Five steps to keep cooling costs low
Want to make the most of your CAPEX expenditure when specifying cooling technology? What about making OPEX savings too? Here’s our top five tips for keep cooling costs low:
1) Decide how you want your money to work
In order to set an appropriate purchasing budget, you must have a clear understanding of how the cooler is going to work, which can be crudely split into two categories; plant which is used less frequently, for ‘as and when’ work, and equipment which will run continuously. Let’s take a look at those options in more detail:
Low cost, little use
Projects which require cooling in emergency, or backup, situations only, such as an air blast cooler fitted to a diesel backup generating set for example, would only be activated in rare circumstances when the mains supply fails.
In terms of an appropriate purchase cost, a cooling requirement of this nature would not need a substantial upfront investment, with lower cost alternatives providing adequate heat dissipation for emergency or short-term back up operations.
Higher cost, harder work
For coolers in continuous operation, always consider increasing your upfront investment to specify plant which delivers high Energy Efficiency Ratios (EER) and lower Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) readings. Cooling technology for highly demanding, around the clock applications benefit from value adding features such as EC variable speed fans and PLC based control systems.
2) Clean coolers drive efficiencies
It’s a simple fact that clean coolers which are free from debris will save money. A clogged heat exchange coil can put extra strain on fans and reduce the performance capability and efficiency as a result.
All sites differ and cleaning timeframes will need to be adjusted accordingly but options such as air inlet filters and recent improvements in third party non-caustic coil cleaning solutions can help to reduce maintenance frequency and prolong equipment life.
3) Specify with space in mind
Ambient coolers work more efficiently if they have clear space around them, which increases the amount of cool air around the air inlet. Specifying and locating a cooler with space in mind will drive running costs down for the duration of its lifetime. If boxed in, the fans may have to work harder to overcome the additional air side pressure drop and the warm air re-circulation where the heated exhaust air is dragged back into the cool air stream.
If space is an issue, consider flexible design options, such as a cooler with a smaller footprint to increase the surrounding space, or using extended legs to lift the unit high enough to increase the air inlet envelope.
4) Make use of free cooling
The UK’s colder climate is ideal for free cooling, meaning the cooler could deliver free cooling in the winter months when the outside air is used to chill water instead of using energy consuming chillers.
This option works well for much of the year, when spring and autumn ambient air temperatures can still be particularly cool. Payback on a system of this nature can be as short as four to six months with substantial cost savings after that.
5) Manage glycol concentration levels for maximum efficiency
Maintaining the correct levels of glycol concentration within an ambient cooler is essential to maximise efficiencies and cost reductions.
Too much anti-freeze can in fact have an adverse reaction on efficiency, so read the manufacturer’s guidelines and implement a procedure which will monitor and manage the levels accordingly.
For more advice on cost effective ambient cooling technology, discuss your requirements with Transtherm’s skilled team of mechanical engineers. Call 024 7647 1120 today or live chat on our website.