Energy-saturated industries are constantly looking for ways to save energy. One of the ways to solve this issue in the field of climate technology is the use of energy saving technology «Free Cooling» — freecooling (F).

Freecooling is a climate system that uses free cooling mode.

In this case, the liquid is cooled in a drycooler (a special heat exchanger, or “dry cooler”). The evaporator, which consumes a lot of energy during operation, is excluded from the cooling process.

What is freecooling?

Cold air is used for cooling. Such a system is especially relevant when it is used in the cold season (autumn, winter, early spring).

In the presence of free-cooling, the compressor does not operate at full capacity, it can periodically turn off altogether for a long time. Since it is the main consumer of electricity in any climate system, the energy savings become quite significant.

According to available data, up to 80% of electricity is saved in winter, 50% in autumn and spring. This is a lot, especially for businesses using refrigeration equipment.

The market is represented by a wide range of climate control equipment with a free-cooling system.

How freecooling works

The work is based on the use of cold atmospheric air. An example of the use of freecooling is an open window to cool the air in a room.

In practice, two types of use of free cooling are implemented:

  • direct freecooling;
  • not direct (indirect).

We will consider the differences in the principle of operation of these systems in detail.

With direct freecooling, the cooling system consists of one circuit. Cold air is supplied directly to the room. The system is simple in design and has low energy consumption. But in this case, during installation, it is necessary to install additional blocks of humidification and air filtration.

Non-direct (indirect) free-cooling requires the installation of heat exchange units. They cool first the external coolant, then the internal one. Really it turns out a dual-circuit cooling system. It loses somewhat in terms of energy savings, but when installed together with chillers, it is the most widely demanded.

The principle of operation of a refrigeration unit based on an air condenser

In the system under consideration, the coolant is water or antifreeze. Water (antifreeze) bypassing the cooling tower enters immediately into the chiller.

What is freecooling?
Scheme of operation of the refrigeration unit in summer: 1 — dry cooling tower (drycooler); 2 — refrigeration unit (chiller); 3 — air condenser; 4 — pump; 5 — three-way valve.

The cooling process takes place in it due to the operation of the compressor. Dry cooling tower is excluded from the cooling process.

In the cold season, the principle of cooling changes. With the onset of a stable low temperature, the compressor is generally switched off. Heat exchange takes place in the cooling tower. Redirection of antifreeze is carried out by a three-way valve.

Installing a dry cooler in a cooling system has a number of advantages:

  • the ability to install a drycooler in the system at any stage (designed or operating);
  • quick payback;
  • no pollution and waste of production water.

The design of free-cooling refrigeration systems has many options. Among them, the most popular were:

  1. Automated systems using chillers.
  2. Rotary heat exchangers.
  3. Precision air conditioners with freecooling function.

The free-cooling option available on the chillers minimizes the use of the compressor. It turns on and off automatically. The system is small.

Rotary heat exchangers are more efficient in operation, but have large dimensions.

Precision air conditioners are small in size, suitable for small rooms.

At the request of the customer, freecooling cooling systems can be designed according to his requirements. An individual order most fully takes into account all the possibilities of placing a refrigeration system.

When calculating the system, many different factors are taken into account:

  • cooling area;
  • the need for cold;
  • the number of heat inflows;
  • electricity and water supply of the facility, etc.

The design and installation of the refrigeration system should only be carried out by specialists in the field of climate technology.

Attention. The expediency of installing free-cooling in the refrigeration system of an enterprise is evidenced by the fact that it pays for itself within a year.

Our professionals are always ready to give advice on the selection and purchase of equipment, answer questions about the use of freecooling in an existing or planned cooling system. Contact.


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