What You Need To Know About Industrial Condensing Units

Picking the right chiller for your application means exploring many options. They have a variety of features for cooling, and each mechanism has its own advantages. In order to decide on specifications for the chiller you need, you will have to develop a passing understanding of the features involved. A good place to start is a common type of cooling mechanism called a condenser.

Basics Of Condensers In Chillers

Frequently, chillers use units called condensers to cool the refrigerant (the chemical used to take heat from the cooling part of the machine.)

Condensers are a type of heat exchanger. They get their name because they use a medium to absorb heat from a vapor of a refrigerant, which causes the vapor to condense to a (cooler) liquid. They generally sit around a compressor, which takes the now liquid refrigerant and pressurizes it. This pushes the refrigerant through the coils where the liquid will absorb heat from the chiller, causing it to become a vapor that will go through the process all over again.

What Is An Air-Cooled Condensing Unit

There are a couple of types of condensers, classified by the type of medium used to cool the vapor. One common type in industrial applications is air cooled condensing units, also known by the acronym ACCU.

Air-cooled condensers push or pull air around a series of finned metal tubes. These tubes are full of hot gasses, which the air cools, causing the vapor to form a condensate on the tubing that drips into a reservoir or out a drain. The air, now hot, leaves the chiller. The industrial machines will use fans to pull cool air from outside and eject hot air from the chiller. You may see some small condensers using gravity to move the air. Designs can come with horizontal or vertical discharge vents, and this will contribute to the shape of the chiller and where you can put them.

What Is A Water-Cooled Condensing Unit

This type of condenser uses tubes of water to do the same job as the air in the air-cooled designs. Hot refrigerant vapor goes in sealed shells, where tubes or coils of cold water are. The cold water sucks up the heat. Chillers can also use devices called evaporators to remove heat, and then use the water-cooled condensers to take heat out of the evaporators, letting them go back to cooling the machines.


ACCU’s have a few benefits. The most obvious is that the units require no water to work. You don’t have to worry about adding anything to it, and you don’t have to worry about the condensing medium freezing. No scale will develop on the tubes, either. It is also generally easy to install and keep clean. They can be meant for outdoor installation.

Water-cooled condensers, however, don’t have to worry about access to fresh air to keep cool, and they can be more compact in design. There is also the noise factor: there are no fans buzzing in the background during the work day. You can use lower condensing pressures in the machine, and you have more control over the pressure as well. Water-cooled chillers do well installed inside, and the condenser can be outside, in a separate loop. Some chillers use water towers to release outside the heat the water takes in.

We have a variety of chillers to choose from, some of which use water-cooled condensing units, and some of which use air-cooled condensing units. If you need to rent or buy a chiller of either type, contact us. We have 60 years of experience in finding the right chiller for customers.


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