Comparison of Central and Portable Process Water Chillers

  • chiller
  • Industrial water chillers are available as PORTABLE or CENTRAL. This FYI compares some of the differences between portable chillers and central chillers.

  • Portable and central water chillers have their place in the heat transfer market.

  • But if selected improperly or expected to perform beyond design specifications, then issues will arise along with operator frustration.

  • Although Central and Portable liquid process chillers are refrigeration devices for process cooling and heat transfer, they are two different breeds.

  • PORTABLE water chillers are designed to cool one use point.

  • CENTRAL chillers are designed to provide cooling water to an entire facility and servicing multiple use points.

  • Since the objectives of these chillers are radically different, they therefore, are different. In some cases portable chillers can be ‘modified’ with some standard options to act as a central chiller. However, the portable chiller does not and will not provide all the benefits of a central chiller.

  • Expand the items below to explore the comparisons between Maximum portable chillers and Titan central chillers.
  • OpenCloseRefrigerant Circuit
    • Quantity of Refrigeration Circuits
    • Portable Chiller : Single
    • Central Chiller : Multiple
    • Expandability
    • Portable Chiller : None
    • Central Chiller : Yes
    • Capacity Staging
    • Portable Chiller : 50%
    • Central Chiller : 15% - in some cases
    • Redundancy (i.e. backup)
    • Portable Chiller : None
    • Central Chiller : Yes
    • Air Discharge (Air Condensed Units)
    • Portable Chiller : Typically into Plant (1)
    • Central Chiller : Outdoors via outdoor condenser
  • OpenCloseWater Circuit
    • Quantity of Use Points (typical)
    • Portable Chiller : Single
    • Central Chiller : Multiple
    • Reservoir Capacity
    • Portable Chiller : Small
    • Central Chiller : Large
    • Fluid flywheel
    • Portable Chiller : Little, if any
    • Central Chiller : Large
    • Thermal Mass
    • Portable Chiller : Little, if any
    • Central Chiller : Large
    • Dedicated Evaporator Pump
    • Portable Chiller : No
    • Central Chiller : Yes
    • Dedicated Process Pump
    • Portable Chiller : No
    • Central Chiller : Yes
    • Low Flow Bypass
    • Portable Chiller : Required
    • Central Chiller : Not needed since evaporator pump
    • Pump Redundancy (i.e. backup)
    • Portable Chiller : None
    • Central Chiller : Yes
    • Larger Pumping Capability
    • Portable Chiller : Limited
    • Central Chiller : Relative Unlimited
    • Drain Back Prevention
    • Portable Chiller : Required (overhead piping kit)
    • Central Chiller : Vacuum breakers
  • OpenCloseInstrument
    • Controller
    • Portable Chiller : Single Circuit Control
    • Central Chiller : Multiple circuit control
    • Redundancy(i.e. back up)
    • Portable Chiller : None
    • Central Chiller : Yes
  • OpenCloseInstallation
    • Installation Requirements
    • Portable Chiller : Relative very little (2)
    • Central Chiller : A lot
 

Notes:

  1. A portable chiller can utilize an outdoor condenser also in lieu of fans or a blower.
  2. Installation costs for a portable chiller could be the same as a central chiller is used as a central chiller with multiple use points.

For more information about difference between Central and Portable water chillers call the Advantage Sales Department at 317-887-0729.

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