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  1. #1
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    Nov 2014
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    4160 volt chillers

    I was having a conversation with a coworker the other day about 4160 volt chillers and why we dont see more of them. While i know there are a ton of them out there it seems like all the ones i work on are 460volt. I understand the cost of running a high voltage service into the building, and then the cost associated with hiring a qualified electrician to service the starter, but it seems like the long term savings far outweigh that cost. Is there a special added cost the energy provider hits them with for providing the high voltage line or something? It just seems like more buildings i work in should have a high voltage service.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2013
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    Port St. Lucie, Fl
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    I would think the determining factor is the equipment's power requirements, which would be dictated by it's size/tonnage.

    At a certain point the equipment owner will save money on materials (wiring) going from 460V to the really high voltage stuff. Even after factoring in the cost to bring in the high voltage service.

    It's the same reason you don't see 1000 ton 208V equipment - it's just not practical.



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  4. #3
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    I work on a bunch of 4160V chillers but they are pretty big. I am not sure that the wiring is the biggest determining factor. More amps equals bigger starters. Bigger starters equals bigger money. You also need to consider the transformer losses when you go big...those can add up and the owner pays for those losses.
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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Maryland
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    I have several BENSHAW Solid State 4160 Starters , several mechanical 4160 and 2130 starters . It seems it is what is available to the area . Most of what I have is campus / complex related . Very few single site application . If it is a single site it is usually at a manufacturing plant.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Southold, NY
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    NFPA 70E

    Less restrictive regulations on 600 Volt or less.
    More selection of equipment on 460. (Chillers, Starters)

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    The Deep South
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    All of the 4160 that we work on are large complex or manufacturing and the chillers are large tonnage. Not sure why anyone would run high voltage into a building if the larger need wasn't already there. Manufacturing, large complexes, stadiums, convention centers, etc...

    As JayGuy said, there are implications to high voltage. The customer would have to require high voltage for other applications in order to have it onsite. The chillers themselves don't usually have enough cost benefit to support it.

  9. #7
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    Jul 2007
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    I too work on several 4160 volt chillers but they’re all pretty big. I can’t think of any under 1200 tons. I think in the large tonnage chillers it’s cheaper to run the smaller gauge medium voltage wire and smaller transformers but the requirements for the switch gear and starters are more stringent because of all the extra safety requirements. At a certain tonnage it becomes more cost effective to run the medium voltage electrical.

    And by the way I know this is a matter of semantics but voltages 600 V and below are referred to as “low voltage,” voltages from 600 V-69 kV are referred to as “medium voltage,” voltages from 69 kV-230 kV are referred to as “high voltage” and voltages 230 kV-1,100 kV are referred to as “extra high voltage,” with 1,100 kV also referred to as “ultra high voltage.
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  11. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Northern NV
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    Local casino has 4 big carrier centrifugals that are 4160VAC. Was taking a group of my HVAC&R students on a field trip there and noticed that the readout was "80." Asked the tech there if that was amps and he related that it was. I said "gee, that is low for such a large chiller" and he proceeded to let me know that the operating voltage was 4160VAC and i took a quick step back and said "oh, do you service these?" and he replied that the Carrier Corp had a contract on them. They took care of everything else but those chillers... I have GREAT respect for electricity and arc flash.

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