How Do Chillers work?

When you are searching “How Do Chillers Work?“you are likely learning how vapor-compression chiller’s work. How cooling towers work, or what a refrigerant cycle is? Keep reading to find out how these systems work.

Chillers use one of two methods, an absorption refrigerant cycle or a vapor-compression for cooling fluids for the heat transfer. Each type depends on three basic principles to work.

Liquid gets heated and vaporized, creating a gas. As gas is cooled, it is condensed to a liquid. By decreasing pressure of a liquid lowers the boiling point, while increasing the pressure raises the boiling point. Heat will flow hot to cold, always.

Basic Cooling Cycle

Both absorption chillers and vapor-compression have the same basic cooling cycle’s. They use liquid refrigerant which changes stages to gas inside an evaporator that absorbs the heat from water, which then gets cooled.

Refrigerant gas gets compressed with higher amounts of pressure by a generator or compressor, then converts back to its liquid state as heat is rejected through the condenser, expanding a lower pressure combination of liquid and vapors which then ends up back in an evaporator section. This starts the cycles over.

Vapor Compressor Chiller

Consisting of four main components, a vapor compression chiller uses a vapor compression refrigeration cycle. These components include the evaporator, compressor, metering device, and condenser.

Usually, vapor compression chillers will use either CFC or HCFC refrigerants to get the refrigeration effect. The force that drives a vapor compression chiller is the compressors, which acts like a refrigerant pump.

The compressor sends compressed refrigerant gases to the condenser which then rejects any heat energy to the air outside or cooling water of the system.

The heat transfer provides the needed refrigerant gas for condensing a liquid that gets sent to the metering device.

The liquid refrigerant flow is restricted by the metering device, which results in a pressure drop. This drop causes a change in warm refrigerant liquid so that it creates a gas which absorbs heat out of the water that is then cooled because of adiabatic flash evaporation.

Metering devices are placed so expanding refrigerant gases are contained inside the evaporator, which transfers heat energy between the water that needs to be cooled and into a refrigerant gas. The warmed refrigerant gas then goes back into the compressor to begin the whole cycle over, with the recently chilled water being in a separate loop and used for the cooling process.

Absorption Chiller

A heat source is used by an absorption chiller to drive refrigeration cycles in the place of mechanical compressors. Two fluids are used for the absorption chillers, including a refrigerant that is often water, and an absorbent which is often ammonia or a lithium bromide mixture.

The absorption cycle separates and recombines these liquids, where the lower pressures allow the water to change phases easier than usual, with a high affinity of the liquids promoting easier absorption.

This cycle starts with a combination of liquid absorbent and refrigerant water which gets heated at higher pressures, boiling water from the solution. Then, the vapor from the refrigerant water gets sent to the condenser coil, heat is rejected and condensed to a high pressure liquid. This liquid then gets put through the lower pressure evaporator using the method of adiabatic flash evaporation to convert it back into a gas, which absorbs heat from the water which is to be cooled. The liquid absorbent is now concentrated in the generator, and gets recombined with a lower pressure refrigerant vapor that is returned by the evaporator, and the cycle starts over.

Cooling Towers

Heat energy which was absorbed by the chiller process then needs to be rejected from the system, back into the atmosphere. Usually, cooling towers are used for lowering water temperatures within a larger chiller system, also known as evaporative heat rejection devices.

Phoenix Valley Chiller Maintenance

Chiller Maintenance keeps equipment in good condition, operating more efficiently, and saves money by using less energy. All Kote Lining, Inc. offers chiller maintenance and repair to the Phoenix Valley. We keep chillers and cooling towers operating at their highest possible performance. Refurbishment is one of our services which saves companies and municipalities significant operating costs in comparison to needing cooling tower or chiller replacement. Get in touch with All Kote Lining, Inc. to learn more about what we can do for your chillers and cooling towers.

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