Today’s process chillers are the most efficient ever. Technology is much more advanced, and refrigerants are newer.  But no matter how well a chiller is built, the systems’ need for regular maintenance will always be there.
So how do you keep today’s high-tech process chiller working their best?  The answer is easy…..MAINTENANCE. Regular scheduled maintenance of tubes, oil, compressor, condenser, refrigerant, and starting equipment, are crucial to a chiller’s longevity.

Tubes:
Make sure that the chiller’s tubes are cleaned and maintained on a regular basis

Controls:
A system’s controls will always need regular inspection and calibration

Refrigerant charge and Oil Changes:
Weekly readings of refrigerant and oil are crucial to keep a chiller working efficiently and catching a problem before it turns into something major.

TUBE CLEANING, WATER CIRCUITS

The condition of local water will have a lot to do with the frequency required for tube cleaning and inspection.  You must make sure to know the quality of your water.  The frequency of tube cleaning should be determined mainly on the water conditions.

Checking the condenser refrigerant temperature against the leaving condenser water temperature is also crucial. If a reading is higher than design, the condenser tubes may be dirty, or water flow rates may be incorrect.

REFRIGERANT CHARGE

Proper refrigerant charge in the chiller is essential for optimal performance and energy efficiency. Too much refrigerant in the unit can cause the liquid refrigerant to enter the compressor and evaporate. This can cause an overloaded motor condition, excess power consumption, and possible damage to the compressor impeller.

STARTING EQUIPMENT

Servicing controls is usually overlooked, but  is just as important to the overall operation and efficiency of your chiller.

It’s a good idea to perform regular system evaluations to ensure that performance is optimized. A chiller controls test is part of this regular evaluation.  You must make sure the chiller is working properly, and frequently test of temperature sensors, pressure transducers, oil pump, water pumps, cooling tower control, and other on/off outputs

OIL, LUBRICATION SYSTEM

Changing the oil, of course is also an important part of chiller efficiency
You should perform oil and filter changes after the first year of operation, and perform yearly oil analysis after that.  If the oil in your chiller is dirty it of course will need to be changed more often.  Regardless of the oil condition, make sure to change the filter once a year.

The lubrication system should also be checked weekly.

​STILL MORE TO IT

Chiller maintenance includes many other areas too.   Checking for refrigerant leaks and inspecting power transducers is just one of these other areas. Maintaining the chiller’s compressor is another.  It is also important to keep up with the chiller’s bearings and controls.

The most important thing is to be regular, and keep up with your chiller maintenance schedule. Chillers are not cheap, and companies need to make sure they get their money’s worth.