Types of Pharmaceutical Chillers

Pharmaceutical chillers are important parts of the drug-manufacturing industry. Nearly all medicines require chilled water in their manufacturing, from antibiotics to complex cardiology medications. Chillers provide precise control over the water-chilling process, and pharmaceutical chilling plants have 15 to 1000 tons in terms of cooling power.

Pharmaceutical chillers come as central process chillers and compact process chillers. Central process chillers can handle 10 to 200 tons, and compact process chillers work well for 1 to 40 tons. Compact process chillers are smaller, which makes them ideal for small spaces. All pharmaceutical chillers feature components that include evaporators, pumps, refrigerant relief valves, cooling towers and pipes, condensers, compressors, filters, fans, and tanks. They come with either an air or water condenser.

Four Main Types of Pharmaceutical Chillers


These chillers come with a water or air condenser, reciprocating compressor-motor assembly, an expansion device, control panel and wiring, a compressor motor-starter, interconnecting refrigerant piping, auxiliaries, and oil and refrigerant charge. They’re a common type of chiller, and manufacturers have improved them quite a bit over the years. When it comes to size, you can find many models that fit through a 30-inch door.

Reciprocating chillers have many advantages. Manufacturers offer them in capacities of up to 200 tons. They’re easy to use with modern designs and controls, and since they’re common, users can find technical support for them without much hassle. They can use environmentally acceptable refrigerants, and many reliable manufacturers sell them.

Screw-Driven Chillers

Screw-driven chillers with screw compressors usually have capacities of under 300 tons. They’re called positive displacement devices because they compress refrigerant by reducing the refrigerant chamber’s size. The screw compressor squeezes two rotating helical rotors that compress the refrigerant. These chillers come in sizes of up to 40 percent smaller than centrifugal chillers, which is one of their advantages. They also have a quiet operation due to the fact that they have rotary motion and not many moving parts.


Like reciprocating chillers, centrifugal chillers are very common with more than 80,000 in operation in North America. Their evaporator functions as a heat exchanger to remove heat from chilled water. The heat then boils refrigerant to change it into gas form. The compressor assembly consists of a centrifugal compressor and a prime mover. Centrifugal compressors are non-positive displacement type compressors, which change kinetic energy into pressure to raise the refrigerant’s temperature. The condenser also acts as a heat exchanger to take heat away from the refrigerant, which changes the refrigerant into a liquid. Heat gets redirected to condenser water and then to a cooling tower. Once turned into liquid form, refrigerant passes through an expansion device.


A heat source provides absorption chillers with the energy to cool water. These chillers use water as the refrigerant and lithium bromide as the absorbent. The absorption process is thermochemical rather than mechanical, and it occurs inside a vacuum, which allows water to boil at a lower temperature. The heat source is a direct heat source from natural gas or an indirect heat source from waste heat, steam, or hot water. Double-effect absorption chillers recycle some of the waste heat produced, which makes them more efficient than single-effect absorption chillers. These chillers can handle a volume ranging from 4.5 tons to several hundred tons of cooling.

Turn to J.C. Younger Company to rent quality pharmaceutical chillers. We’ve been in the chiller industry since 1956, and we’re an ETL listed and inspected manufacturer. We make our chillers in the United States without any specialized or OEM components. We offer the most unit protection in the industry, and our professionals can serve you 24/7. To speak with a knowledgeable professional further on this topic, please contact us.


© Copyright 2023 JCY Younger Company | Minneapolis Web Design