You are on page 1of 17

CHAPTER V

CHILLER

In this section, equipment and machineries to be used for the centralized air
conditioning system will be specified and discussed. Selection of components such as
the chiller and cooling tower are essential in order to make a reliable design of the air
conditioning system.

5.1 CHILLER

Chillers are refrigeration systems that provide cooling for industrial and commercial
applications. They use water, oils or other fluids as refrigerants.

HVAC chillers include a compressor, condenser, thermal expansion valve,


evaporator, reservoir, and stabilization assembly. Compressing the refrigerant creates a
high pressure, superheated gas that the condenser air cools to a warm liquid. The thermal
expansion valve (TXV) releases refrigerant into the evaporator, converting the warm liquid
to a cool, dry gas. Often, a hot gas bypass is used to stabilize the cooling output by
allowing the hot gas to warm up the evaporator. This causes a reduction in cooling
efficiency, but stabilizes the chilled water temperatures. When water is pumped from the
reservoir to the compressor, the chilling cycle begins again (IHS Engineering, 2015).

Chillers provide chilled water that is circulated throughout commercial and


industrial buildings for air conditioning. Typically, a central chiller plant consists of one or
more chillers and auxiliary systems such as chilled-water pumps, condenser-water
pumps, and cooling towers. The chillers produce cold water, which is pumped to one or
more air handlers or fan coil units throughout the building, where the water absorbs heat
from warm indoor air. The cool air is then distributed around the building through a
network of ducts. Water-cooled chillers, which use a cooling tower to remove heat, are
typically more efficient than air-cooled chillers, which blow air across the condenser coil
(FPL, 2015).

112
There are three types of chiller used in HVAC system absorption chiller, air cooled
chiller and water cooled chiller. Further discussion of these types of chillers are shown
below.

5.1.1 Absorption Chiller:

Absorption chillers differ from the more prevalent compression chillers in that the
cooling effect is driven by heat energy, rather than mechanical energy. The simplest
absorption machines are residential refrigerators, with a gas flame at the bottom, ice
cubes at the top and no electricity involved. An absorption chiller is larger and more
complicated, but the basic principle is the same. It can be used to produce chilled water
for air conditioning and for cooling process water, and are available in capacities from 7.5
to 1,500 tons.

Absorption systems also require greater pump energy than electric chillers. The
size of condenser water pumps is generally a function of the flow rate per unit cooling
capacity. Cooling technologies with lower COPs typically require a significantly higher
condenser water flow rate than those technologies with higher COPs, therefore requiring
larger pumps. Similarly, absorption chillers require larger cooling tower capacity than
electric chillers, due to the larger volume of water (New Building Institute, 2008).

5.1.2 Air Cooled Chiller:

Water has more thermal mass than air, the on and off cycling of the air-cooled
chiller compressor doesnt cause as much fluctuation in the supply air temperature,
providing occupants with a more comfortable environment. In addition, air-cooled chillers
have a much greater turndown capability. That is, they are better able to match part-
load cooling conditions than RTUs. These two factors enable air cooled chillers to provide
better humidity and temperature control, which translates into greater occupant comfort
and better efficiency.

Air-cooled chillers are factory assembled and available in sizes from 10 to 530 tons
of cooling capacity and it dont requires the use of cooling towers. Multiple chillers can be
used together to satisfy higher cooling requirements. Air-cooled systems generally have

113
a lower first cost than water-cooled systems. Potential applications for air-cooled chillers
include offices, schools, small malls, and medical centers (FPL, 2015).

5.1.3 Water Cooled Chiller:

Water-cooled chillers are available in a wide range of sizes from 20 tons to several
thousand tons of cooling capacity. New water-cooled chillers commonly use one of three
types of compressors: centrifugal compressors, which are the most efficient, followed by
screw compressors, and then scroll compressors. The centrifugal category includes
magnetic bearing compressors. These use magnetic fields to levitate the compressor
shaft in midair, eliminating the need for traditional oil-lubricated bearings. They generate
less noise and vibration than other compressors and offer significantly better part-load
efficiencies in some applications (FPL, 2015).

A distinct advantage of using water is the fact that it is non-corrosive, has specific
heat value, it is non-toxic and inexpensive. This makes it an excellent choice when
compared to other secondary refrigerants such as sodium chloride brines, propylene
glycols, ethylene, methanol or glycerin. Another advantage to using a chilled water
system to provide climate control and water cooled chillers typically last longer than air
cooled chillers.

5.2 CHILLER SELECTION

In this design a water cooled chiller will be used. Based in the discussion from
above, water cooled chiller has a higher range of cooling capacity from the other types.
During the operation it generate less noise and vibration than other compressors. Another
advantage of using a chilled water system is it provides climate control and last longer
than other chillers.

114
Figure 5.1 shows a typical design of water cooled chiller.

Source: G Air - Water-Cooled Screw Chiller Product Catalog

Figure 5.1: Water Cooled Chiller

The cooling capacity of the air conditioned building must be consider in choosing
the right capacity of the chiller. When properly sized and selected, a chiller increases
production speed and accuracy, protects valuable process equipment, and reduces water
consumption and related costs. The air conditioned building requires a cooling capacity
of 73 TOR. The nearest capacity of the chosen chiller is 78.2 TOR.

Table 5.1 shows the cooling capacity of the chosen chiller and computed capacity
of the building.

Table 5.1: Water-Cooled Screw Chiller Cooling Capacity

Cooling Capacity
Computed Capacity Chiller Capacity
TOR
73 78.2
Source: G Air - Water-Cooled Screw Chiller Product Catalog

115
5.3 CHILLER COMPONENTS

Compressor:

The unit is equipped with a semi-hermetic, 3000 rpm 60 Hz twin screw


compressors that include a load/unload valve, rolling element bearings, oil filtration
device. The compressor have a variable capacity control down to 25% of its total capacity.
This control is made by means of capacity slides controlled by microprocessors.

Table 5.2: Compressor Specifications

Source: G Air - Water-Cooled Screw Chiller Product Catalog

The bearing of compressor has a long lifespan which ensures screw type main unit
to run continuously more than 50000 hours. The lubricant is supplied automatically by
pressure difference inside the compressor. Oil separator device is provided separate from
the compressor. The oil content can be controlled below 3 ppm. The oil filtering area
reduces refrigerant flux speed, and has better separating effect.

Refrigerant:

The water cooled chiller is equipped with electronic expansion valve according to
the capacity of compressor as throttle valve to achieve precise control of refrigerant flow.
The unit uses a R134a refrigerant with a charge volume of 60 liters. Modulating
compressors and electronic expansion valves provide variable capacity modulation over
the entire building load and maintain proper refrigerant flow.

Table 5.3: Refrigerant Specifications

Source: G Air - Water-Cooled Screw Chiller Product Catalog

R134a is also known as Tetrafluoroethane from the family of HFC refrigerant. With
the discovery of the damaging effect of CFCs and HCFCs refrigerants to the ozone layer,
the HFC family of refrigerant has been widely used as their replacement. It is now being

116
used as a replacement for R-12 CFC refrigerant in the area of centrifugal, rotary screw,
scroll and reciprocating compressors. It is safe for normal handling as it is non-toxic, non-
flammable and non-corrosive.

Unit-Mounted Starter:

The unit is supplied with an IP-44 type enclosure with top power-wiring access and
three-phase, overload protection. The starter is available in a wye-delta configuration,
factory-mounted and fully pre-wired to the compressor motor and control panel. A factory-
installed, factory-wired control power transformer provides all unit control power. Optional
starter features include circuit breaker or disconnect switch wired to fuses.

Evaporator:

The unit is equipped with high efficiency shell and tube evaporator that are
constructed by seamless steel tube with anti-corrosive treatment. The evaporator is a
direct expansion type with refrigerant inside the copper tubes and water on the outside.
The copper tubes are roll expanded into carbon steel tube plates.

Table 5.4: Evaporator Specifications

Source: G Air - Water-Cooled Screw Chiller Product Catalog

Constructed with seamless integrally finned copper, the water pipe system makes
the evaporator attain optimal heat exchange efficient. Also they are removable, which
makes it available for altering water piping system arrangement. The chilled water inlet
and outlet temperature is 12 C and 7 C with a flowrate of 47 m3/hr or 207 gpm.

117
Condenser:

The unit has a shell and tube condenser designed with seamless
internally/externally finned tubes expanded into tube sheets and mechanically fastened
to tube supports. Replaceable water tubes are fabricated from integral finned copper and
mechanically bonded to steel tube sheets. The cooled water inlet and outlet temperature
is 30 C and 35 C with a flowrate of 57 m3/hr or 250 gpm.

Table 5.5: Condenser Specifications

Source: G Air - Water-Cooled Screw Chiller Product Catalog

Oil Management:

The unit is configured with an oil management system that ensures proper oil
circulation throughout the unit. The key components of the system include an oil
separator, oil filter and gas pump. An optional oil cooler is installed when the unit is used
for high condensing temperature or low evaporator temperature conditions. For example,
heat recovery, water-to-water heat pump, ice making and low temperature process
applications.

Microprocessor Controller:

Microprocessor control is standard on all units. A display illustrates the machines


operation status and programmable parameters (set points) e.g. water temperature and
refrigeration pressure and temperature, allowing the operator to determine the unit status
and also allow changes to various set points. The control system adopts PLC with
predictive logic to select the most energy efficient combination of compressors.
Microprocessor device protect critical components in response to external signals from

118
its system sensors measuring: monitor temperature, refrigerant gas pressures, incorrect
phases sequence and phase loss.

Table 5.6 shows the summary of specifications of the water cooled chiller.

Table 5.6: Summary of the Chiller Specifications

Chiller Condenser Evaporator


Cooling Cooling Water Temperature Chilled Water Temperature
Flowrate Flowrate
Capacity Inlet Outlet Inlet Outlet
tons gpm C gpm C
78.2 250 30 35 207 12 7

The total cooling capacity needed of the air conditioned building is 73 TOR. The
chosen chiller is a Water-Cooled Screw Chiller with a cooling capacity of 78.2 TOR. The
unit is equipped with direct expansion evaporator, shell and tube condenser and it uses
R134a as its refrigerant. The dimension of the unit is 2970 mm by 860 mm by 1880 mm
with a shipping and running weight of 1895 kg and 2045 kg.

5.4 COOLING TOWER

Cooling towers reject heat from water-cooled systems to the atmosphere. Hot
water from the system enters the cooling tower and is distributed over the fill (heat transfer
surface). Air is induced or forced through the fill, causing a small portion of the water to
evaporate. This evaporation removes heat from the remaining water, which is collected
in the cold water basin and returned to the system to absorb more heat. Each cooling
tower line, although operating under the same basic principle of operation, is arranged a
little differently (KLM, 2011).

There are several types of cooling towers such as natural draft spray tower, natural
draft hyperbolic tower, induced draft tower, counter flow induced draft tower, cross flow
induced draft tower, fluid cooler, evaporative condenser, force draft tower, ponds and
fountains. Further discussion of these types are shown below.

119
Table 5.7 shows the different types of cooling towers and their characteristics.

Table 5.7: Cooling Tower Types and Characteristics

120
121
122
Source: Energy Efficiency Guide for Industry Asia

123
5.5 COOLING TOWER SELECTION

In this design a counter flow cooling tower will be used. A counter flow cooling
tower uses an axial (propeller) fan. Counter flow cooling tower is the most common
cooling tower used in HVAC applications. The air inlet is flexible and it is located in all
sides of the cooling tower.

Figure 5.2 shows the counter flow cooling water chosen for the design.

Source: American Cooling Tower, Inc. - ACF Series Catalog

Figure 5.2: Counter Flow Cooling Tower

Table 5.6 shows the chiller specifications, it is shown that the cooling water
flowrate is 250 gpm with an entering temperature of 30 C and leaving temperature of 35
C. These values will be the basis of choosing the appropriate cooling tower for the
design.

124
Table 5.8 shows the specifications of the counter flow cooling tower.

Table 5.8: Cooling Tower Specifications

Source: American Cooling Tower, Inc. - ACF Series Catalog

Table 5.9 shows the summary of counter flow cooling tower specifications.

Table 5.9: Summary of the Cooling Tower Specifications

Condenser Cooling Tower


Cooling Condensing Water Temperature Cooling Make up Water Condensing Water Temperature
Flowrate Flowrate
Capacity Inlet Outlet Capacity Flowrate Inlet Outlet
tons gpm C tons gpm C
78.2 250 30 35 97 264 3.52 35 30

Table 5.9 shows that the cooling tower specifications meets the values of the chiller
requirements. The chiller have a cooling capacity of 78.2 TOR with a flowrate of 250 gpm.
The cooling tower have a cooling capacity of 97 TOR with a flowrate of 264 gpm and
make up water flowrate of 3.52 gpm. These values shows that the cooling tower is
capable in supporting the system. It will supply and maintain comfort cooling or process
cooling needs of the establishment.

125
5.6 COOLING TOWER COMPONENTS

Cold Water Basin:

The cold water basin is made of stainless steel 304 (316) steel to provide superior
service life, durability and excellent resistance to rust and corrosion. The stainless steel
304 (316) steel cold water basin section area includes all components from the base of
the unit up to the top of the air inlet louver support which the louver attaches to and where
the casing panels start. It allows the reduced water volume to be retained in the basin
which shall lower operating weight, and allow for easier maintenance. It includes piping
locations for the overflow, make-up, drain, and outlet connections.

Fan Motor:

The unit has a totally enclosed fan cooled ball bearing fan motor with a minimum
1.25 service factor with a output power of 5 HP. The motor is installed on an adjustable
base which is mounted on the side of the unit for service. The fan motor is designed in
accordance with MGI and suitable for inverter duty operation. The motor is designed
exclusively for use in cooling tower environments and shall have both external and interior
epoxy protective coating and supplied with RS2 sealed bearings to maximize life.

Fan:

The fan is an axial propeller, adjustable pitch type that are dynamically balanced.
It is constructed with marine grade aluminum and stainless steel materials for maximum
protection against rust and corrosion. Fan tip clearance is no greater than from fan
stack and positioned within the stack at an appropriate elevation to maximize airflow and
efficiency. It is designed with a resilient mount system to eliminate resonant frequencies
and with low noise velocity tips on each fan blade.

Water Distribution System:

The unit is provided with a non-corrosive water distribution system that utilizes a
single inlet connection for each fan cell. The spray header and branches are constructed
with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe to prevent corrosion and an external steel connection
that is beveled for welding or grooved for a mechanical coupling to attach inlet piping.

126
Spray laterals are removable and designed with clean out end caps for servicing and
maintenance. The water are distributed over the fill by low clog polypropylene spray
nozzles to minimize clogging. The nozzles are threaded into the water distribution piping
to assure correct positioning and allow for easy replacement or cleaning.

Fill Media:

The cooling tower fill is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with cross-fluted design
for maximum heat transfer. The cross fluted sheets are bonded together by use of
mechanical assembly form cellular blocks. The fill media includes alternating tips to
maximize heat transfer and water drainage. It is installed 3 feet above the cold water
basin floor to allow for adequate access to the cold water basin for cleaning, inspection,
and servicing.

Drift Eliminator:

The eliminators are constructed entirely with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and located
directly above the water distribution system to minimize drift loss and maximize plenum
area for servicing and inspection. The drift eliminator design are incorporate with three
distinct changes in air direction to remove the maximum amount of water droplets from
the discharge air stream. Maximum drift rate is no more than 0.001% of design water flow.

Inlet Louver:

It constructed using ultraviolet polyvinyl chloride (UPVC) materials and includes a


supporting frame designed from Rigid PVC material which are resistant to decay, rust,
and corrosion. When the cold water basin is designed in stainless steel 304 (316)
material, the inlet louver frame shall be manufactured out of identical materials of
construction. The louvers are installed to ensure that a minimum of two changes in air
direction occur and to prevent splash-out from occurring.

Electronic Water Level Control:

The cooling tower is installed with an electric water level control device which is
designed to operate by monitoring water levels within the cold water basin by way of
stainless steel probes housed within an externally mounted stilling chamber. The probes

127
monitors high and low water levels which will open and close the brass solenoid valve to
regulate water levels within the cold water basin.

The cooling tower is with constructed a heavy-gauge steel design and engineered
for maximum strength, durability, and service life. All cooling tower seams are sealed to
provide watertight joints. The guide in the selection of cooling tower is the flowrate of
cooling water as well as entering/leaving temperature of it.

Figure 5.3 shows the Multiview projection of the counter flow cooling tower.

Source: American Cooling Tower, Inc. - ACF Series Catalog

Figure 5.3: Multiview Projection of Cooling Tower

Table 5.10 shows the dimension and weight of the counter flow cooling tower
cooling tower.

Table 5.10: Cooling Tower Dimensions

Source: American Cooling Tower, Inc. - ACF Series Catalog

128