Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Green Cooling Can Reduce Electric Bill Substantially

When we talk to customers about “Green” cooling, we don’t mean the machine is green or the water is green. We are referring to chilled water for their process cooling that is “efficient” in its use of electricity. Going “Green” is very important today.

Many industries require 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit water provided by a refrigeration chiller. Usually, the machine is not touched by a maintenance person until a problem occurs with the equipment – or worse, it starts having a negative effect on the manufacturing process. This neglect can be costly – in many different ways.

For many customers, the requirement for chilled water is a year-round event, even though part of the year the outside temperature can be 10, 20 or 30 degrees Fahrenheit lower than required water temperature. Yet, the chiller is still running – creating “chilled” water. That’s a prescription for waste.

During the winter months, by not taking advantage of the ambient free cooling available, there can be as much as a 40 percent waste of power. Part of the reason for the problem is that equipment from five to eight years old is probably a piston-style compressor with simple, but inefficient, unloading systems, which causes considerable power to be used in part-load conditions.

Some solutions to the cooling problem
There are several things that can be done to determine if a process chiller system is really running “Green.” First, if the system is more than six to eight years old, a check of the controls will determine if the equipment is really unloading during low production time. Second, if the chiller is air-cooled, a check can be made monthly to see if the condensers are clean, to get the maximum heat transfer.

Finally, the system should be shut off when not in use. Most chillers consume from 15 to 20 percent of KWH when unloaded. These simple checks can have an impact on the “Green” aspects of a chiller.

Today, the latest technology lets Hope Air Systems reduce the KWH consumption as much as 50 percent through the use of variable speed drives, thermal expansion valve unloading, and other techniques that contribute to a “Green” cooling system. Contact Frank Lederer at FLederer@HopeAir.com