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

Whilst some ATC chillers are designed to fit underneath laboratory benches, many applications require higher cooling capacities delivered by multiple or larger units. Siting chillers outside can free up space within the working environment.

The cooling process removes heat from heat transfer fluids. This heat is then ejected into the surrounding environment. Siting chillers outdoors can eliminate the potentially costly need to upgrade existing air conditioning within the building to manage the heat ejected from the application process.

When siting chillers outside, it is important to consider any impact that that the environment may have on the chiller and take steps to provide protection.

Applied Thermal Control have an optional Mod for Outdoor Use, which will protect chillers from dust and water splashed from all directions, all but driving rain and pressurised water.

It is important to consider protection from direct sunlight as this may cause units to overheat during the summer months. Addition of frost protection will protect the chiller from lower temperatures during the winter months.

When siting chillers outside, the addition of a Qwikfoot Kit may be beneficial. A Qwikfoot Kit will raise the chiller 6 inches from the ground onto rubber and felt blocks. This distributes the weight of the chiller over a greater area, preventing it from toppling in winds. Any leaf debris will also pass underneath the chiller, preventing any overheating issues caused by a debris build up. If mounting a chiller on the roof, a Qwikfoot Kit will provide a stable and secure base for a chiller without any need to drill into the roof.  The addition of a Qwikfoot Kit also aids shelter installation.

The fans and motor of a chiller are always running. Whilst not a health and safety concern, they can generate unpleasant noise. Siting a chiller outside can make your working environment more comfortable. However, when siting a chiller outdoors in residential areas, it is important to consider the impact that any noise may have on neighbours. The installation of a fan speed control, either on/off, or proportional, may help to alleviate any noise issues by only running fans when necessary. 

When siting the chiller away from the application, it is important to consider communication between the chiller and application. Adequate communication can prevent potentially costly malfunctions from occurring by sounding an alarm in the event of an issue, allowing timely action to be taken.

Applied Thermal Control can supply RS-485 Communications as an option. RS-485 is a serial data transmission standard and when paired with a conductivity sensor, a pressure sensor, or a flow meter pack, it is possible for this information to be relayed to an external computer. It is also possible to alter the set point using RS-485 communications.

Another option is the use of Volt Free Connections to allow for monitoring of alarms in a less sophisticated manner, using 5 wires of D-sub 9pin to communicate flow, temperature, level and all-OK VCFs to be communicated via analogue signal. In cases of high flow, temperature within detectable range, or high level, the circuit will close, causing the signal to be sent.

It is also possible to add a remote stop-start to your chiller, allowing the chiller to be turned off from the application.

If siting the chiller at a different level to the application, such as on a roof, it is beneficial to add non-return/solenoid valves to the chiller. This prevents any back siphoning of heat transfer fluid into the chiller.

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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