The British summer is an unreliable season and hot weather tends to surprise us – usually during the working week when we have little time to enjoy it!
Like overheating the engine in your car, the loss of cooling capability from industrial chillers and cooling towers during hotter weather can create huge problems for manufacturers such as excessive downtime, damaged chiller parts and product wastage.
To avoid being surprised by a failure to your process cooling equipment and ensure that production downtime is minimised, it’s worthwhile asking the following questions:
- How old is your equipment?
Chillers are expected to last for a good 12 years, of course their lifespan is dependent on the conditions and frequency they operate at and how well they are maintained.
Planned preventative maintenance programmes will help to keep components clean and in good working order, so that they are not put under strain from spikes in temperature.
With innovations in technology such as scroll compressor chillers, it is worth considering replacing equipment over the age of 8 years. With funding available from organisations such as the Carbon Trust, you may not need a capital outlay to reap the benefits of more energy-efficient temperature control equipment. The benefit of new equipment usually means a warranty of up to 5 years on parts – providing greater reassurance.
- How are you protecting your system?
Dosing your water system with Glycol as an inhibitor is highly recommended. It’s not just an anti-freeze, it helps to maintain the condition of the water that is flowing through your expensive chiller and heater components and pipework.
- How are you monitoring your equipment?
The development of software means you can now remotely monitor the conditions that a chiller is operating in. You no longer need to be on-site to access and rectify system faults and you can instantly control issues such as temperatures creeping above desired control tolerances – helping to avoid costly production down-time and waste.
With secure, real-time information on the operation and running conditions of the plant machinery you’ll be able to identify energy, cost savings and system inefficiencies before production is affected.
- How often are you maintaining your equipment?
It’s recommended that planned preventative maintenance is carried out at least twice a year. This provides an opportunity to ensure that equipment is checked in advance of either warmer or cooler conditions.
- Are you checking water quality?
If a chiller’s water and glycol mix is incorrect, the effects can be rapid and disastrous, leading to corrosion, the build-up of rust, system deterioration, and leaks. In addition, the build-up of scale (particularly in hard water areas), algae and debris can also clog vital components and cause them to work harder or even harder still in more extreme temperatures.
A simple pH test and water samples will determine the condition of your system water and using industry experts, steps can be taken to restore your system and the water flowing throughout.
To find out more about protecting your process cooling and production, talk to one of our engineers on 0800 774 7426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.