Selection Creiteria for Water-Cooled and Air-Cooled Condensers for Use in Water Chillers
- Industrial water chillers are available with a choice of two types of refrigerant condensers: Water-Cooled or Air-Cooled.
- It is important to choose the right type of condensing medium for the environment the water chiller will operate in. Ill suited condensers may affect process cooling and thus affect production quality.
- Refrigerant condensers are necessary to remove latent heat from the high pressure refrigerant gas. This heat is introduced by the compressor.
- The condenser is an heat exchanger where refrigerant gas flows on one side and the condensing medium (air or water) flows on the other side.
- The latent heat from the refrigerant gas is transferred to the condensing medium.
- As the heat is transferred to the condensing medium, the refrigerant gas cools and “condenses” into a liquid.
- Low temperature liquid refrigerant is required to chill the process water.
- A basic example is where the facilities that do not have adequate water supplies from tower or city water supplies will find that an air-Cooled condenser is better suited than a water-cooled condenser because an air-cooled condenser does not require an external water supply.
- The condenser types are:
- These condensers use a tube and shell heat exchanger where plant waster circulates on one side and refrigerant on the other.
- These condensers use a fined tubed heat exchanger and motor driven fans or centrifugal blowers to move air through the condenser.
- Selection criteria are listed below as well as the Advantages and Disadvantage of each condenser type.
- Advantage can help with condenser selection and recommend if an air-cooled or water-cooled condenser is best suited for your industrial environment.
- Select a Water-Cooled Condenser ... If:
- Adequate water supplies are available from tower, city or well sources.
- Water supply is of good quality.
- Heat recovery is not practical or unimportant.
- Plant ambient temperatures consistently exceed 95°F.
- Ambient air is polluted with large dust and dirt particles.
- ADVANTAGE & DISADVANTAGES
- Offer lower capital investment.
- Operates more efficiently on hot summer days.
- Easier to operate.
- Does not offer summer ventilation.
- Select An Air-Cooled Condenser ... When:
- Adequate water supply not available from tower or well sources.
- Water supply is not of good quality.
- Heat recovery is practical and important.
- Plant ambient temperature will not consistently 95°F.
- Ambient air is not polluted with large dust and dirt particles.
- ADVANTAGE & DISADVANTAGES
- Somewhat more costly to purchase and operate.
- Gives less cooling on hot summer days.
- Consumes more electricity.
- Offers summer ventilation and winter supplement heating.
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