for your goods and machinery while maximizing energy efficiency. Feel free to contact us today for more information about our high-efficiency chillers!