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Absorption Cooling

Water chiller based on absorption of refrigerant vapor into a liquid solution, pumping of the solution to elevated pressure, and the release (desorption) of refrigerant vapor through the addition of heat: such as the hot exhaust gases from electric generation.

Absorption chillers are cooling machines that use heat as the primary source of energy for driving a refrigeration cycle. The heat needed to operate these chillers can be delivered directly or indirectly by natural gas. The indirect sources of heat these chillers use include hot water and low- and high-pressure steam.

Absorption chillers are environmentally friendly in that they use water as a naturally benign refrigerant.

Three types of absorption chillers are commercially available:

  • Direct fired
  • Steam heated
  • Hot-water heated

Modern absorption chillers feature new electronic controls that provide quick start-up and make crystallization a thing of the past. Many new absorbers purge automatically, feature greater turndown capability than many electric chillers, and can operate at elevated cooling tower temperatures, allowing the use of the same size cooling towers as those for electric chillers. With highly automated operation and few moving parts, absorption chillers are quieter and require minimal maintenance. Maintenance contracts and extended warranties are also available on absorption chillers at costs similar to those for electric chillers.

Absorption chillers are available from major manufacturers of cooling equipment, including Trane, York International, Carrier, McQuay, American Yazaki, Broad U.S.A., and Robur.

See links below for more information.

Absorption Chillers - Advantages

Compared to conventional electric chillers, absorption chillers have many advantages, including:

  • Saving on monthly power demand charge
  • Saving on electric service cost
  • Saving on emergency backup power equipment cost for cooling
  • Increased capability to benefit from electric energy deregulation
  • Saving on electric energy cost
  • Saving capital cost for boilers
  • Saving on operating cost
  • Reducing life-cycle costs
  • Improving efficiency of boiler operations during summer
  • Achieving a high rate of return on chiller investment
  • Reducing noise and vibration
  • Eliminating environmental concerns regarding refrigerants
  • Reducing emissions of global gas and pollutants

Equipment Manufacturer Links:

The various links to other web sites that are included in this web site are not intended to be endorsements of such other web sites or the contents of such other web sites. Rather, these links are provided only as a convenience to the user. As always, the user should independently verify any and all information obtained from the internet.

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