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Glycol chiller to cool walk-in as well as tanks?

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  • Glycol chiller to cool walk-in as well as tanks?

    I was looking at Everything You Need to Know About Glycol (great page, btw!), and had a question about the flow illustration near the bottom (between (3) First in last out and (4) install gauges), specifically, the cyan-colored box labeled "Glycol/Air Heat Exchanger Cooling Room Storage".

    Am I understanding this correctly that this drawing show not only cooling the tanks, but using the glycol chiller to also cool the walk-in cooler? Seems pretty nifty, if that works. We're getting ready to build our first public taproom (currently doing wholesale only) and that'd save me an entire refrigeration unit. (Granted, I'd probably need a slightly bigger one to start, but I bet one big one is cheaper than 2 little ones!)

    Am I reading that right? Where do I go to learn more about sizing? (I just finished figuring out how big I needed to chill my tanks! (Plus a bit of buffer, because: overbuild!))


  • #2
    It can be done, but personally I would go with a dedicated system for the walk-in. You are going to have fluctuations in your glycol temperature, depending on knocking out and crashing tanks, that would probably not keep your walk-in temperature consistent.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN


    • #3
      Unless you have high redundancy on chillers as in multiple units with integrated loop capability this is not a good idea. You need a separate DX system on your walk in.
      A single compressor chiller system is also very undesirable because you then have a single point of failure for the entire operation. The demand, peak load, and diversified loads are difficult to grasp if such have not been dealt with in detail in a working operation. Knockout and Brite cooling is especially not well understood and heavily neglected with respect to all loads on the glycol system. There is rarely enough of the right kind of redundancy built in from the beginning on start ups.
      Warren Turner
      Industrial Engineering Technician
      HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
      Moab Brewery
      The Thought Police are Attempting to Suppress Free Speech and Sugar coat everything. This is both Cowardice and Treason given to their own kind.


      • #4
        Hello olie,

        Brewers and Wine Makers have been utilizing glycol fan coils for years to chill their walk-in coolers, barrel rooms, case storage and even their cellars. The main benefit to utilizing them for a walk-in cooler is cost. G&D is very transparent on this topic. If you are budgeted for it, we recommend traditional direct expansion refrigeration. You gain the all important "redundancy" we all seek by not having all our eggs in one basket. You will operate a little more efficiently as well. That said, we sell many fan coils to breweries for their walk-in coolers and they work great, holding temps as low as 35°F. If you choose this route, we definitely recommend you buy a chiller with multiple circuits/compressors. That way at least you have some redundancy in the chiller.
        You should also keep in mind that the decision to go glycol in the walk-in could potentially increase the size of your chiller selection, making it a wash with costs associated with going traditional DX refrigeration. G&D recommends talking through these options with your chiller manufacturer. Get pricing, weigh your costs and all your options. Make your best decision while doing what you can to stay within your budget.

        -G&D Chillers, Inc.
        G&D Chillers, Inc.
        760 Bailey Hill Road
        Eugene OR 97402
        541-345-3903 / 800-555-0973
        Fax: 541/345-9141