Commercial chillers can consume a huge portion of your monthly energy bills, so you'll want to keep your model running as efficiently as possible. With that in mind, you need to make sure that the chiller tubes are properly cleaned on a regular basis; research has suggested that just 22% fouling along the tubes will result in a chiller running at 80% efficiency, while 44% fouling will produce an even more dramatic effect, dropping efficiency to 36% of peak.
It should be obvious that you need to have those tubes cleaned regularly to prevent such efficiency issues, as well as the wear and tear that blockages can create. However, you'll also need to make sure you pick the right cleaning method.
Traditionally, chiller tubes were cleaned using a simple rod-and-brush method, but new rotary machines are becoming more popular. Here are just four reasons why.
1. It Can Reduce Labour
A rod-and-brush tube cleaner is just as it sounds; a length of metal rod is covered with bristles to create a long brush. That rod is then pushing through the tubes of a chiller, with the user moving it backwards and forwards to clean away any build-ups that have developed. The problem with this method is that it is very labour-intensive. If you get one of your own team members to do it, they aren't going to love the job, and they might perform it poorly as a result.
Rotary systems still use a brush and rod, but the system rotates at high speed, with brushes laid out in a corkscrew pattern. Most models are powered simply using a convenient foot pump, and there's no need to keep moving the rod back and forth since the rotary motion cleans the insides for you.
2. It's a Faster Operation
Using a traditional rod-and-brush system to clean your chiller tubes isn't just labour-intensive – it also takes a lot of time. While still faster to perform that other types of cleaning, such as chemical cleaning, rod-and-brush systems are a lot slower than rotary systems since the intense power of the latter system removes grime a lot faster. That means less time with your chiller unit offline.
3. It Can Create a More Effective Clean
Perhaps most importantly, a rotary tube cleaner will just do a much better job. The unit will feed water through automatically to ensure deposits are flushed out, and the speed and power which is applied means that grime is more effectively cleaned away. In contrast, the traditional rod-and-brush system is often relatively ineffective when used against harder or thicker deposits.
The difference might not seem to drastic, but it's worth remembering how much just a small amount of fouling can affect efficiency. Remember, your chiller tubes need to be as clean as possible in order to effectively distribute heat, so using the most effective cleaning method makes a whole lot of sense.
4. It Is Perfect for Internally Enhanced Tubes
Rotary cleaners will work more effectively than rod-and-brush cleaners with even traditional tubes. However, they are becoming vital instead of just recommended as chiller technology advances. If you pick up a newer chiller system, it's very likely to use internally enhanced tubes. This simply means that the tubes have been made with a spiral groove running along the inside, just like the rifling of a gun. The benefit of these tubes is that they provide a greater amount of surface area; with more surface area to work with, heat transfer is more effective.
Of course, a tube that contains a spiral tube is going to be harder to clean than one that is smooth inside since it can be hard to get at grime that becomes caked in those grooves. In fact, it's almost impossible to clean them using the traditional rod-and-brush method. Instead, a rotary cleaner is needed.
To learn more about your options, contact companies like Maximus Chillers.