What are Differences between Chiller and Cooling Tower?

A chiller and a cooling tower are two different kinds of cooling equipment, though both of them are capable of removing heat from liquid. Having a better understanding of their differences may help us to choose a more proper cooling system and equipment that can satisfy cooling requirements better. Let’s cover the differences between a chiller and a cooling tower in the follows.

Different Types

  What are Types of Chillers?

There are three major types of chillers in use based on the condenser type, which are air-cooled chillers, water-cooled chillers and evaporative condensed chillers. As their name suggests, the air-cooled chillers use air to remove heat in the condenser by using fans to force air across the exposed tubes of the condenser, while the water-cooled chillers use water to remove heat by using pumps to send water through a sealed condenser. The latter is generally more energy-efficient than air-cooled chillers. The evaporative condensed chillers can condense a substance from its gas state to its liquid state by cooling it. Then the heat is released by the substance and transferred to the surrounding environment. It is usually considered as an alternative device to air or water cooled chillers.

  What are Types of Cooling Towers?

There are mainly two types of cooling towers, including natural and mechanical drafts. The natural drafts reject heat by the natural convection process. They are generally related to nuclear power plants with enormous structures. The mechanical drafts use large fans for pulling the cooler ambient air into the tower. After cooling down the coolant inside the tower, the ambient air will be circulated throughout the power plant or other equipment.

Different Working Principles

  Working Principle of a Chiller

A chiller system is about transferring and taking in the heating energy. Hence, the transformation of heating energy is the basic working principle of a chiller system. In the working process of a chiller system, the heating energy get transferred from a kind of material or any other thing to a middle solvent or substance. In the process of transferring heating energy, the pointed materials’ heating energy get absorbed and turned into a cold situation, which is the destination of a chiller system.

  Working Principle of a Cooling Tower

A cooling tower works by combining hot water with air. In its working process, the water from an industrial process can be pumped into a cooling tower to meet air in a cooling tower. After the heat is extracted, the water’s temperature can be cooled down due to the water evaporates in small volumes. The cooled water can be sent out to continue with the industrial process.

Different Applications

A chiller can provide low-temperature circulating cooling water (liquid) or low temperature thermostatic water (liquid) to cool equipment or keep equipment at a constant temperature, such as rotary evaporator, fermentation tank, electron microscope, low temperature chemical reactor and other equipment. It is generally used in the plastic industry and refrigeration applications. A cooling tower can provide cooled water to electric power generation and mechanical processes. For example, the cooling towers are generally used to cool the circulating water by power plants located near rivers and lakes.

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