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Choosing the Right Commercial HVAC Chiller

Choosing the Right Commercial HVAC Chiller

Assuming the rationale has already been established and there is a clear decision to move forward on replacing the legacy chilled water equipment with new, we suggest the following when you are considering a new commercial HVAC chiller for your building or process, and now the next step is choosing the right one.

There are a number of variables in play when choosing an HVAC chiller system: Learn, understand and rate the Owner's preferences and priorities to select the best equipment for the job. 

 Priorites to include:

  • Schedule timelines and budgets
  • Optimum Life Cycle of the new equipment
  • Energy consumption
  • Service reliability
  • Initial and long term costs
  • Potential for expandability
  • Maintenance costs

Evaluate Distribution Infractructure Viability for the HVAC System:

As we touched on, the size of your commercial facility will be a key aspect in your search for a new HVAC chiller.

If you're running a large-scale facility, like a factory or a shopping centre, we suggest centrifugal chillers as the highest-value option. These come as either air- or water-cooled chillers depending on the installation environment.

  • Compare record keeping drawings wit as-built conditions
  • Confirm condition of connected load components including pipe,pumps,coils,fans, valves, actuators, sensors,etc.
  • Water condition and anti-corrosion treatment programs
  • Available electrical power capacity

Verify and Re-calculate all connected loads

  • Resist replacing "like for like" capacities
  • Consider re-sized new equipment potential that better matched true load conditions
  • Evaluate building envelope type and condition as it will impact your energy load
  • Confirm sensible and latent loads then match with with occupants and equipment
  • Consider and implement additional energy saving strategies

Utility Incentives:

  • Identify and qualify applicable utility incentives funding

Proposal Stage:

  • Present teh best equipment technology available matched with the above assessment
  • Review different financing options

Project Execution:

  • Project manage , commissioning and update recorded drawings
  • Secure available utility incentives on behalf of the Owner

Types of Commercial HVAC Chillers

Centrifugal chillers, screw chillers, scroll chillers...but what does it all mean??  Here are the key differences between types of commercial HVAC chillers

Water-Cooled Centrifugal Chillers

  • Characterized by higher levels of efficiency, and can therefore handle larger operation loads
  • Operates through a consistent, clean source of treated water, as the water evaporation process dissipates heat from the building to the outdoors
  • More expensive; greater upfront investment initially
  • New Magnetic Technology uses Oil-free operation, preventing wear and eliminating friction on moving parts, prolonging equipment life and reducing HVAC maintenance needs

Absorption Chillers

  • Uses waste heat to operate
  • Ideal for facilities with access to a source of waste heat; absorption chillers can offset peak energy costs
  • Commonly implemented with a mechanical chiller system, which helps improve overall HVAC efficiency

Screw Chillers

  • Can be either air- or water-cooled
  • Water-cooled screw chillers can be outfitted with geothermal heat pump applications or ice storage for even better efficiency
  • Air-cooled screw chillers must be kept outdoors, and requires space on the roof
  • Water-cooled can be more efficient, unless your building lacks a steady source of clean water or limited indoor space for equipment, pumps etc; then you should look into air-cooled alternatives

Scroll Chillers

  • A more compact, modular design
  • This design allows for scalability and flexibility, ideal for smaller facilities
  • Can be water-cooled if there's an suitable energy source nearby
  • Air-chilled variants can be equipped for ice storage, managing costs of peak energy and improving the system's overall efficiency

If you're shopping for a new commercial HVAC contractor with extensive experience in the installation,  service and preventative maintenance of your chiller for the spring, we can help you choose the right HVAC equipment and have it professionally installed by our certified HVAC technicians. Get in touch for a consultation or quote.

Author:Ambient Mechanical
About: Ambient Mechanical has been servicing the GTA since 1982 growing from a family-run business to a team of over 70 certified HVAC technicians, designers, customer service reps and sales members. Together we're committed to exceptional heating, ventilation, air-conditioning services, and energy efficient solutions.
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