Save Money and Energy
Construction companies have recently realized the true potential of cogeneration technology and absorption chilling to reduce utility expenses and save energy, both in residential and commercial projects.
Absorption chillers are an alternative to standard, electric chillers and work similarly to air conditioning systems. Instead of using electricity as power, these chiller systems run off heat using cogeneration, which produces electricity and heat simultaneously. For example, the heat used to create electricity is captured and used to heat water in the winter or cool water for air conditioning in the summer.
Using a cogeneration system is not only more energy-efficient and green than wasting heat from electricity generation, but also cost-effective for companies. Typically, a water heater would have to create its own energy, or a chiller would have to use a separate energy source for creating chilled air. In cogeneration, the same energy is used twice, which can potentially cut the energy requirements of a factory or other commercial building in half.
How does an Absorption Chiller work?
Absorption chillers are quiet, vibration-free, reliable, low maintenance and don’t use any CFC gases. Because they are driven primarily by heat energy instead of mechanical energy, they are used in industrial manufacturing plants that use boilers or have access to wasted heat from different machinery and processes. In this way, they reduce electric peaks in a building’s electric load, cutting costs during the hottest times of the year. They may act as the sole cooling system, or work as part of an integrated cooling and heating system.
The chilling process begins when a refrigerant — usually ammonia, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, alcohol, brine or methane — is put under pressure, causing heat to build up in the compressor. The liquid is then converted to vapor, and moved into the condenser. The heat leaves, causing the gas to turn to liquid, which travels to the evaporator and turns into gas, pulling heat from a liquid coolant or from the air. The chilled air or fluid is then pumped into the process or facility, effectively cooling it down to a desired temperature.
The pump is the only electrically-powered component. Absorption chillers may be direct, meaning the heat source is gas or fuel that is burned in the unit, or indirect, using steam or other transfer fluids to bring heat from other sources like the boiler or various heat-generating industrial processes. The system may also use both the indirect and direct heat-drawing methods at the same time.
To learn more about absorption chillers, call us today at 708-345-1900.