The World’s Leading Information Resource For Maintenance & Engineering Professionals.

Social Media

4 Hidden Ways Of Improving The Energy Efficiency Of Your Process Cooling System

ems aug sept 18 204 Hidden Ways Of Improving The Energy Efficiency Of Your Process Cooling System

Industrial cooling and refrigeration equipment accounts for up to 50% of a plant’s total electricity cost. However, while targeting the mechanical elements of a chiller – such as compressors, pumps, and fans - is a well-known way of cutting a process cooling system’s energy consumption, there are a few lesser-known tactics that can be employed to maximise marginal efficiency gains for industrial end-users. (Read More)

Richard Metcalfe, Sales Director at ICS Cool Energy, explains more:

1) Free cooling
Free cooling uses cool ambient air temperatures to reduce the energy consumed by a cooling circuit as well as the electrical power load of a system.

“The UK’s mild climate presents a significant opportunity for energy savings in process cooling applications via this method” says Richard. “Capital expenditure may put some industrial end-users off investing in free cooling systems, but the great news is that most systems offer a pay-back period of just 18-24 months.”

2) Refrigerant type
When it comes to refrigerants, end-users have the opportunity to reduce operating costs and improve system efficiency while complying to current legislation, by opting for low GWP (Global Warming Potential) refrigerants.

Richard explains: “The best example of this is that newer chillers, more often than not, incorporate screw compressors, meaning they can operate using the likes of R513A which is both non-flammable and efficient, and benefits from a much lower GWP than its predecessor, R134A.”

3) Heat recovery

“The benefits of re-using excess heat from hot discharge refrigerant are undeniable, and include tangible efficiency savings, more comfortable working conditions and reduced environmental impact to name but a few,” says Richard.

“To access these benefits, end-users must purchase equipment which facilitates heat recovery or retrofit an existing chiller of 250kW upwards with a heat recovery unit. With the latter scenario though, end-users should consider the age and condition of the plant, as well as its thermal output and load profile, to ensure a healthy return on investment.”

4) Power factor correction
Power factor correction, which measures how effectively electrical power is converted into useful output, is often overlooked by industrial end-users, despite its impact on energy efficiency.

Richard explains: “With a chiller, compressor efficiencies average a power factor of around 0.86 but many operate with a power factor as low as 0.81-0.82. Industrial end-users should target any areas with lower power factors and correct them to as close as 0.95 as practical to reduce on-going running current and, therefore, utility bills.”

Thinking outside of the box and adopting some lesser-known techniques when it comes to improving the efficiency of temperature control equipment will quickly help industrial end-users to take back control of their site’s energy consumption and improve profitability.

To download a copy of ‘How to reduce your energy costs through temperature control and process cooling efficiencies’, please visit:

For more information about ICS Cool Energy, visit  
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or call 0800 774 7426. Follow ICS Cool Energy on Twitter @icscoolenergy.