What are water-cooled condensers? How do they relate to water chiller systems? This guide will go over how they work and other essential information you need to know.

What Are Water-Cooled Condensers?

A water-cooled condenser is a chiller component that removes heat generated by an industrial or commercial process. Condensers can be considered a form of heat exchanger, as they both serve similar functions. Therefore, water-cooled condensers are essentially heat exchangers that remove heat from refrigerant vapor and transfer it to the water running through it. A heat rejection loop is involved in the process, in which condenser heat is dissipated to the surrounding environment via water. The condenser’s inner workings are responsible for the effectiveness of this process. Its water-cooled design allows the condenser to function as a specialized heat exchanger, condensing hot, high-pressure gas from the compressor into a liquid.

Benefits of Water-Cooled Condensers

  • Quiet operation
  • Energy efficient
  • Long-lasting performance (with proper maintenance)
  • Higher rate of heat transfer
  • Quick and hassle-free installation
  • Shorter cooling time
  • Operates at low condensing temperature
  • Does not require external power
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Thermal energy recovery for use in other heating processes
  • Can be used for large capacity plants
  • Smaller in size
  • Can be housed indoors

In addition to water-cooled, there are also air-cooled and evaporative condensers. However, all condensers have a similar function, regardless of type. Their job is to cool a process or equipment by transferring heat away from a refrigerant gas.

How Water-Cooled Condensers and Chillers Are Related

An industrial chiller system’s condenser serves as a heat transfer device between a process and its external environment. Water-cooled chillers typically contain a condenser attached to a cooling tower. The most common types of water-cooled chillers use water from an external tower to cool the gaseous refrigerant in the condenser. Once the heat is expelled, the refrigerant will undergo a phase change into a liquid to be recirculated into the system.

Additionally, there are three basic types of commercial water-cooled condensers:

  • Tube in tube (double-tube) – In this type of condenser, water is pumped into the inner tube, and the refrigerant flows into the outer tube. Countercurrent flows are maintained to achieve high heat-transfer efficiencies.
  • Shell and coil – This type of condenser consists of one or more coils enclosed in a welded shell. It can be arranged horizontally or vertically and is generally the most compact and least expensive option.
  • Shell and tube – Water is pumped through the pipes while refrigerant flows into the shell. Installing fins in the shell can allow for better heat transfer. These condensers are cost-effective and relatively easy to maintain. They are also very common in large chemical processing plants.

Water-Cooled Condenser and Chiller Applications

Water-cooled condensers are utilized in a variety of popular industries, including medical manufacturingdairy productionfood processing, and brewing, to name a few.

Water-Cooled Condenser Applications

  • Drying
  • Process heating
  • Space heating
  • Domestic hot water (toilets, kitchens, showers, etc.)
  • Wash down systems
  • Boiler feedwater treatment

Using an industrial chiller to provide cooling has numerous benefits. Water-cooled chillers produce consistent pressure and temperature for your processes, simplifying your job. In addition, these units recirculate the cooling water, minimizing overall water consumption, reducing costs, and helping the environment.

Finding the Right Partner for Your Water-Cooled Chiller Needs

Is a water-cooled condenser suitable for chiller application? When you need help selecting the best condenser system for your project, you can count on us! Cold Shot Chillers is an industrial chiller manufacturer headquartered in Houston, Texas. With decades of industry experience, our team of experts can produce equipment with an endless list of options to meet every customer’s needs.

Choosing a chiller can be challenging, considering units range vastly in size and design. They are offered as localized, portable chiller units for smaller operations as well as large central chillers for cooling entire processes. Reach out to the industrial process cooling experts at Cold Shot Chillers to learn more about our wide range of engineered solutions. 

Contact us online today or call 1.800.473.9178 to get a custom quote.