What do I need to consider when siting a chiller indoors?

Before purchasing a chiller, one of the first considerations must be where the chiller will be sited. Chillers are frequently sited next to the application, as this is the space available. When sited next to the application, it Is easy to check the set point of the chiller and make any adjustments required should the need arise.

Not only is siting a chiller indoors generally better for the health of the chiller, but it is also often the cheapest, and easiest option.

When installing pipework for a chiller, both travelling upwards and adding turns to pipework increase the pressure required within the water circuit. Travelling upwards can also add air pockets into areas of pipework that are difficult to bleed. Air in the circuit can cause cavitation in the pump. Usually, installing a chiller indoors allows for less complicated pipe runs. This means that the pump isn’t required to work as hard. A simple pipe run also lowers the chance of leaks.

When siting a chiller indoors, spillages and leaks can cause issues relating to health and safety. However, it is easier and quicker to see any leaks or potential issues. It is also easier to see the alarm lights and fill ports on the chiller, allowing the user to see if something is wrong at a glance. Chillers sited indoors are generally easier to access in the event of an issue, allowing for maintenance to be carried out quickly, minimising shutdown time.

As a chiller removes heat from the application process, it dissipates it into the environment. This is especially true of air-cooled chillers, where all heat removed from the process must be dissipated into the environment. As a rule of thumb, the total heat ejection into the room will be the load, plus 50%. It may be necessary to consider an upgrade to the buildings air conditioning system in order to manage the increased ambient temperature.

Chillers tend to have a longer life when kept indoors. This is because they are usually in a more controlled environment.

It is important to ensure that the area surrounding a chiller is kept clean, as an accumulation of dust around the condenser could lead to fan failure. Generally, indoor environments tend to be cleaner, with less contaminants, although this is not always the case. The chiller should be kept in a well-ventilated area, with ample room around the chiller to allow for heat dissipation. Inadequate ventilation will add to the wear of parts such as the motor and fan.

As the fans and motor of a chiller are constantly running, they generate noise. Due to noise pollution and the impact that it can have on residential areas, it may be inappropriate to site a chiller outdoors. It is possible to fit a noise cancelling enclosure to chillers sited indoors to minimise the noise produced.

During particularly hot weather, something that is more frequently being experienced during summer months, a chiller sited outdoors is at risk of overheating. In extreme cold temperatures, especially during the winter months, a chiller sited outdoors can be at risk of overcooling and freezing its heat exchanger (this can be mitigated by using proportional fan speed control).   

Applied Thermal Control Ltd.
39 Hayhill Industrial Estate, Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire, LE12 8LD.
Telephone: +44 (0) 1530 83 99 98
E-Mail: sales@app-therm.com
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