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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    44

    Undersized Glycol Chiller

    Okay so I got an old Pro Chiller PMA3C1H22 - capacity is 31k BTU/h high temp 22valve with a constant set point of 40 degrees. This chiller is for a brewery that Was original designed to run two 200gal tanks. Now a few years into the business the production demand more than doubled, so the owner added 2 more 400gal tanks to this particular glycol loop thinking all will be fine and dandy. He ran it this way on a full load (with temp balencing issues obviously)for like 6 months before inevitably the compressor failed. At which time he called us. At the time I was busy rebuilding a 40horse compressor at some elementary school. So they sent our most limited tech as he was he only one available at the time, to change this compressor. He went out there and had no idea what he was really looking out, nor took notice to how undersized the system was for what they had on it and just blindly changed the compressor. Well while doing so he wired the start and run windings backwards and fired it off. (240v, 1ph circuit) They ran it this way for a year after that tech left. While using common sense and not pulling a full load on it at a time. then today we got another call on this system. This time I went out and took a look. ( the original tech this job is no longer with us lol) Firstly pulling up a PDF spec sheet for this system as it was obviously undersized after the owner showed me what ran off it. So I informed him to limit his load when system is running which he informed me he has been trying to do up untiltoday when another guy opened up all the tanks. Compressor was continually tripping on overload and very hot. Cut power, cooled down and recycled on. Pressures were normal ( 45sp 220dp) with 1 200gal tank running but running high amps for some odd reason. (22amps on a 14.5 FLA comp) so I run over everything and find the winding wires in reverse. Switch them and then recycle. Pulling 14-15 amps now. Pressures normal. It isn't until I switch on one of the 400s that my head pressure and amp draw spikes. Compressor still running hot. Manageable but not optimal on that load. I leave a USB recorder attached to the return line to the glycol tank to monitor temp fluctuations overnight. Get a call at 8 am and told the compressor is tripping again with the cp reading 48 degrees. Cycle comp on and check recorder graphing. It's consistantly holding 40 until about 7am where it gradually rises to Its present 48 degrees. Go back in and all operational checks are normal under its reasonable load.

    Now, thus comes my delimma. So many options here to get this thing up to par. Some just more expensive than others. I could just install a 5 ton AC system and call it a day since this is a high temp app anyhow. Or I could upsize the compressor, TXV, pumps and throw a water cooled condenser on it. Or even just go water cooled loop with a flat plate and just double up the capacity of the compressor. Just off the top of my head.

    Give me your thoughts, options or recommendations on the most cost effective time efficient method to ease this guys troubles.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,130
    First and foremost, I am not a reefer guy. I do know that it requires more HP to cool and pump glycol than it does to do the same with water. What percentage of glycol are they running? Any chance it could be diluted? The few brewery glycol chillers I have seen run their glycol around 25*F. If you are running 40*F, there really isn't a whole lot of reason to be running glycol at all. Inhibited water would be fine in that application. I don't know how much efficiency you would gain if you switched it over to water, but it may be a short term solution.

    My assumption from your post is that it is a glycol system.

    If it were me, I would recommend a new chiller especially if this one is old. I would think by the time you change compressor, TXV and condenser you would have more invested than it's worth. The old chiller can be sold to another start-up brewery.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    If its to small for the full load the customer has why would you tell him anything other then that. Hey you need another small chiller to split the load with this one or you need a bigger chiller to handle what you have. Anything other then that is a dis service to your customer. Rigging leads to more rigging leads to more rigging leads to hacking. Your posted ideas treat symptoms and ignore the problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,564
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy knocker View Post
    If its to small for the full load the customer has why would you tell him anything other then that. Hey you need another small chiller to split the load with this one or you need a bigger chiller to handle what you have. Anything other then that is a dis service to your customer. Rigging leads to more rigging leads to more rigging leads to hacking. Your posted ideas treat symptoms and ignore the problem.
    There you go talkin' all that sense again
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    44
    >.< Are there ANY competent technicians on here that understand what it is I am asking an opinion on?

    For the dude 2 posts above; Why in the hell would the customer knowingly only run half his tanks on a regular basis if he didn't already know his chiller is undersized? and why in the hell would I be on here asking which route i should do to upsize said chiller so that it IS rated for the capacity of his tanks? That is the whole idea.

    and honestly if i could just replace the whole chiller with a brand new one just like that. I never would be even considering alternative options. He is on a budget and wants to know the cheapest route that is still efficient enough to run a full load without tripping his compressor everyday... yet you imply I'm doing him a "dis service" and tell me to tell him something that he and I are and have been aware of since this problem was addressed. I'm having him run half his equipment in the mean time to get him by until I do find the solution the "problem" that was addressed in the OP.

    So now that it is clarified that this ENTIRE thread is ABOUT a SOLUTION to the PROBLEM I went into detail about, can i get some PRODUCTIVE responses? instead of this "mine is bigger than yours" bs... I know this is forum 101 nonsense as I have been on forums for several decades, but I actually need someone smarter than I am to tell me how they would handle it if they couldnt just clean swap out. obviously thats the ideal situation in any case with an old system, but also not always am option. that should go without saying. ::face palm::

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    44
    ok, I reread my OP, and I see now that I didn't actually type the words "I told him it was undersized and recommended a bigger chiller, then we discussed various options as he is relatively low on funds at this time"

    soooo my bad if it was misconstrued. I just don't like being accused of being dishonest when I am on my own time here trying to help this guy save a buck and still run his brewery without wanting to bang his head into a wall every morning when he comes in and the chiller is tripped.. I would gladly install a brand new chiller if it was an option.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    5,535
    Contact pro chiller concerning capacity issues.
    Saying pressures are normal doesn’t help, we need SH / SC #’s, Also need GPM #’s.
    Is this a primary or Primary / secondary pumping setup?
    If the start / run were reversed that would have shown up on startup not later.
    Holding 40deg F until 07:00?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Quote Originally Posted by pr0dukt View Post
    &gt;.&lt; Are there ANY competent technicians on here that understand what it is I am asking an opinion on?

    For the dude 2 posts above; Why in the hell would the customer knowingly only run half his tanks on a regular basis if he didn't already know his chiller is undersized? and why in the hell would I be on here asking which route i should do to upsize said chiller so that it IS rated for the capacity of his tanks? That is the whole idea.

    and honestly if i could just replace the whole chiller with a brand new one just like that. I never would be even considering alternative options. He is on a budget and wants to know the cheapest route that is still efficient enough to run a full load without tripping his compressor everyday... yet you imply I'm doing him a "dis service" and tell me to tell him something that he and I are and have been aware of since this problem was addressed. I'm having him run half his equipment in the mean time to get him by until I do find the solution the "problem" that was addressed in the OP.

    So now that it is clarified that this ENTIRE thread is ABOUT a SOLUTION to the PROBLEM I went into detail about, can i get some PRODUCTIVE responses? instead of this "mine is bigger than yours" bs... I know this is forum 101 nonsense as I have been on forums for several decades, but I actually need someone smarter than I am to tell me how they would handle it if they couldnt just clean swap out. obviously thats the ideal situation in any case with an old system, but also not always am option. that should go without saying. ::face palm::
    &gt;-( good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,564
    OP, You said it's undersized. Its not going to get bigger if you suck on it. It will NEVER work right.

    So now that it is clarified that this ENTIRE thread is ABOUT a SOLUTION to the PROBLEM I went into detail about, can i get some PRODUCTIVE responses?
    The SOLUTION to the problem IS to install 1 unit of the proper capacity, or an additional unit to pick up the capacity that was added, OR if your customer has any plans to keep expanding, how about a system that will have enough capacity for his future plans?

    This forum is not about half assing equipment. Frankly, most techs can figure that out on their own.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    44
    Worthless.

    Forget it. You guys are a bunch of elitist faggots who just want to show each other how big your dicks are. Not into that. I have to actually get **** done. I can't change the unit out. I have to find an alternative solution for now. This is NOT my call and you guys act like I hold the check book... ****ing worthless.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Prattville, Alabama
    Posts
    2,019
    Man, your customer is counting on you. You can either give him the hard news of what is best for him, or you can hold his hand and give him a warm fuzzy feeling as the both of you head down a dark, and ultimately more expensive, path. Good luck, and I hope you both enjoy the journey.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Quote Originally Posted by pr0dukt View Post
    Worthless.

    Forget it. You guys are a bunch of elitist faggots who just want to show each other how big your dicks are. Not into that. I have to actually get **** done. I can't change the unit out. I have to find an alternative solution for now. This is NOT my call and you guys act like I hold the check book... ****ing worthless.
    Wow. You got in over your head. You posted part of the information. You got mad and popped off, after getting good feedback, cause you forgot what you wrote. And now we are the dumb a$$e$? You wanna do the rite thing? Give the customer the number to any other shop on the planet. He would be in better hands. Wow.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    527
    I think you got some great info and would have received more, and might have even learned something if you could have could have controlled yourself. Its too small, kind of hard to get around that. Why pop off like a pissed off kid right out of the gate? I understand your customer may not have the finances right now but how could they not forecast this? They will save more money financing a machine that can handle it. If they don't want to then maybe they should check local yard sales for a bigger chiller. All the parts you are looking at will be near the cost of new without that new chiller smell or warranty.

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