For a client running air cooled chiller units to feed their injection moulding hall, the simple addition of a bolt-on Free Cooler to their existing cooling system is forecast to save them over £34,000 in energy costs every year.
Our London based client specialises in producing seals and sealing solutions which are used in the fluid power industry worldwide. Their production facility runs 24/7, so it’s essential that any system downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.
The benefit of adding Free Cooling into a system is that overall power, or energy use, is greatly reduced. Because the lower ambient air temperature is used to cool the process return water wherever possible, the need for mechanical cooling is much less. In addition, by reducing the running time of the equipment you automatically extend its lifetime and lower lifetime maintenance costs. You also gain built in redundancy – if your chiller fails the Free Cooling side can still operate.
The technology within the Free Cooling unit senses both the return fluid temperature and the ambient air temperature. When the ambient is lower than the return water temperature, the fluid is passed through a coil that exchanges the heat in the fluid to the ambient air, using just the mechanical effect required to drive the fans to pull the air through. This means the load is either partially or totally (in the winter months in the UK) reduced – giving partial or full Free Cooling.
Our client already had two chillers on site, to which we added a 280kW Free Cooler. Whilst their system operated on plain, we added a heat exchanger between the system and the Free Cooler, so the latter could run on glycol to prevent freezing during extreme temperatures.
Full system included:
- 280kW free cooler
- 280kW heat exchanger
- Single pump & tank
As the site operated 24/7 the client allocated our installation engineers just a 3-hour window one Monday morning to break into the existing system. Using isolation values, our engineers could then continue with the Free Cooler install whilst production restarted.
Installed in the Autumn, whilst being monitored for the first 3 weeks of running the system operated solely on Free Cooling. Due to the energy savings our client is on target to receive complete system payback in just over one year.
Aqua Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster, explains; “This is a fantastic example of how retro fitting free cooling can really make an impact when it comes to putting money back on the bottom line. By lowering the plant’s running costs we’ve helped our client increase gross profit without even involving their sales team!”