Variable Speed

Energy saving alternatives for process chilling

The down-side of fixed-speed

For decades, processors have had to select chillers based on their maximum cooling capacity requirements. And, while this approach assures plenty of chiller capacity, it was not always very energy efficient. That is because typical chillers are equipped with fixed-speed compressors (fixed-speed motors and compressor scrolls) that operate at maximum speed and capacity regardless of the load. So, to avoid excessive cooling on less-than-full-capacity loads, most chillers utilize a hot-gas bypass to introduce an additional, artificial cooling load. As a result, power consumption with these chillers remains fixed at a high level, regardless of actual process cooling requirements.

To provide customers with more energy-efficient process chilling for less than full load chiller capacity, auxiliary equipment makers have sought out and implemented new compressor technology. The first advance, involving digital scroll compressors, began in the early 2000's. Digital scroll compressors were the first that enabled chillers to unload cooling capacity, serve smaller loads, and reduce power consumption.
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