Why install an industrial water chiller?
Many industries require specific temperatures in their tanks in order to keep the products safe – breweries and dairy farms, for example. It’s not only potentially hazardous if these temperatures aren’t properly maintained, but disruptions in your production can set you back in money and time that you can’t afford to lose.
This is why industrial water chillers play such an important role, by using a coolant solution to absorb the excess thermal output from your processing tanks and carry it away to a refrigeration unit that removes the heat and re-circles the coolant back to the tanks that require cooling.
A reliable system, installed correctly, will monitor and maintain your product’s ideal temperature with minimal supervision, giving you peace of mind and the ability to focus on other aspects of your business.
What is a glycol chiller?
Glycol (sometimes referred to as antifreeze) is a chemical used in some commercial water chilling systems to lower the freezing temperature of water, potentially up to -50º Celsius. This allows you to remove more heat from your industrial tanks faster, by dramatically lowering and maintaining their ambient temperature.
Glycol systems also remove the immediate danger of water freezing in your pipes if your system gets too cold. This freezing won’t just slow down the coolant’s circulation, putting your product in danger of spoiling, but can also damage the pipes themselves, which can struggle under the expansive stress of frozen or freezing water and may require you to repair or even replace them.
Glycol also boasts anti-corrosion properties compared to water alone, potentially improving the longevity of your refrigeration unit and cooling system and further protecting your piping.
Is a glycol water chiller right for you?
When determining which type of industrial water chilling system is right for you and your business – glycol or water-based – it is important to assess what your cooling needs actually are.
Water-cooling systems are typically much cheaper to install and run than a glycol-coolant alternative, due to how much simpler it typically is to source water. The main disadvantage of water is that it lacks the ability to achieve below-freezing temperatures, although purified water can increase its cooling efficiency and get you close.
Compared to a standard industrial water chiller with no additives, glycol chillers are significantly more effective at quickly removing the heat from your product, achieving and maintaining sub-zero temperatures that a water-cooling system couldn’t manage. This does come at more of a cost, however, and some (but not all) glycol products can be toxic, making the overall maintenance of the system slightly more difficult.
Importantly, as more glycol is added to your coolant solution it becomes harder for it to transfer heat away during the refrigeration stage of the cooling cycle, meaning that the ratio of glycol added to the solution needs to be carefully determined to match your needs.