Industrial chillers are typically a plant’s largest energy expense. However dirty tubes, leaky refrigerant, and poor industrial chiller maintenance and care can quickly add another 8-10% to these already astronomical costs. How can you safeguard industrial chiller performance and your bottom line?
10 Tips for Industrial Chiller Maintenance & Efficiency
Keep a daily log, including operating conditions, temperature, pressure, fluid levels, and flow rates. This will allow you to follow trends and identify issues before emergency commercial heating and air conditioning repair services are necessary. Pair with remote monitoring technology for up-close monitoring.
- Clean it.
Clean tubes facilitate the most efficient heat transfer. Contaminants such as scale and mineral buildup, mud, and algae effect how chiller systems work, thwarting heat transfer and robbing performance and efficiency. Look for higher approach temperatures as a sign decreasing deficiency, cleaning tubes annually, at a minimum.
- Treat it.
The best commercial HVAC mechanical contractors in Philadelphia know, incorporating water treatment measures to eliminate scale, corrosion, and biological growth reduces maintenance and upholds efficiency.
- Chill out.
Lowering the temperature of water entering the chamber vastly improves chiller efficiency.
- Go with the flow.
A chilled water flow rate of 3-12 feet-per-second is best for prime operation. Too little and you run the risk of laminar flow, too much and vibration, noise, and tube erosion will result.
- Charge it.
A proper refrigerant charge from an HVAC service in Philadelphia is essential to chiller operation, as cooling is dependent upon the refrigerant moving through the compressor. Leaks decrease efficiency, forcing your system to work harder and producing less cooling power. Refrigerant leaks also introduce air and moisture into the system that further gum-up operation.
- Purge it.
Non-condensables such as air and water in the system reduce chiller performance as much as 4% at 60% load, and as much as 7% at 100% load. Purging minimizes these effects.
Sending a sample of lubrication oil off to the lab for spectrometric chemical analysis once a year can help you determine problems in the system, and when it’s time to change the oil in the hermetically sealed unit.
- Monitor operation.
The operation of your chiller should be regularly checked to ensure proper, efficient operation, including the inspection of:
- Starters and motors.
- Safety/sensor calibrations of microprocessors to manufacturer recommendations.
- Wiring, connections and switchgear for hot spots/worn contacts.
- Electrical motor windings for insulation resistance to ground.
- Shaft seals and open drive motors for refrigerant leaks.
- Air vents and cooling capacity.
- Be flexible.
Opting for variable speed drive chiller motors for significantly improved efficiency and less energy waste. This also improves operation for chillers operating on backup generators, offering a softer start and lower in-rush of current.
Monthly energy bill a budget buster? Get to the source of the problem with the help of the expert services of H&H Commercial HVAC. Contact us to schedule your chiller maintenance and inspection today.