Steps for Improving Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled Chiller Performance and Energy Efficiency
Presenters will discuss strategies to maximize air and water-cooled chiller performance, for example, using reset strategies to respond dynamically to cooling demand. A chiller’s efficiency is most important at non-peak conditions, where it usually runs. System pressure can be optimized by resetting pumps in response to AHU valve positions; chilled water temperature can be reset on the AHU’s collective ability to maintain setpoints. Condenser water should be as cold as weather conditions permit, with a low limit dictated by the chiller manufacturer.
Air-cooled chillers are ‘packaged’ items so engineers rarely seek optimization opportunities. An understanding of their components and the refrigeration cycle might lead to efficiency improvements to beyond factory-rated performance. Compressor efficiency can be improved by maximizing the condenser surface used for condensing refrigerant. Presenters will showcase hardware and control modifications that maximize the condensing area, utilize de-superheating, or use pumps to maintain pressure through expansion devices.
Jim joined ETC Group in 2018 with 25 years of experience in the HVAC industry in general, and 15 years specializing in energy efficiency. At ETC Group, Jim has been the lead engineer on HVAC Energy Efficiency projects around the world and has provided technical guidance in support of ETC Group’s engineering staff and Monitoring-Based Commissioning program.
Jim holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Brigham Young University and an MBA with Finance Concentration from Southern Methodist University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in AZ, CA, FL, ID, KS, MT, NM, TX, UT, and WA. Jim is the recipient of the 2021 AEE Region V Engineer of the Year Award.