Chillers are often the largest
strain on a company’s electrical load, putting them at the
top of the list of potential risks for unnecessary
consumption of excess energy. Ensuring that chillers are
operating at peak efficiency is integral to any industry, as
it helps to prevent an excessive amount of capital going to
waste every day.
Thankfully, the maintenance of chillers has advanced
significantly, in part due to the new developments in
centrifugal chillers with magnetic bearing chillers, as well
as the inclusion of innovative remote monitoring abilities.
Yet, maintaining these intricate devices can still be a
hassle without the proper knowledge. The following tips have
been collected to help professionals keep their chillers
Maintain a Flow Rate of 3 – 12 FPS for Chilled Water
One of the easiest ways to affect a chiller’s performance is
to adjust the chilled water flow rate. If you attempt to
keep the rate too low you encounter the risk of diminishing
overall efficiency and invite the threat of laminar flow. If
you must reduce the flow, avoid setting the rate below 3-ft.
per second to maintain a functioning system. Raising the
flow rate too high can also lead to issues, such as
vibration, noise, and tube erosion. Similarly, to prevent
these problems ensure that the flow rate does not exceed 12
ft. per second..
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Maintain Starter Operations
To protect the chiller from damage and to ensure the most
efficient use of energy, always inspect safety and sensor
calibrations on microprocessor controls. Electrical
connections and any switchgear related to the chiller should
also be checked and repaired, if needed. If you have a
history of insulation faults, begin testing electrical motor
windings for resistance to ground and winding-to-winding.
Variable Speed Drive Installation
As mentioned earlier, the motor in a chiller requires a
great deal of energy to operate. Variable Speed Drives, or
VSD for short, can help provide a great deal of savings. The
drives are able to recognize the level of operational
efficiency and adjust for maximized work. They also have the
added benefits or reducing mechanical shock when starting
the massive motor, which increases the machine’s life.
Tremper Longman is a long time
Carrier Rental System employee, who enjoys blogging
about various HVAC tips for professionals.