Coolers and condensers play a vital role in a wide range of applications, from industrial and commercial buildings, to retail, healthcare and education. But like all major plant, cooling systems need an effective maintenance programme to maintain their own performance, efficiency and effectiveness.
A few simple maintenance measures can make the difference between a system which is operating to its full capacity, and one which fails to meet the grade.
Bringing together our team’s extensive experience of designing, manufacturing, commissioning and supporting cooling system installations, here are some top tips from Transtherm HQ:
Read the operating requirements
Despite their size and weight, these machines are not indestructible, so pay attention to your manufacturer’s operating and maintenance requirements. In particular:
- Check to make sure design conditions such as maximum temperatures and pressures are not being exceeded. This will keep the equipment inside its warranty terms and prolong its life
- Make sure that the water flow rate continues to match the original design flow rate to avoid damaging tube erosion (where the water velocity is too fast, resulting in increased turbulence) or laminar flow (where the water velocity and turbulence is too low, resulting in a relatively still insulating layer of water within the tubes causing a larger drop in performance and efficiency)
Don’t ignore equipment during downtime
One common mistake is to ignore equipment during periods of planned downtime. If your cooling system is only used intermittently then it’s important to keep it ticking over by rotating the moving fan and pump motor parts. This will prevent the risk of system failure due to bearing failure and could help to identify any issues before the equipment is due to operate again.
Maintain a cleaning routine
This should be a staple of any maintenance programme, because a few small, simple steps can make the difference between keeping the system running effectively and experiencing a costly failure.
The most important part of cleaning a cooling system is to monitor air blast coolers and pump sets regularly for debris. A blocked heat exchanger in a cooler or a clogged strainer within your pipe work can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the equipment, not to mention the life span of fans and pumps.
Check your fluids
It goes without saying, but if your system needs special fluids, like glycol antifreeze to protect it from frost damage, then check and maintain the required amount. Your manufacturer will be able to confirm requirements if you’re not sure.
Frost damaged cooling equipment can be costly to repair or replace, but like so many of the faults you could experience, it is entirely preventable with the right maintenance programme.
Need more support?
To discuss your specific requirements, call our team of mechanical engineers on +44 (0)24 7647 1120.