Industrial chillers capture the largest electric load of any plant machinery. By this alone, it is evident in case of any mishap the downtime can be quite unimaginable. The company can run into losses and severe damages that can be quite irreparable. That’s why it is important to operate industrial chillers at peak performance. This way you will easily save the cost of energy and other maintenance costs. A good way to do this is to practice the best chiller maintenance.
Thanks to advanced technology, today the maintenance of chillers and other heavy plant types of machinery has become easy. As such, there are new developments with magnetic bearings and remote monitoring technologies.
You can now enjoy demand maintenance programs rather than the conventional pre-determined scheduled maintenance. Here are some of the industrial chiller’s maintenance tips to start you off.
6 Basic Chillers Maintenance Tips You Should Know
Track Your Daily Performance
By the daily performance, I mean daily log. This is still the most fundamental step toward maintaining a highly efficient chiller plant. The daily log will allow you to capture the history of operation.
From different parameters including the temperature, pressure, the fluid levels, and the flow rates, you’ll have it all. With the remote monitoring technology, you will easily inspect the machines continually and thus remain updated.
This also helps you in keeping clear track records and trend reports. These reports are effective at determining the best maintenance needs from the onset.
Treat Condenser Water
If the condenser water is treated, it prevents scaling and corrosion. This should be done to all the condenser water loops that use the open cooling sources. Water treatment also eliminates any biological growth.
If the water is not treated, fouling occurs in the condensers and in turn impedes proper heat transfer. When this happens the effectiveness of the tubing is also decreased. You can inspect the chilled water loops annually.
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Keep Tubes Clean
Clean tubes will guarantee efficient heat transfer. An efficient heat transfer assures you of the best chiller performance. With proper tube cleaning, you’ll remove unwanted mineral, scales, mud, and algae.
These are impurities that can increase thermal resistance and eventually reduce the overall performance of the chiller. Higher approach temperatures will indicate that the heat transfer efficiency is decreasing.
Adequate Refrigerant Charge
You should also maintain the ideal refrigerant charge. This is important as the actual amount of cooling that the chiller provides will depend on how much of the refrigerant moves through the main compressor.
It is, therefore, very important that you maintain the ideal level of refrigerant charge for the conditions that you desire. Ensure that you don’t sustain any refrigerant leaks and that the air and moisture are not introduced into your system.
If this happens, you will decrease the efficiency and also the reliability of your chiller’s system. A low refrigerant charge also causes the compressor to strain and work harder for a less cooling effect.
Check Operation of Motors
For highly efficient operation, the starters and motors of the chiller must be in proper working conditions. That’s why it is recommended that you check the safety and also the sensor calibrations on the microprocessor controls.
You can do this by hiring an expert technician or consulting the manufacturer. This check is vital at preventing insulation faults.
Analyze the Compressor Oil
You should send samples of the oil lubricant to the laboratory for “spectrometric” chemical analysis. This can be done annually. By doing this analysis, you will find out if the oil should be replaced.
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Industrial chillers need to perform at their best if you want to have the best experience with them. You must make sure that your frequent checks are done to the chillers. This will save you from having a grounded chiller system as logs are tracked on a daily basis.