PES-Solutions Notes Common Problems with Chillers
While many factors contribute to decreased chiller efficiency, the five most common ones include:
- poor operating practices
- ignored or deferred maintenance
- ignored cooling tower maintenance
- ignoring alternate-fuel chillers.
Each of these factors all can be easily controlled or eliminated by maintenance managers to improve chiller efficiency.
Poor Operating Practices
Poor operating practices not only can decrease the chiller efficiency, but also chiller life. Most such practices are the result of one or two situations: trying to get a chiller to do something that it was not designed to do or not understanding the consequences of a particular action. For example, one common practice when trying to provide more cooling water to a facility is to increase the rate of chilled water flow through the chiller. The belief is that with a higher flow rate, more cooling water will be available.
In reality, however, increasing the flow rate through a chiller beyond the manufacturers stated limit actually reduces the operating efficiency of the chiller. Equally important, flow rates higher than those recommended increase the rate of erosion in the chiller’s tubes, leading to early tube failure.
Although good maintenance practices are important to the efficient operation of all building equipment, there are few areas where this is more evident than in the maintenance of building chillers. For example, consider the impact that good maintenance can have on chiller efficiency. Most new, high efficiency centrifugal chillers carry a full-load efficiency rating of approximately .50 kW per ton.
If that chiller has proper maintenance, in five years it can have a full-load efficiency of .55-.60 kW per ton. On an annual basis, this means that a poorly maintained chiller will use 20-25 percent more energy annually to produce the same cooling. Regularly schedule inspections and recording maintenance logs is a vital operation to keeping things in check, and saves you money in the long run.
Most Chiller tubes are copper, and experience galvanic corrosion due to two metals being dissimilar. The corrosion and loss of carbon steel can affect the performance of the chiller due to poor water flow issues and sediment buildup. Therefore, this will eventually lead to perforation of the tube and refrigerant loss.
PES-Solutions Offers Chiller Repairs Services
To combat corrosion and other chiller problems, PES-Solutions offers chiller repairs. PES Solutions can coat your components of your chiller with an epoxy solution. We start off by abrasive blasting the parts affected to remove any bad metals or blemishes. Then, we apply our epoxy to said parts using our product: PES 101 Power Metal Paste. This paste is a two component solvent free epoxy metal repair compound, and can be machined and cured in as little as 1.5 hours, for a full load on this epoxy it is best to wait 2 days.
At PES Solutions we carry a large array of products to get your machinery working to prevent downtime and dissatisfaction. We offer the best warranties in the market, and with trained professionals to help you reach your goals we are the company of choice for many clients.