Glycol coolant skids are systems that arise in particular liquid cooling applications for commercial HVAC in Florida. They have several advantages, especially in terms of their low cost. Here is a look at the various systems where you will find glycol coolant skids, as well as their applications.
Liquid-to-liquid cooling systems
This is the simplest cooling system available. The plant or appliance stores its coolant and circulates it during the cooling process. They are most common for locations near ready water sources.
If the water source is imperfect, such as in the case of well water with high iron deposits, adding glycol neutralizes the harsh elements. Keeping the well water on one side of the heat exchanger and the coolant and water mix on the other helps keep the compressor cool and functioning. Without this careful mix, it is easy to overwhelm the heat exchanger and make a plant or appliance fail completely.
These are inexpensive systems to install and repair. Most commercial refrigerators use liquid-to-liquid systems for this purpose and the ability to maintain consistent temperatures.
Closed-loop dry cooling systems
The best analogy for the closed-loop dry cooling system is the radiator in a car. Air-cooled fluid transfers heat by being pumped through a series of tubes with air blown across or through them. Components include a fluid cooler, heat exchanger and a series of pumps and fans. Air conditioning units often have systems comparable to this, as keeping them ventilated is important to assuring that warm air does not accumulate indoors.
Glycol is maintained in the fluid to prevent freezing. Since Florida does not face the same frequency of freezing temperatures as other parts of the country, the concentration does not need to be as high. Just as with liquid-to-liquid systems, the primary purpose of the glycol is to protect the heat exchanger.
The advantage to this system is its inexpensive operation. There are fewer components requiring power to run, which makes this an energy efficient operation. Overheating and even overcooling is impossible because of the good temperature regulation and reliance on ambient air. It does require more maintenance because outdoor conditions often deposit debris in the fans and leave the fluid quite dirty.
Closed-loop evaporative cooling systems
Evaporative cooling is only effective in dry climates, so finding a closed-loop evaporative system is likely impossible in Florida. It uses water and ambient air to cool environments, and since humidity reduces its cooling potential, that is why you are more likely to find these systems in Arizona than around here.
The glycol-water solution is used to move heat from the unit to an outdoor cooling tower. As this occurs, air blows across the cooled liquid to create the effect of reducing temperature. The system remains clean and free of contaminants because it is shut off from outdoor elements. The problem that arises with these is the constant need for water treatment and finding a run-off area for water that drains from the tower or unit.
If you require expertise in several types of commercial HVAC in Florida, contact 5 Star Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc.