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View Full Version : Portable Water Cooled Glycol Units for nano - more trouble than they're worth?



PerraHermosa
01-17-2015, 12:16 PM
Our nano brewery (2BBL) has received a couple of industrial water-cooled chiller units:
Mokon Water Cooled WS-3, see here: http://www.mokon.com/products/portable-chiller-systems/iceman-sc-series/
and now that we are growing its time to implement them. The idea is to use these for our (future) two jacketed 3.5 BBL unitanks. Also, we want to use them for stage 2 of cooling after the boil. I'm seeking advice regarding the general usage of these 3-ton portable units, but first had questions re: operating the water-cooled chiller.
Do we need an additional water tower or reservoir? how large? what are the temps of discharge water? How much water is required?
Do we need Additional parts/pumps to operate the chiller? i.e. discharge water pumped to reservoir, etc.
Can that reservoir water then be used in HLT?
Any other issues we need to consider?
For our size, is installing these more trouble than they are worth? Or is this an awesome gift and you are all cursing my ignorance?

For reference, here's the wikipedia breakdown of water, air and evaporatively cooled chillers:
"Water-cooled chillers are typically intended for indoor installation and operation, and are cooled by a separate condenser water loop and connected to outdoor cooling towers to expel heat to the atmosphere.
Air-cooled and evaporatively cooled chillers are intended for outdoor installation and operation. Air-cooled machines are directly cooled by ambient air being mechanically circulated directly through the machine's condenser coil to expel heat to the atmosphere.
Evaporatively cooled machines are similar, except they implement a mist of water over the condenser coil to aid in condenser cooling, making the machine more efficient than a traditional air-cooled machine. No remote cooling tower is typically required with either of these types of packaged air-cooled or evaporatively cooled chillers."

jimvgjr
01-19-2015, 07:03 AM
Water cooled systems are not uncommon, as the link points out- these units use water to condense the refrigerant versus using ambient air.

Water cooled condensers are not potable rated and the exiting water (typically exiting around 100 F) can't be reused for consumption. There are likely water regulating valves on these units that meter the amount of water introduced to control condensing pressure with the outlet water needing to go to drain. Typically these would be connected to a city water source with the outlet being sent to drain. The regulating valve closes off the flow of water when the compressor is not running. In this size range, this is most common unless they are located in a facility that has a cooling tower loop feeding multiple pieces of equipment. Incorporating a dedicated cooling tower for this is possible, however the expense of this might be better applied installing a traditional air cooled chiller system. If you have a good refrigeration mechanic, he might be able to convert these units to air cooled condensing also.

We estimate water usage on our water cooled systems are going to run between 2-3 GPM per HP, it appears their "3 ton" is a 3 HP, and will likely require between 6-9 GPM when the compressor is running. The colder your entering water temperature, the less flow will be required.

If they were free, you may want to hook them up and see how they do- if the water usage is too much you could then look at options to convert, replace, or install a cooling tower loop..

Hope this might be helpful. Good Luck.

Jim

Pro Chiller Systems
jiimvgjr@prorefrigeration.com

PerraHermosa
01-19-2015, 10:37 AM
Water cooled systems are not uncommon, as the link points out- these units use water to condense the refrigerant versus using ambient air.

Water cooled condensers are not potable rated and the exiting water (typically exiting around 100 F) can't be reused for consumption. There are likely water regulating valves on these units that meter the amount of water introduced to control condensing pressure with the outlet water needing to go to drain. Typically these would be connected to a city water source with the outlet being sent to drain. The regulating valve closes off the flow of water when the compressor is not running. In this size range, this is most common unless they are located in a facility that has a cooling tower loop feeding multiple pieces of equipment. Incorporating a dedicated cooling tower for this is possible, however the expense of this might be better applied installing a traditional air cooled chiller system. If you have a good refrigeration mechanic, he might be able to convert these units to air cooled condensing also.

We estimate water usage on our water cooled systems are going to run between 2-3 GPM per HP, it appears their "3 ton" is a 3 HP, and will likely require between 6-9 GPM when the compressor is running. The colder your entering water temperature, the less flow will be required.

If they were free, you may want to hook them up and see how they do- if the water usage is too much you could then look at options to convert, replace, or install a cooling tower loop..

Hope this might be helpful. Good Luck.

Jim

Pro Chiller Systems
jiimvgjr@prorefrigeration.com

Hi Jim, thanks for the response. I really appreciate it. Im thinking these are going to be too much retrofitting - i already need to swap the 440v 3PH motors out to 220v 1PH. Honestly, they may be oversized for our current expansion (two 3.5BBL primaries), and being where we are in Costa Rica and having a "dry" season with little rain I don't know how environmentally friendly these units are going to make us.
I am trying to wrap my head around the parts and flow chart of how a very basic glycol setup would work. Do you know of such a resource?
Many thanks again.

jimvgjr
01-20-2015, 05:52 AM
We have a couple of articles actually posted here in the PROBREWER refrigeration library http://www.probrewer.com/library/refrigeration/ and also on our website http://www.prochiller.com/reSalesLit.html. Please review and feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

Good Luck,

Jim