American Chillers and Cooling Tower Systems

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Chiller Sizing for a Growing Brewery

Uncategorized 🕔August 8, 2015

Chiller Sizing for a Growing Brewery

Oversizing a glycol chiller without adding a form of capacity control can shorten the life of your chiller. It may be better to size for your current needs and upgrade later. This not only keeps more cash in your pocket, but also may extend the life of your glycol chiller compressor(s) and save on electricity. If growth is certain, then consider going modular.

What is a modular glycol chiller?

Modular glycol chillers can be used for expanding breweries. With proper planning you can add chiller modules similar to how you add tanks as you grow. Modular systems separate the chiller, glycol tank and pump as opposed to purchasing a packaged, self-contained system with tank, pump chiller in a single unit.

How to size for growth with modular glycol chillers?

  1. Calculate your current needs
  2. Calculate your planned future growth
  3. Size your glycol reservoir for your future growth load
  4. Size your chiller and pump for your current needs
  5. As you grow add chiller modules and pumps to your system to increase your cooling capacity

Let’s say you currently need a 5 HP chiller system, but are growing to 15 HP in the next few years. Instead of buying a 5 HP package chiller which includes a 50 gallon glycol tank and 1 HP pump installed inside the chiller, you purchase a 5 HP chiller module, a 1 HP pump (shipped loose) and a 150 gallon glycol tank.  The chiller is installed outdoors. Your tank and pump can be installed indoors or outdoors. Fill your tank with at least 25 gallons of glycol or enough to maintain flooded suction of your pump (cover up the pump suction line).

Instead of replacing the chiller, simply add another 5 HP chiller module to your system and add another 50 gallons of glycol mix to your tank. You can install the chillers in series or in parallel and by staging the thermostats by a few degrees you will now have a lead and a lag system. Every month or two you can change which system is the lead chiller to even out run times.

You can do this multiple times. Keep in mind, the header piping system that supply your tanks will need to be properly sized for your growth (instead of 1” pipes, you may need to install 1.5” pipes). The drops to each tank will be sized off of the solenoid valves and your tank fitting sizes.

Contact American Chillers & Cooling Tower Systems, Inc. for assistance with sizing your glycol chiller system.