Chillers for industrial process: things to consider when choosing one for a dairy plant
HVAC systems are not only used provide buildings with the level of comfort different situations might require, but are also used in industrial settings, as part of the manufacturing process in many different sectors – from the chemical sector to the food and beverage sector – providing the industrial facility with the cooling or the heating that might be needed for a given industrial process.
Therefore, pharmaceutical industrial plants, chemicals industrial plants, refineries, distilleries and many other industrial facilities like these, require HVAC systems to provide cooling with great precision.
That says how important HVAC systems are for those facilities, as products are made through processes that require strict temperature control, to ensure the success of the process itself, and the quality of the product.
Also, reliability of the HVAC system is typically an aspect that needs to be considered, as breakdowns and downtime of the HVAC system can affect the productivity of a plant and the outcome of the industrial process.
So, in this kind of facilities, HVAC systems have an important role as every of those businesses need to make sure their final products are up to the standards that the market expects. For this reason, we feel there are aspects it is important to consider when designing a HVAC system for process cooling in an industrial setting.
In this article we are taking a small dairy plant as an example, as we feel it might be interesting to see what is required by facilities that are not necessarily big in size, but still manufacture products for well-known brands (those in the distribution chain, for instance) which require meeting high standards in quality and productivity.
Dairy plants as facilities can be very challenging for HVAC systems because of the complexity of the industrial process despite the size of the plant. Taking milk product as an example, we know that the product needs to be stored at a low temperature before pasteurisation and then cooled down again after pasteurization.
In the first case milk needs to be stored at constant temperatures between 10 and 6 °C (precise temperature requirements depend on regulatory standards followed) right after the harvest, because bacteria in the milk start multiplying immediately and only low temperature storage can slow that process down and preserve milk quality, which is important because that ensures milk has a longer shelf life and can be processed into a higher quality product than raw milk with high levels of bacteria.
Another important part of the process where milk entering the pasteurisation heat exchanger (HX) at approximately 5 °C gets heated at a temperature above 72 °C and then cooled again to 5 °C before getting to other processing phases.
Choosing the right technology to meet the needs of the facility
Small dairy plants need very reliable chillers, able to provide the required cooling with great precision, to meet the needs described in the previous paragraph.
Besides that, what is also needed is chillers in a capacity range that makes sense for the size of the facility and the process equipment in it; and finally, chillers that can ensure high energy efficiency as well, as any business needs to keep an eye on operative costs.
Food process applications requiring cooling for industrial equipment are usually characterized for requiring constant loads during the year. But that does not mean the chiller will operate in the same conditions throughout the whole year. In fact, to ensure that the load request in a food process application is always satisfied, the chiller is designed to provide the proper cooling capacity in the worst operating condition for the specific climate region (design conditions). But while the load request is constant during the year, the ambient temperature is not always the same during the year or even during the day.
So, the chiller will have to be able to provide the needed capacity at design condition, but for most of the year will operate at different (more favourable) outdoor ambient temperature conditions than those specified as design conditions. This will require the chiller to operate at part load during most of the time. That is exactly why inverter technology can be important in facilities like the one described so far.
Monitoring units’ performance, then, is as important as inverter technology is. It helps reducing costs and making the whole HVAC system energy efficient and reliable. In fact, monitoring not only allows to implement efficiency strategies based on the observation of real data, but also allows the planning of preventive maintenance.
The new R-32 Small Inverter Chiller
In the case described so far, the new Small Inverter Chiller Series featuring R-32 refrigerant is an extremely valuable choice.
This air-cooled scroll compressor chiller solution can cover cooling capacities ranging from 16 kW to 90 kW, keeping the footprint of the units very compact, regardless of the unit chosen.
The cooling-only version of this Series is designed to cope with an ambient temperature range from – 20 ˚C to 45 ˚C as standard, and up to 52 °C with an optional high ambient kit.
Notable among the outstanding features offered as standard by this Series are the Daikin design DC-Inverter Scroll compressors, high efficiency Daikin design DC-Inverter fans with a selectable silent mode, and an inverter pump kit with both low and high lift variants.
These components make the Small Inverter Chiller a full inverter Series, which makes this Series perfect for applications requiring units to operate at partial load from most of their operating time, helping the HVAC system delivering exactly what is needed despite operating conditions might vary throughout the chiller’s operating time. That is essential to raise the energy efficiency of the HVAC system.
As far as connectivity and monitoring, then, Daikin has worked to offer the most advanced features with this Series.
The Smart Control solutions for this Series are specifically designed to reach the highest level of performance and system flexibility, also allowing Small Inverter Chiller units to be easily sequenced in case that was required by the project as a solution for improved load variation management.
The R-32 Small Inverter Chiller is also able to communicate with any external BMS and can be easily connected to Daikin on Site, the remote monitoring and system optimization within the Daikin proprietary cloud platform, which ensures full control of the units through detailed monitoring, online alarm troubleshooting and remote control.
This Series also stands out for its enhanced ability to connect to the Internet through the Internet of Things. Thanks to that, a dedicated Mobile Configuration App can be used to make commissioning extremely easy and quick.
Are you interested in having more information about the new Daikin R-32 Small Inverter Chiller? Then, get in touch with the form below.