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Industrial Refrigeration and Water Systems

Industrial Refrigeration and Water Systems

Major advances in industrial refrigeration that are rapidly being adopted in the refrigerated warehouse market: air-cooled & adiabatic condensing.

Air-cooled & adiabatic condensing products, in lieu of the traditional evaporative condenser products, are growing in popularity due to their ability to eliminate or significantly reduce water usage in large refrigeration systems, according to EVAPCO, a manufacturing company with solutions for heat transfer applications.

“Water scarcity and rising utility costs are increasingly driving the development of efficient, sustainable technologies,” said Mihir Kalyani, assistant product manager, EVAPCO Dry & Adiabatic Fluid Coolers. “To that end, consumers in need of heat rejection equipment are shifting their focus from considering primarily evaporative, water-cooled equipment to hybrid or air-cooled equipment.

Dry coolers, unlike evaporative systems, rely solely on air to cool process fluid that is circulated through multiple passes in finned coil bundles. They are utilized in a variety of industries such as HVAC, industrial process cooling, data center cooling, etc. Dry coolers can cool process fluid to within a few degrees of the ambient dry-bulb temperature, which, in some cases, may limit their effectiveness in locations with very high ambient conditions. Dry coolers utilize no water and require no, or minimal, water treatment.

Adiabatic coolers are dry coolers that utilize wetted pre-cooling pads to depress the dry-bulb temperature of the entering air. Utilizing a pre-cooling system increases the effectiveness of dry coolers in regions with elevated ambient temperatures. EVAPCO’s adiabatic coolers utilize a “once-through” system for wetting the pads, which means no water treatment is necessary for the pre-cooling system.

EVAPCO’s eco-Cooler closed circuit cooler series dramatically improves efficiency in both the evaporative and dry modes of cooling. Eco-coolers have a 30 percent capacity increase over the standard “bare tube” product. This can result in smaller footprints and connected horsepower.

“Cold weather climates have gravitated to the eco-Coolers for several reasons,” said Matthew M. Shank, product application manager, EVAPCO. “These coolers can provide dry cooling during the winter months, eliminating the potential for ice buildup, which can lead to costly downtime. By providing dry cooling during the winter months, the need to design systems with remote sump tanks is diminished, reducing installation costs.

“Critical process customers (data centers and manufacturing facilities) see the benefits in the eco-Coolers because they provide partial cooling at elevated temperatures in the event of water loss,” he said. “This helps reduce or eliminate costly downtime. Data centers often add water storage towers to their campuses. A typical water tower is sized to provide enough water to the site for a 72-hour water loss event. eco-Coolers reduce the size or even eliminate the need for an onsite water tower, providing significant installation savings.”

Shank added that the eco-Coolers alone offer the ability to reduce water and provide energy efficiency but adding the Sage Control system maximizes the savings. The Sage Control system is a factory supplied pre-programmed adaptive control system that operates the unit and switches between the various modes of operation based on real time loads and ambient conditions. The Sage Control system also can stage the pumps in multi-cell installations, further increasing the water and energy efficiency of the product. “The use of an adaptive control system is as important to water and energy efficiency as the eco-coolers ability to provide dry capacity,” he said.


Municipalities often struggle with the amount of chemicals being discharged to the downstream water treatment facilities,” said Dustin Cohick, product manager, EVAPCO Water Systems. “We offer the Pulse~Pure, a chemical-free water treatment to ease the impact of chemical usage for evaporative cooling equipment.”

Recently EVAPCO launched a new pre-treatment system, the EVAPCO Water Saver, which uses capacitive deionization to proportionally remove the naturally occurring ions in the available makeup water supply. The system allows customer to safely increase the cycles of concentration to reduce chemical usage and cost while experiencing significant water savings.


Chris Jamieson, vice president of marketing and business development, Watts Water Technologies, said the company’s IntelliStation Digital Mixing & Recirculation System from its Powers brand is a smart delivery system that allows managers of commercial and institutional facilities such as hospitals, hotels, universities and multi-family residences to ensure safe and efficient tempered water delivery.

“Because a digital mixing valve can stay within +/- 2 degrees versus a traditional thermostatic mixing valve of +/-7 degrees, less energy is needed to operate a potable water system safely,” Jamieson said. “It also operates its recirculation pump only when target return temp falls below a predetermined set point to help conserve energy usage. Its demand flow and energy consumption monitoring allows facility managers to more effectively measure and manage energy usage,” he said. “We are seeing the market move from traditional thermostatic mixing valves to digital mixing valves as a result of these benefits.”