How Does a Chiller Work?

Chillers do exactly what the name says – cool things down. In fact, chillers are necessary across a wide range of applications. But, how does a chiller work? In short, they prevent overheating and keep products cool to avoid harm to your machinery and bottom line. Here, we’ve broken down the elements of chillers and how they work. That way, you’ll be prepared to choose the best system for your needs.

The Importance of Chillers

Chillers are vital in industrial settings. They move heat from the production process to outside of the facility. This is done when cool liquid circulates through process equipment or machinery that performs a specific task. Thus, the chiller keeps that cool liquid at the desired temperature.

The chilling process is highly beneficial to your operation. It protects equipment from too-high temperatures and cools your products during manufacturing. For this reason, chillers are used in many different industries. These include food and beverage, chemicals, injection molding, lasers, semiconductors, and tool and die cutting.

The Parts of a Chiller
chiller feature

To understand how a chiller works, you first need to know its parts. Chillers use two main circuits, one being the fluid circuit. It consists of a pump, heat exchanger, and fluid reservoir. The system delivers cold fluid to the equipment or products that need cooling.

The other and more technical circuit is the refrigeration circuit. It removes heat from the fluid passing through the fluid circuit. Then, heat disperses into the air. Its four parts include a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator.

The Chiller System Process

A chiller’s two circuits work together to begin the process. The fluid circuit sends liquid to the items to be cooled. This liquid is usually water or a water-based mix. Meanwhile, the refrigeration circuit takes the heat out of the system, which is the most complex aspect overall.

First, refrigerant converts into a high-pressure, high-temperature gas in the compressor. Next, the condenser removes heat from the gas. In this stage, you can find two different types of condensers. For a water-cooled condenser, a cooling tower condenses the refrigerant with the water or liquid. In contrast, an air-cooled condenser converts hot gas back into its liquid state with air. In the final stages, the gas enters the expansion valve. The gas turns into a liquid, which then changes back into gas. At the same time, the gas absorbs and removes heat. The cycle then starts over again.

Given that chillers play such an important role in many applications, they must be kept in good condition. No matter what type of chiller is used, proper service ensures it runs efficiently and delivers the performance you expect.

Trust Us with Your Chillers

When your equipment or products are sensitive to heat, you depend on your chillers. If you’re in need of a new chiller or repair for your current model, contact The Severn Group. We specialize in chiller installation and service throughout Maryland and the Washington D.C. metro area. To learn more, call 301-249-4062.