American Services heating and cooling installation in Webster Groves knows that chilled water cooling systems are found mainly in larger commercial buildings. Features that separate central chillers and air handlers include a network of pipes and pumps that connect all five major water cooled chiller system components.
Today only 18 percent of all US commercial building floor space is cooled by water cooled chiller systems. Currently around 39 percent of all buildings larger than “100,000ft2” contain typical water cooled chiller systems.
Standard water cooled chiller systems contain five components including; the air handling unit cooling coil, the chilled water pump, the chiller unit, cooling tower fan and the condenser water pump. A large matrix of pipes, pumps and connections tie this water cooled chiller system together.
In layman’s terms the typical water cooled chiller system operates by the air handling unit cooling coil that operates to trap building heat. The coolant/heat is routed to the chilled water pump which pumps to the chiller unit, the chiller unit then directs the flow water to the cooling tower fan. At this point the heat is expelled through the cooling tower fan cycling the cooling water then recycled to the condenser water pump where the water cooled chiller system begins all over again.
Chillers use one of four types of compressors: reciprocating, scroll, screw, and centrifugal. Design engineers have determined reciprocating chillers are the least efficient. Screw and scroll compressors are normally used in applications demanding up to 300 tons of cooling capacity. Centrifugal compressors are normally utilized in large building installations. A new type of centrifugal compressor design that employs magnetic bearing science is breaking the mold that serves the under-300 ton market.
Currently there are no federal minimum efficiency standards governing chillers, though the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers does provide efficiency specs.