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Portable Chiller or Central Chiller?

Sep. 06, 2017

I have several machines in my factory that need to be cooled, should I use one portable chiller for each machine or one central chiller for all? 

We’ve been asked about this question every now and then. We need to take the following aspects into consideration before making decision.


1.   Are all of the machines require the same cooling temperature? For example, machine A needs 15 water, machine B needs 20 water, in this case, central chiller is not a proper choice for you, because it provides water with same temperature to different using spot. Although you could use some control system to regulate the supplied water temperature, but in most cases it is not as convenient as portable chillers.


2.   Is there enough space to locate a chiller unit around your machine? If your factory space is limited, better to use central chiller as you could locate it far away from the machines.


The above two aspects are primary. Then let’s talk about the advantage and disadvantages.


1.   Maintenance.


For daily maintenance, central chiller will be more convenient as you just need to take care of one unit. On the other hand, if you are using portable chillers, you need to look after every single units, which cost more man power obviously.


But from another aspect, what if the chiller breaks down? If you are using portable chillers, one breaking down unit does not influence your entire production schedule too much. While you are using central cooling system, if the chiller malfunctions, it will shut down all the production process which rely on this cooling system.


So it is important to have one back-up unit in a central cooling system.


2.   Running cost.


Normally we will suggest a relevantly larger reservoir in a central cooling system, so the chiller will not need to start and stop all the time. As we know that the chiller automatically start and stop according to the temperature it detects, a larger reservoir will keep the water temperature within a more stable range.


But for portable chillers, the built-in water tank is normally small sized due to the limit of unit dimension. In some cases, the returning water raises the temperature of water in the tank easily, which will cause frequent start and stop of the chiller compressor.


We know that for a motor, it’s max power consumption is at the moment it starts. Thus a properly worked central cooling system will be more energy efficient than portable chillers.


So, have you made up your decision after reading this article? Should you have any problem, feel free to contact us any time, Senho engineers will be pleased to be at your service. 

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