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All About Chilled Water HVAC Systems

Chilled water HVAC systems are commonly used in commercial, specialized, and industrial environments and are mostly used in medium to large buildings. This system works similarly to direct expansion HVAC systems, the only difference being that they use water as a means to cool air instead of refrigerant.

chilled water HVAC system

Chilled Water HVAC Systems – The Basics

Typically, a chilled water HVAC system uses a refrigeration process to chill water inside a chiller barrel. The chilled water will then travel through chilled piping throughout the entire building and passes through a special coil.

Air is then passed over the coil, allowing a heat exchange process to take place. Heat from the air is absorbed into the coils and then into the water. This change in temperature pushes the water back to the chiller for the heat to be removed before it journeys back through the chilled piping and coils again. This process takes place continuously to provide cool air.

Because the compressor is what drives the entire cooling process, it is also the component which uses the most energy. For this reason, it’s important to make use of an energy efficient compressor.

Centralizing Air Conditioning with Chilled Water Systems

Chilled water systems can provide cooling for an entire building or even multiple buildings, acting as a centralized cooling system. This allows for the system to be installed in a single location, rather than installing several systems or pieces of equipment in various locations, simplifying access for repair and maintenance tasks.

Flexibility is an Advantage

Chilled water systems offer flexibility in their configurations:

  • Can be installed indoors and outdoors
  • Can feature different compressors and refrigerants
  • Additional accessories available for full customization
  • Can be combined with a variety of terminal units such:
    • Ice bank systems
    • Fan coils
    • Floor cooling/heating
    • Air handling units
    • Other chiller cascade systems

Energy Efficient Cooling Systems

Chilled water systems are more energy efficient than smaller, individual systems and, although their initial investment may be slightly more expensive, they save money on energy consumption long-term. Therefore, their ROI can be relatively quick.

Air Options – Commercial HVAC Company South Africa

At Air Options, we specialize in designing and installing modular HVAC systems for various sectors including medical, industrial, and commercial.

Our chilled water HVAC systems can be customized to meet your building’s unique needs and specifications. Contact us to find out more.

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