chiller fan Industrial Air-cooled Chiller

  • Air-cooled chillers absorb heat from process water, and the heat is then transferred to the air around the chiller unit.
  • Air-cooled chillers are more suitable for common applications in smaller or medium installations where space constraints may exist.
  • Air-cooled chillers are the most practical choice in places where water is scarce(such as desert areas).
  • Air-cooled chillers range in cooling capacity from small 0.5-ton capacity models to several hundred-ton models for modern industries including food&beverage industries, chemical industries, manufacturing industries, breeding industries and all kinds of industrial process cooling.

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Air-cooled Chiller Purchase Guide

Chillers, also called industrial chiller units, chilled water plants or chilled water systems, are cooling equipment that produces chilled water and are suitable for a variety of industrial and commercial applications.

SCY Chiller offers a variety of air-cooled chillers that suit a wide range of industries.

There are two different cooling media (air or water) that absorb the heat when refrigerant changes from vapor to liquid. Therefore, chillers can use two different types, air-cooled and water-cooled.

  • Air-cooled chillers use a condenser that is similar to the “radiators” in a car. They use a fan to force air through the refrigerant coil. Unless they are specifically designed for high ambient conditions, air-cooled condensers need to operate effectively at an ambient temperature of 35°C (95°F) or less.
  • Water-cooled chillers function in the same way as air-cooled chillers, but require two steps to complete the transfer of heat. First, heat enters the condenser water from the refrigerant vapor. The warm condenser water is then pumped to the cooling tower, where the heat from the process is eventually vented to the atmosphere.

When selecting chillers for your application, it is important to ensure that the chiller has sufficient cooling capacity to handle the maximum load under the worst conditions. However, many customers fail to plan for these conditions and instead select chillers based on the nominal conditions presented in our product manuals.

Now Let’s see how to select a proper chiller with the following steps.

1. How does an air-cooled chiller work?

We can see from the above schematic, an air-cooled chiller unit absorbs heat from the application, and the heat is then transferred to the air around the chiller unit. The chilled water will be pumped to the buffer tank and stored there for subsequent use.

2. Why choose air-cooled chiller?

  • Air-cooled chillers require less maintenance than water-cooled chiller units.
  • Air-cooled chillers do not require cooling towers.
  • Easier to install compared with water-cooled chiller.
  • Air-cooled chillers require less water.

Air-cooled water chiller systems are widely used in places where water resources are not sufficient or water quality is not very good. The most convenient part is that air-cooled chiller systems do not require cooling towers, so they are easy to install. (If an air-cooled chiller isn’t what you need, please refer to water-cooled chiller.)

3. How to choose the right cooling capacity for an air-cooled chiller?

One of the most frequently asked about chiller specifications is how to determine sizing/tonnage. Let’s see the below formula.

  • Calculate Temperature Differential = Incoming Water Temperature (°c) – Required Chilled Water Temperature
  • Calculate the water flow rate that you need per hour(m³/hour)
  • Calculate tons of cooling capacity = Water Flow Rate x Temperature Differential ÷ 0.86 ÷ 3.517
  • Oversize the chiller by 20% Ideal Size in Tons = Tons x 1.2
  • You have the ideal size for your needs.

For example, what size of chiller is required to cool 5m³ water from 25°c to 15 °c in 1 hour?

  • Temperature Differential = 25°c-15°c=10°c
  • Water Flow Rate = 5 m³/hour
  • Ton Capacity = 5 x 10 ÷ 0.86 ÷ 3.517 = 16.53 Tons
  • Oversize the chiller = 16.53 x 1.2 = 19.84 Tons
  • A 19.84 Tons chiller is required.

You can also use our chiller calculator to do the math work.

If your target temperature is lower than 5°c, please contact us for further assistance.

4. What else should I look for in choosing the right chiller?

Other important chiller specifications include the voltage required for operation, the associated pump horsepower and flow rate (contact us for custom selection), the water connection size, refrigerant, and the evaporator type.

4.1 Power

Different countries and regions have different standards for industrial electricity, the common power supplies are 208-230V, 380-420V,440-480V,50Hz or 60Hz, 3phase.

4.2 Water Pump

When you decide the capacity/tonnage of the chiller, we will recommend you the suitable horsepower of the pump. Or you can check from our product manual.

4.3 Connection Size

This usually depends on the water flow rate, the higher the bigger. If you want your new chiller to match your old pipes, we can also customize accordingly. For more detailed specifications, please refer to our product page or check our product manual.

4.4 Refrigerant

R22, R410A, R407C, R404A, R134A are optional choices.

R22: good cooling effect, but R22 is considered a powerful greenhouse gas, so it’s forbidden in most countries.

R410A: eco-friendly, R-410A has replaced R-22 as the preferred refrigerant for use in residential and commercial air conditioners in Japan, Europe, and the United States. R-410A operates at higher pressures than other refrigerants.

R407C: a good replacement for R22, good cooling effect.

R404A: suitable for application that requires low temperature(below -30°c).

R134A: a non-flammable gas used primarily as a “high-temperature” refrigerant, suitable for air-cooled chiller working at a high ambient temperature.

4.5 Evaporator Choose

Air chillers have two general types of evaporators.

  • Shell and tube type evaporator, which requires an additional water buffer tank to use(not necessary but highly recommended).
Shell and Tube Type Evaporator
Shell and Tube Type Evaporator
Buffer Tank
Buffer Tank
  • Coil and tank evaporator, which has a built-in water storage tank for more convenient use. So there’s no need for extra buffer tanks.
Tank& Coild Type Evaporator
Tank& Coil Type Evaporator

These two evaporator coils can be made of 2 materials, copper or stainless steel tube.

What is the difference between these 2 options?

  1. Copper tube: better heat transfer efficiency.
  2. Stainless steel tube (304 or 316): also known as food-grade material, it is suitable for the food/beverage industry and can avoid water contamination.

5. Summary

Each unit includes hermetic scroll compressor(or semi-hermetic screw compress), air-cooled condenser, fully charged refrigerant of R22(R410A, R404A, R407C, R134A optional), tank& coil type evaporator(or shell& tube type evaporator), and a weather-resistant control center, all mounted on a beautiful and rugged steel box.

At SCY Chiller, we design and manufacture the best chiller units to help you overcome your most challenging problems, and SCY Chiller will provide you with unconditional, expert advice to help you turn your challenges into real solutions.

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