HVAC, Building Performance: Chiller Performance and Energy Usage

Chillers typically use about 50% of a facility’s electrical energy during the seasons when they’re in use, according to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPoorly maintained cooling towers reduce the chiller efficiency by 10% to as much as 35%; a dirty coil condenser can reduce efficiency by 5% to 15%, according to the agency.

Efficiency Technologies Inc. estimates that there are over 100,000 chillers in use in the United States, and inefficiencies among them cost industry billions of dollars in energy each year.

And these inefficiencies not only cost more in energy expenditures, they also affect equipment reliability, result in more frequent maintenance, and cause equipment to wear out faster, according to Efficiency Technologies.

Dirty chiller tubes will affect the operation of the system, and build up can foster the growth of Legionnaires’ disease bacteria and other organisms. How quickly chiller tubes become clogged varies with the type of system and the water quality.

An open loop system brings in water from an external source such as a river, which means contaminants such as minerals, salt, sludge and marine growth can also be brought into the system. Open loop systems should be inspected regularly.

Closed loop systems recycle the same water from a source such as a cooling tower and don’t require cleaning as often as open systems, but they are still subjected to airborne contamination from dust, dirt and mold spores.

A facility’s maintenance program should include chiller cleaning to keep the system operating at peak efficiency. The best times to clean systems are in the spring and the winter when the chillers aren’t in use. Whether your facility utilizes a closed or open system, a dirty chiller has to work harder, requiring more power and increasing energy costs.

Check out our How to Clean Chiller Tubes checklist for a step-by-step breakdown of the tube cleaning process. When tubes become clogged with deposits, using Goodway’s chiller cleaning tools will soften deposits and remove all build up.

Our tube cleaners clean both spiral enhanced and straight chiller tubes. Goodway was the first company to develop rotary tube cleaning technology.

Our RAM-4 has a cleaning tool mounted to the tip of a flexible shaft. The unit feeds water through the casing to the cleaning tool, flushing out deposits as they are loosened. The flexible shaft snakes through each tube, unaffected by any bends caused by sagging.

Goodway’s chemical descalers soften thick scale to make the cleaning process quicker, and regular descaling prevents future build up.

Watch this video to witness the spiral enhanced tube cleaning process:

Next Steps:


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