Everything to Know About Water-Cooled Chiller

Innovation is a strong, overrated, and a certain thing we have right now in our modern society. Countless inventions and technologies are popping up in the market every second of the day to execute better solutions to human and industrial needs.

One of these innovations is Industrial Chiller. Industrial Chiller is a machine used as a refrigeration system that absorbs the heated air both in commercial and industrial facilities.

There are two main types of chillers and in this article; we will broaden your knowledge about water-cooled chiller.

The Fundamentals of Water-Cooled Chiller System

The first centrifugal Water-cooled chiller was patented by an inventor named Willis Carrier in the year 1921. Before this time, chillers are used as a reciprocating compressor to move the refrigerant through the system. During this time, processes in the lab required elevated temperatures tended to be heated directly over a flame, or conducted in a water bath which was itself, heated directly.

Finally, in 2011, PolyScience presented a line of compact and affordable low-temperature chillers. The LS-Series / LM-Series / MM-Series, designed to maximize bench space. These chillers were intended for use with rotary evaporators, jacketed incubators, small reaction vessels, spectrophotometers, chromatography columns, condensers, and other devices that require robust heat removal.

A Water-cooled chiller is a mechanical tool used by Industries to organize heat exchange from water to a refrigerant in a controlled system. Water-cooled chillers reject heat at the wet-bulb temperature.

They are smaller than air-cooled chillers for the same cooling output because its condenser requires less surface area and does not use fans, which also significantly reduces noise levels.

It lowers water temperature to between 40° and 45°F before the water is produced to the area to be cooled.

What is the Use of Water-Cooled Chiller?

It is used to cool and dehumidify air in mid- to large-size commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities. Water chillers can be water-cooled, air-cooled, or evaporatively cooled.  Water-cooled chillers vary in size from small 20-ton capacity models that are perfect in an elevator to several thousand-ton models that function very well in most of the world’s largest facilities like shopping malls,  airports, skyscrapers, restaurants, hotels and more.

Major Benefits of Water-cooled Chiller

  • Although this also uses air to move heat out of the condenser just as an air-cooled system would, a Water-cooled chiller does not draw ambient air over the condensing surface nor does not reject heat at the dry-bulb temperature. The use of evaporative condensed chillers such as Water-cooled chiller is considerably reducing the operational costs.
  • Most of the companies prefer water-cooled chillers because of the smaller size they occupy as compared to air-cooled chillers.
  • It also features higher efficiency and a long-lasting tool. Those who would like the equipment to be placed indoors may find the water-cooled machine desirable.
  • Water-cooled chillers use a humid air stream (ambient air stream + water spray) that makes it cheaper than Air-Cooled Chillers.
  • Instead of using air to extract the heat, a water-cooled chiller uses water to cool down the heat.
  • They aren’t exposed to outdoor elements such as rain, snow, ice, and heat, which make them less vulnerable.
  • Another benefit of Water-cooled chiller is that it is way effective in eliminating excessive heat. This benefit comes from the fact that water or any liquid coolant has higher heat capacity, density, and thermal conductivity than air.
  • Water-cooled chillers may last 23 years or more while Air-cooled chillers may last for 20 years or less only.
  • Most of the larger water-cooled chillers are constructed with heavy-duty, industrial-grade components which makes it great for hardcore usage.

Water-Cooled Chiller Standardization

A recent study is conducted to clarify the optimization of the use of water-cooled chiller systems based on the climatic region classification. It proposes affecting design criteria, which could be implemented in HVAC Uniform code for the Middle East, and especially for the Egyptian HVAC and Energy codes. It yields selection criteria for typical size ranges, where water-cooled cooling systems are more economical than air-cooled systems and vice versa. This concept has an impact on energy efficiency and conservation. The study is concerned with the field survey, and energy analysis of non-residential buildings in Egypt, covering seven main climatic regions, on which, each region shall be defined for specific cooling system configurations. One of the conclusions is that for newly designed projects, located almost in all Egyptian climatic regions, with any cooling capacities, could be designed based on a water-cooled chiller system with minimum initial and running cost taking into consideration the availability of different water sources in Egypt.

Water-cooled chillers, the study covers direct expansion and chilled water systems for 100% loading units in operation range 500-to-3500 kW, 140-to-1000 TR cooling capacity. Water-cooled chillers are available in sizes of up to 2000 kW, 570 TR in packaged units while Air-Cooled Chiller Units are available in one size of up to 800 kW, 255 TR in single packaged units.

Water-Cooled Chiller Rentals

There are several companies for water-cooled chillers rental that have branches worldwide. They provide a wide range of convenient, effective water-cooling options, rental chiller units as well as low-temperature process chillers. These units can be extended with rental air handlers for HVAC applications.


Generally, water-cooled chillers are denser, less noisy, have longer operating lives and are more energy-efficient than air-cooled chillers. However, the overall costs must be taken into account. Before finalizing on the water-cooled chiller rental company, consider a number of factors such as the climate of your region, number of operating hours, cooling load profile, system redundancy requirements, available space, capital and operating costs, energy efficiency, water consumption, and water treatment costs. For instance, in cold regions, especially for buildings that operate overnight when ambient temperatures are low, the energy savings from water-cooled chillers can be minimal. Water-cooled chillers tend to have lower life cycle costs in warmer climatic regions, in buildings where chillers are operated for long hours and where chiller capacity is typically larger than 1.5MW. Water efficiency is a key operational consideration where temporary water-cooled chillers are installed.

About the Author:

Robert Everett, is a General Manager at Chiller Rentals by CTCA. Other than being on top of his game, he loves to share his knowledge on HVAC industry. On the other side of things, he is also fond of joining volunteer groups for scholarship cause.


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