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Moving Forward with a Chiller Installation or Replacement? Here's What You Need to Know.

Posted by Ambient Mechanical on 14 October 2020
Moving Forward with a Chiller Installation or Replacement? Here's What You Need to Know.

Well, it's that time of year again! Although it's October, this is the time that chiller Installations are in the planning stages, in preparation for the Spring start-up season. Chillers are usually installed anywhere from after the Fall shut-down in October through to March or April. Assuming the rationale has already been established and there is a clear decision to move forward with a water chiller replacement, Ambient Mechanical suggests taking the following steps to help ensure that you are choosing the right one.

There are a number of variables to consider when choosing an HVAC system, such as a chiller

  • Timelines and budgets for a new machine
  • Optimum Life Cycle of the new HVAC equipment
  • Energy consumption comparison between the existing chiller and a new one
  • HVAC service reliability
  • Initial and long term costs
  • Potential for expandability
  • Ongoing HVAC maintenance costs

Evaluate Distribution Infrastructure Viability for the HVAC System:

The size of your high-rise residential or commercial facility will be a key factor in the search for a new chiller.

Ambient's HVAC specialists 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 with 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 that better matches true load conditions
  • Evaluate building envelope type and condition as it will impact your energy load
  • Confirm sensible and latent loads, then match with occupants and HVAC equipment
  • Consider and implement additional ways to save on energy and HVAC efficiency tips

Utility Incentives and Ontario Rebates:

  • Identify and qualify applicable utility incentives funding and Ontario rebates (your HVAC contractor can assist with these incentives, as they can be complicated and time-consuming to administer).

Proposal Stage:

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

Project Execution:

  • Project-manage, commission, and update recorded drawings
  • Secure available utility incentives and Ontario rebates

Types of Commercial HVAC Chillers

Centrifugal chillers, screw chillers, scroll chillers...but what does it all mean??  Here are the key differences between the 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
  • Greater upfront investment initially
  • New Magnetic Technology uses Oil-free operation, preventing wear and eliminating friction on moving parts, prolonging equipment life, and reducing chiller maintenance costs and needs

Absorption Chillers

  • Uses waste heat to operate
  • Ideal for commercial 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 chillers
  • Water-cooled screw chillers can be outfitted with geothermal heat pump applications or ice storage for even better HVAC efficiency
  • Air-cooled screw chillers must be kept outdoors and require space on the roof
  • Water-cooled chillers can be more efficient unless your building/commercial facility lacks a steady source of clean water or limited indoor space for HVAC equipment, pumps, etc; In which case, you should look into air-cooled chiller options

Scroll Chillers

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

If you're looking for an HVAC contractor with extensive experience in the installation, HVAC service, and preventative maintenance of your chiller, Ambient can help you choose the right HVAC equipment and have it professionally installed by our certified HVAC technicians before the 2021 cooling season on time and on budget. 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.
Tags: Articles from the Experts HVAC News & Tips

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