How to save tens of thousands of dollars on your next chiller project

Energy savings is rarely overlooked when installing large mechanical equipment, like chillers. But waterside economizers seem to be out-of-sight, out-of-mind. So we bring this information to you to hopefully help you save a lot of money on your next chiller project. One of the biggest benefits of waterside economizers is the massive energy savings for a building owner. In many cases this energy savings is in the tens of thousands of dollars per year depending on the size of the chiller and a few other variables like energy cost and run time. 

First, you might be wondering which applications are best for this type of upgrade. The short answer is anywhere that cooling is required most of the year. Here are some applications in that could find this solution beneficial:

  • Data Centers
  • Healthcare
  • Process Manufacturing
  • Grow Facilities 
  • Mission Critical

Next, how does it work?

At the factory, water coils are installed against the DX condenser coils, and are piped in through a header system and a 3 way valve. Once in operation, as the ambient temperature drops just 2 degrees below the return water temperature, the return water is diverted to the water coils BEFORE the water enters the chiller evaporator (plate or barrel depending on chiller). This allows the cold ambient temperature to cool the return water instead of running compressors and therefore saves energy. 

Benefits for these applications (and applications that require cooling most of the year):

  • Huge energy savings
  • Reduced compressor run time
  • Reduced electrical consumption
  • Extends component lifetimes
  • Reduces downtime 

This portion of the article is not meant to be an advertisement for Quantech, but here are some noteworthy benefits of the Quantech waterside economizer solution (which may or may not be available with other manufacturers):

  • Free cooling design allows the chiller to START/STOP & remain online and active in ambient temperatures below -20°F.
  • The intelligent controls, which can be monitored through a building automation system, activate free cooling whenever the outside air is 2°F below the temperature of the return water.
  • The compressors are turned off completely once the outside air is cold enough to generate full capacity.
  • VSD condenser fans allows us to modulate fan speed when ambient temperatures drop below the 100% free cooling setpoint. Which seamlessly controls to a constant leaving water temperature while also reducing fan horsepower and further saving energy

If you are interested in learning more, send me an email at b.telker@cfmkc.com. We have a short 20 minute training course that helps contractors, engineers and building owners understand this solution and we would love to meet you to share this knowledge. 

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Brad Telker

Vice President of Sales, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.
Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as Vice President of Sales, Applied Systems Group he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.
Brad Telker
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