Chillers

Schoeneck Containers, Inc. (SCI) is a company that thinks a lot about its future – and how to continue to maintain a long track record of profitability and reliability while meeting a growing demand for its quality plastic containers for customers throughout North America. It’s the kind of thinking driving the decision to install a closed-loop adiabatic fluid cooler and central chiller with free-cooling capabilities at the company’s new 250,000-square-foot production facility in Delavan, Wisconsin. 
 

Our simplified business model is to melt plastic and cool it back into the form we want – and cooling water makes this happen. We need to optimize chilled water temperature and flow to ensure that our production machines make consistent finished products. In molding application, we cool the plastic through conduction and convection directly. Blown film is different in that cooling-water cools the air and then an air handler cools the plastic.
Free cooling is a type of process cooling system design that takes advantage of ambient temperatures to reduce or even eliminate chiller operation. Chillers consume large amounts of energy; so, reducing a chiller’s operating hours per year can result in significant bottom line savings for your company.  In this article, we will review a typical free cooling system design, some of the considerations for your system, and finally, how these considerations impact your system’s ability to capitalize on the free cooling operation.
Hospitals account for nearly 5% of the total energy use in the United States each year. The average 200,000 ft2 facility spends about $13,600 per bed, or roughly $680,000 annually, on energy costs. Why so much? Operating twenty-four hours a day, thousands of employees, patients, and visitors cycle through campus buildings daily. Additionally, hospitals maintain high ventilation rates to lessen the risk of microbial contamination; the conditioning requirements of this outdoor air represents significant energy usage. Lastly, the use of sophisticated imaging equipment, electronic health record systems and other operations generates heat that must be compensated for via the site’s cooling load.
rPlanet Earth is a rarity in the plastics recycling and manufacturing industry. After all, its operation in Vernon, California, is the world’s only vertically integrated facility able to convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging waste into recycled PET (rPET) packaging for food and beverage industries. Yet, rPlanet Earth is much like any other plastics company in one key aspect: it must maintain production efficiencies to meet growing demand for its high-quality products. 
Reducing fossil fuel use is key to meeting the dual goal of carbon and energy cost reduction. A Full Heat Recovery Engagement (FHRE) approach can dramatically reduce both, through applying simple principles and using existing technology. Simple measures can help focus the design of both the buildings served and the systems used to achieve these goals.
Atlas Copco made headlines recently after introducing itself to the U.S. industrial process cooling chiller market with the launch of the TCX 4-90A chiller range. Chiller & Cooling Best Practices Magazine interviewed Robert Tucker to learn about Atlas Copco’s strategy in the United States. Tucker, a business development manager with more than 30 years of industrial fluid dynamics experience, leads the U.S. process cooling chiller initiative within the Atlas Copco Compressor Oil-free Air Division.
Chiller & Cooling Best Practices Magazine spoke with Tom Pagliuco, Executive Director Global Energy Engineering at AbbVie, Inc. about best practices for optimizing chilled water systems in today’s pharmaceutical operations. 
Industrial automation and process applications requiring a chiller or heat exchanger can come in all types of shapes and sizes, and cooling capacity demands can range from a few hundred Btu/hr. for bench top lab equipment to many million Btu/hr. for laser applications. Chiller sizing for large-scale end users such as beverage, chemical or plastics manufacturing usually will demand central systems to achieve the massive cooling capacity requirements compared with small- to medium-range point of use automation applications. These unique differences become more challenging for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as machine designers must anticipate a wide range of end-user operating environments and operator skill levels when specifying chillers or heat exchangers in contrast to end-user facilities where cooling capacity requirements are location specific and operator skill levels are known.  
At the company’s production plant employees manufacture a complete range of engineered, high-performance polymers. At the heart of the operation are numerous extrusion lines and related equipment that operate 24 hours a day, five days per week to produce and ship as much as five million pounds of high-performance polymer pellets each month. The process of producing pellets begins when the rotating screw on each extruder accepts a carefully calibrated mix of thermoplastic materials, as well as additives, from a hopper and pushes the mixture into the extruder’s barrel.
Do water-cooled chiller plants still deliver lower utility bills? Today, many chiller plant energy analyses carefully account for energy costs, and even energy escalation rates – a factor that projects how fuel costs will increase over time, while ignoring water and wastewater costs associated with cooling towers. While highly effective at transferring heat, cooling towers consume millions of gallons of water each year through the process of evaporation, drift, and blowdown. With the rising cost of water and wastewater, this omission can result in an incomplete picture for the building owner.