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Commercial chillers are complicated units, which many commercial buildings can’t exist without. In order to understand whether you need to purchase such chillers, it’s important to know the way they work.

What Are Industrial Chillers For?

Air and water-cooled chillers are mostly used in commercial and industrial buildings in order to remove excess heat. The main purpose of such chillers is to negate the thermal energy produced by internal and external factors. For example, manufacturing machines and computers generate a large amount of heat and so do many people. External factors include weather conditions, such as direct heat from the sun.

What Are The Two Common Industrial Chiller Types?

There are two popular types of commercial chillers: air-cooled and water-cooled. At ACE Services, besides the above two, we also work with condenserless chillers. The basic construction of the two major chiller types is similar. The main difference lies in which means they use to provide the condenser heat rejection.


Air-cooled chillers are the most common type of chiller and are usually sited outside. They can be less energy efficient than water-cooled chillers. These chillers require less installation hassle and are often more budget-friendly.


Water-cooled chillers are mostly used in large commercial and industrial facilities. These chillers are often sited in a purpose built plant room and connected to a remote heat dump outside. They can be quite a large piece of equipment. The system generates chilled water and pumps it to air-dispensing units (such as air conditioners in the building).

How Does An Industrial Chiller Work?

The chiller absorbs heat from process water and then sends it into the air around the chiller unit, which is usually installed somewhere outside the facility. In many cases, the factories use this generated heat to warm up another room and save money on energy bills.

A standard air-cooled chiller has the following components:

  1. Compressor
  2. Condenser coil – pipes that contain hot refrigerant.
  3. Condenser fans – suck ambient air through the condenser coils to reject the heat to atmosphere.
  4. Expansion valve – expands the refrigerant before it goes into the evaporator
  5. Evaporator – place where the chilled water is generated and the heat is extracted to go to the condenser.

The chilling process starts in the evaporator. It absorbs the heat from the chilled water. Then the compressor extracts the refrigerant vapour from the evaporator. Then the compressor pumps this vapour into the condenser. The refrigerant condenses and releases the heat into the cooling water or air. Then the liquid refrigerant, which was created due to refrigerant condensation, continues moving to the expansion valve, which controls and adjusts its flow rate, and then back into the evaporator. The liquid’s high pressure is reduced along the way together with the temperature. As a result of the process, the chilled water transfers its thermal energy to the refrigerant.

Posted by Tim Foster on 27-Sep-2021 12:10:00

Cutts Refrigeration Ltd for all your Commercial Fridge and Air Conditioning needs along with Milk Tanks, Cold Rooms Fluid Chillers and Refrigerated Trailers.
Tel: 01743 718 871 or go online: