Buildings Guide

Space Cooling  »  Electirc chillers


Improvements in component technologies and usage lead to energy savings in chillers. Advancements such as inverter driven compressor, improvements in heat exchangers, etc. lead energy savings from 5% to 50%.

Energy savings due to various component improvements in chillers

Component Comments/Improvement measures Indicative savings range (%)
Compressor For systems over 200 kW, BAT is oil-free centrifugal compressor with magnetic levitation bearings 30% to 50%
Compressor Variable speed inverter control, matching speed to cooling demand 30% (up to 50% in some applications)
Heat recovery condensers Employ special heat exchanger to use waste heat rejected from chillers for useful heating purposes -
Improved heat exchangers Improved design evaporator, e.g., by microchannel type system 10%
Evaporative coolers / Water cooled condensers Consumes water and require maintenance for health protection, However, significant energy savings are obtained in most applications 15% to 25%
Improved and inverter driven (variable speed) condenser fans Most efficient solutions will have larger fans and variable speed drive to closely match flow with cooling demand Typically 5% but can be more
Improved expansion valve Electronically controlled 9%


Rather than the capital cost of the chiller, a net present value of chiller over its lifetime gives a better perspective of costs associated with chillers. Since chillers operate for approximately 25 years maintenance and energy costs become indispensible. E.g., a € 150,00 average efficiency chiller can cost € 2.5 million to operate and maintain for 25 years while a € 180,000 high efficiency, best value chiller may only cost €2 million to operate and maintain.

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