Chillers in Birmingham AL
Chilled Water System
Chilled water systems work much the same way as direct expansion systems work except they used chilled water in the coil rather than refrigerant. Chilled Water Systems can be rather complex and while many systems are found in commercial chiller and industrial chiller applications, there are some chilled water systems used in residential applications.
A typical chiller uses the process of refrigeration to chill water in a chiller barrel. This water is pumped through chilled water piping throughout the building where it will pass through a coil. Air is passed over this coil and the heat exchange process takes place. The heat in the air is absorbed into the coils and then into the water. The water is pumped back to the chiller to have the heat removed and make the trip back through the building and the coils all over again.
The chiller basically removes heat from the water so that it may be used as a refrigerant to remove heat from the building. Chillers range in size from smaller than 5 tons all the way up to several hundred tons.
Many chillers have cooling towers where the heat removed in the chiller barrel is transferred to another barrel. It is the condenser barrel where the refrigerant is condensed and sent back to the evaporator barrel to remove the heat. The process is in reverse in the condenser barrel. The water absorbs heat from the refrigerant and allows it to condense.
The water is then transferred to a cooling tower where the heat in this water is removed to the atmosphere. Once the heat is removed from the water it is pumped back to the chiller barrel to absorb more heat from the refrigerant. Some chillers do not have a condenser barrel to remove the heat. The refrigerant is pumped into a condenser coil where a fan blows across the coil and removes the heat. These chillers are less expensive to purchase upfront but not as efficient to run as those with the condenser barrels. The upfront costs are less but the energy costs are more over the long run. One bonus to an air cooled chiller is that it does not require a cooling tower and therefore there are no maintenance costs associated with maintaining a cooling tower.