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Thread: Absorbers?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Central Illinois


    anyone out there still using absorption machines? we still have two old carrier absorbers that we use on our main office building and our laboratory. when they run....they are awesome. we they don't....well........they stink.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    SW Michigan, near Battle Creek
    the gas copany sold some sround here in +/- 1995. In say 1999 they decided to stop doing service. nobody else would touch them. talk about happy people.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    I and 2 other mechanics maintain 38 absorbers. There are 28 Trane (Classic and Horizon ) and 10 York. Used to have some Carrier but they have been replaced. All are single stage except for a pair of 2-stage Trane ABTE that will be replaced next winter. Absorbers make sense here because we have an abundant source of steam from our power plant and the low electrical demand makes life easier for the plant. Absorbers are not problem free but neither are all the other chillers. A large part of this forum is people looking for answers to repair and maintain their equipment and very little of it pertains to absorbers. Everything eventually breaks down. You can not get an absorber started then ignore it because you do not understand it and then curse it after it runs for years with little maintenance. Keeping one running is not so difficult. Keep the tubes clean, keep the LiBr clean, keep the inhibitor level and alkalinity where they belong, keep it purged and do not ignore leaks that allow air into the machine repair them ASAP. A tight machine does not require alot of purging. Take care of them and you will get 25-35 years of service. We do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Baltimore MD ( Balimer, Murilyn)
    We take care of two 16JT's for a local hospital. They run well because we keep them tight. We keep the chemical levels in balance and keep the bromide clean. It's like any piece of mechanical equipment, if you follow the manufacturers recommendations you will get years of dependable service.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Lady Lake, Florida
    I have a limited experience working with Absorbers. I have found that just like with any other machine if you understand them and keep on top of them maintenance wise they will be fine. I have also found whenever the subject of absorbers come up during job interviews I'm given funny looks because I'm interested in working on them but the company don't touch them. To me it's almost just like Pneumatic controls, they are outdated but if you keep the air dry and clean and don't have tinker monkeys touching them they will function just fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    I must spend about 80% of my time servicing and repairing Absorbers. Their still popular here on sites with large boilers or CHP plant like hospitals and pharma sites. If the steams free or surplus then the chilled water's dirt cheap. If your paying to make the steam just for the Abs then you might want to think about a different machine. The other guys laugh at my old bromide attacked spanners and bucket full of hoses and hydrometers. I reckon their just jealous. When Absorbers are looked after they are very reliable but when they go wrong boy do they do it in style.

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