What Are Closed-Loop Chillers?
Closed-loop chillers are used to exchange heat from industrial or commercial applications by running coolant through a closed-loop system. These chillers use various kinds of coolant, including water, glycol and oil-based coolants.
Many processes today rely on chiller systems that are closed-loop. For example, data servers run by large tech companies rely on air conditioning and water chillers to draw away heat generated by powerful electronic equipment. Both the air conditioner and water chillers are closed-loop systems due to the fact that they recycle the air and water used to extract heat. The air conditioner reuses the air, while the water chiller reuses its cooling water.
How Do Closed-Loop Chiller Systems Work?
A closed-loop chiller system reuses coolant instead of releasing it as waste. These systems prevent water and coolant from receiving direct air contact with anything outside the chiller system itself. This is a key difference between closed-loop and open-loop chillers, where the chiller is hooked up to a cooling tower that allows direct air-to-water surface contact. Without access to air, closed-loop chillers prevent airborne contaminants from infiltrating the cooling system.
Benefits of a Closed-loop Chiller System
There are many benefits for using a closed-loop chiller, chief among them being saving money and reducing waste.
Uses Less Water/Coolant
Water and coolant are resources that your processes gobble up. Due to the necessity of these materials in your cooling plan, expenses from coolant purchases can quickly multiply. Save on costs by reusing your water and coolant in a closed-loop system.
Takes Up Less Space
No one has unlimited space within their facility. Closed-loop chillers have the benefit of only taking up a small amount of space due to the lack of coolant feed and waste lines.
Uses Less Energy
Less pumps mean less equipment to power. Save on electricity costs and reduce the power load your facility requires by using closed-loop chillers in your cooling plan.
Precise Temperature Maintenance
By reusing water and coolant within the chiller system, temperature fluctuations are easily mitigated. Additionally, less power is used in bringing temperatures back to required levels, saving money on that end as well.
Saves Operational and Waste Costs
Reusing water and coolant also reduces costs associated with disposing of waste coolant. In some areas, taxes are imposed on businesses that generate waste. Avoid these expenses by using a closed-loop chiller system.
Adherence to Waste Regulations
Waste regulations are more commonplace than ever. The costs and manpower associated with adhering to these regulations can quickly lower your profit margins. By using a closed-loop chiller, nearly all waste is eliminated as well as the need to follow waste disposal regulations.
Closed-loop chillers require little day-to-day maintenance. On occasion they should be inspected for corrosion or deposit buildup within the chiller, but otherwise they run continually on their own.
Closed-loop chillers are not the perfect, end-all solution to cooling. Though there are many benefits to using them in your process cooling systems, it’s essential to consider where these chillers have their drawbacks.
Corrosion can be a problem due to buildup of material inside of the system. Such corrosion can result from things like glycol breakdown, mineral scaling and unfiltered deposits.
Potentially expensive treatment plans to ensure mineral or organic deposits don’t impact chiller efficiency. Part of your cooling plan needs to take into account when and how you intend to rid your equipment of deposits.
Are Closed-loop Chillers Right For Me?
For many, the benefits of using a closed-loop chiller system far outweigh the drawbacks. Adhering to environmental waste regulations, reducing business waste taxes and lowering operational costs are reason enough to consider using a closed-loop chiller system.
Most organizations, from small manufacturers to global corporations, are able to use closed-loop chillers within their facilities. They are extremely adaptable and can be fitted to replace existing chiller systems.
Far more important is what type of coolant you select for your closed-loop chiller system. Certain coolants in closed circuit systems have the potential to cause buildup within the system. Water, though commonly considered cleaner than coolants, can carry minerals that cause buildup in closed-loop water chillers depending on where your water is sourced. However, so long as you ensure that you have proper treatment plans in place, buildup shouldn’t be a worry.
Chiller Systems from North Slope Chillers
Your cooling plan for your facility is an important part of daily operations, ensuring proper temperature levels are adhered to and processes are kept from overheating. That’s why North Slope Chillers creates top-of-the-line, portable industrial chillers and Flux Wraps that meet your specific chilling needs.
Our products are made in the USA and built to last. We know how valuable your materials and equipment are and provide chilling that will extend the life of the valuables you need to protect. Reach out to our technical engineers to discuss closed-loop chiller options for your organization’s cooling plan.