If you’ve got an older, not-so-efficient air-cooled chiller that’s responsible for cooling your building, Schneider Electric is coming out with a new product that may be just up your alley.
At the recent 2104 AHR Expo in New York, Schneider was demonstrating the Condenser Fan Pak. Bob Gray, HVAC/R Segment Business Manager for Schneider Electric, explained how it works in a short video I shot with him (above).
The retrofit unit applies floating head pressure control to the existing chiller. It has a controller with an algorithm that determines how much pressure control to apply based on factors including outside air temperature and the pressure on each refrigeration circuit. In a nutshell, the system optimizes the head pressure by varying the speed of the condenser fans to reduce the lift of the compressor. That reduces the amount of work the compressor has to perform, and therefore reduces the amount of energy it uses.
It increases the efficiency of existing chillers by 25% to 30%, Gray says. “It’s a huge amount of energy savings for not much up-front capital,” he says. Putting the device on an existing air cooled chiller can essentially bring the chiller up to current standards in terms of energy efficiency.
What’s more, it can work with chillers of virtually any size, from 50 tons to 500 tons. It’s a good fit for chillers that operate at least 9 months out of the year. In such cases, “the typical ROI is about 3 years,” Gray says. “If you have a chiller in a hospital or data center, or commerical buildings where you have at least 9 months out of the year of chiller use, it’s a very good application.”
Schneider Electric even has an app to help customers determine how much the Condenser Fan Pak solution may save, given the parameters of their chiller, location and operating parameters. Dubbed the HVAC/R Savings Calc, it’s available free at the iTunes Store.
The product is due for general availability on July 1 but is currently available on an engineer-to-order basis. To learn more about the Condenser Fan Pak, check out this presentation slide deck (PDF), this video about the product and this webinar that Gray participated in, hosted by HPAC Engineering.