Cooling systems are often used to reject heat from an industrial process. They’re available in numerous sizes and designs. And for you to optimize their efficiency, you must utilize a systems approach. This will go a long way in helping you identify potential savings as well as performance enhancement.
Even more, this approach carefully evaluates the entire chilling system, including motors, nozzles, pumps, fans, blowdown, flow rates, temperatures, chemicals, evaporative losses, makeup rate, drift losses, as well as pressure backdrop. Focusing on the entire system helps you minimize inefficiencies and energy losses. Remember, cooling systems don’t operate under the same conditions all the time. System loads vary according to environmental conditions, changes in process requirements, and cyclical demands.
Here are effective strategies that can help you optimize the performance and efficiency of your cooling system.
Monitor the Overall Coefficient of Performance (COP)
Refrigeration units can be complex to operate, particularly when they’re combined with other systems and connected to one cooling tower. Their energy performances are directly linked to the efficiency of their compressors, pumps, evaporators, and exchangers. They’re also highly dependent on their environment.
The first step towards optimization is to monitor the refrigeration units plus the cooling towers. This way, you’ll be able to establish each unit’s overall coefficient of performance (COP) by measuring the flow rate, energy consumption, and the inlet as well as outlet temperature. Most importantly, though, it allows you to construct an overall COP which includes the cooling tower’s consumption, the distributor pumps, and the auxiliary pumps. Ideally, you should compile a comprehensive data history for the whole year so as to cover all seasons and numerous production conditions.
Invest In Modern Refrigeration Technology
The latest refrigeration units are outfitted with magnetic bearings and are highly efficient. Plus, they’re modular and feature several small compressors that start-up in a staggered sequence. But since they’re quite expensive, you may want to consider incorporating variable power control units into the existing pumps and compressors so as to minimize energy consumption.
Incorporate Buffer Storage
Including a cold storage tank at the bypass allows you to run the compressor at its rated speed, hence reducing the peak requirement. This serves as an alternative to cascaded cooling units that also provide enhanced electrical stability for the entire plant. Bulk storage also makes it possible for your application to take advantage of low-priced energy at specific times of the day, depending on the energy contract.
Use a Different Form of Energy
Absorption chillers operate on the principle of converting heat into cold. If your facility needs large amounts of heat, you may want to consider installing a tri-generation or a combined cooling system. This technique combines gas heating, cogeneration of electricity, as well as the recovery of waste heat by adsorption or absorption chillers. Here, the electricity that initially powered the compressor and was the main consumption source in traditional refrigeration units is completely removed from the picture.
If the weather conditions allow it often enough, incorporating passive outdoor-air heat exchangers on your factory’s rooftop can remove the need for cooling towers as well as the associated assumptions. And this will go a long way in lowering energy consumption and significantly reducing energy bills.
Optimize Start-up Sequences
When multiple chiller units operate at the same time, choosing the right combination can be quite overwhelming. By referring to technical specifications and their data history, you can be able to construct start-up rules depending on objective criteria: production plan, the flow rate in the bypass, and atmospheric conditions. Remember, these sequences also take into consideration the cooling tower’s performances as well as their technical constraints.
Adjust the Set Points
Data analysis often yields counter-intuitive discoveries which can generally be linked to systemic effects. When a cooling tower’s consumption is slightly increased, the consumption of the chiller unit’s compressors goes up. It takes hard work on the data as well as full-scale testing to obtain the right settings.
Try Floating Head Pressure
When atmospheric pressure is low, liquids tend to boil at a lower temperature. And this is commonly referred to as the floating head principle. Reducing the compressor’s high-pressure setting according to the outside temperature can save unnecessary energy costs. But, you’ll need to purchase a specific regulator module.
When it comes to optimizing your energy consumption on refrigeration, there’s a wide variety of solutions you may want to consider. All you need is to decide on what exactly you need and choose a strategy that works best for your application. Start by adding buffer storage, changing the type of energy utilized, modifying the setpoints, and floating head pressure.
Optimization of the process design, as well as the control modifications, will significantly minimize energy consumption and reduce the need for cooling systems. By reducing the amount of non-recoverable heat to be dispersed to the environment, your facility can improve its overall efficiency. Incorporating variable flow fans plus pumps into your cooling system will allow for scalable operation as well as improved efficiency, and optimizing start-up sequences.
Efficiency gains are available with every cooling system design. Modern systems have the greatest potential for optimization through the latest technology. Although existing systems also have got some potential, they’re limited by the layout as well as construction issues. The cooling system you choose requires an in-depth evaluation at the design stage. Some of the design factors to take into consideration include costs, layout, water availability, energy efficiency, size, ambient conditions, and energy consumption.
Cooling systems like cooling blanket units and chillers are often utilized for venting heat out of industrial plants. The heat produced during application processes can pose serious health risks, cause equipment faults, and consequently lower production levels. And the only way out of this is through the inclusion of blanket cooling systems. These fixtures are uniquely designed to deliver high-quality performance and enhanced efficiency. They’ll ensure that all your equipment parts are functioning properly all year round. Just be sure to find an ideal chiller that’s both affordable and long-lasting.