Rising energy costs combined with the basic need to optimize cooling and operational efficiency are key forces driving the changes we see in today’s process chiller designs. More and more companies are moving to both “green” preventative maintenance practices and energy efficient equipment that provide greater heat rejection capability at lower operating costs.
When adopting green maintenance practices, more and more companies are realizing the importance of protecting their condenser coils from fouling and are using air intake filters commonly known as “Cottonwood Filter Screens”.
When mounted over the condenser coils on older, less efficient equipment, it helps to optimize the efficiency level of the equipment by keeping the coils clean so the equipment can operate within an acceptable efficiency range – and in many cases, this is a significantly more cost efficient approach vs. replacing the equipment with “high efficiency” equipment. As most facilities and maintenance engineers know – “Going Green” without “breaking the bank” typically requires stepping-up maintenance practices on existing equipment and replacing old equipment only when it can no longer provide the efficiency needed even under the best of maintenance practices.
But replacing old equipment with new energy efficient equipment doesn’t guarantee you will realize the full efficiency benefit if your maintenance practices don’t prevent fouling of the condenser coils.
To provide higher efficiency, many OEM’s have concentrated on refrigerants and condenser coil technologies to achieve heat rejection efficiency never seen before. High efficiency coils with “micro fins” increase the density of coil fins while expanding the heat rejection surface area to enable rapid heat rejection – but if the coils aren’t protected from airborne matter (insects, cottonwood seed, pollen, leaves, etc), then these systems tend to foul faster then non-micro fin systems as a function of the fins being closer together and trapping more debris between them. When this occurs, the high efficiency equipment will not deliver the efficiency and lower operating cost benefit.
Important Point: “Air cooled condensers and chillers will operate at an increasing level of inefficiency between coil cleanings if coils are unprotected”. Then, when coil cleaning occurs it is usually an unpleasant, time consuming job requiring the chiller to be taken “off-line” for up to 1.5 days, depending upon the size and architecture of the equipment. However, when coils are protected with Cottonwood Filter Screens – It prevents coil fouling and reduces the cleaning process to a fraction of the time required using traditional cleaning methods (coil cleaning chemicals and power washers).
Cottonwood Filters Screens are not made of an ordinary mesh – rather, they are specifically engineered for use in high volume, high velocity air movement systems with extraordinary low impact on static pressure; further, the “non-stick” mesh surface enables cleaning with a broom, brush, shop vacuum or garden hose – even the rain will rinse them clean – and best of all they never need to be removed for cleaning.
In short, Cottonwood Filter Screens can change the dynamics of your maintenance process and enable your equipment to operate at optimal efficiency level, while significantly reducing your maintenance time & effort and operating cost; and for companies seeking LEED certification, Cottonwood Filter Screens can help you earn LEED credit points in multiple categories. By Randy Simmons
PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS