Functioning of a chiller

We’ve already talked about heat pumps in a video in our Tempco Youtube channel, maybe skipping a step. That’s why I’m dedicating a new tutorial to the functioning of a chiller (english subtitles available), responding to many requests I’ve received.

Let’s start saying that we all have a chiller in our own homes: a refrigerator is indeed a chiller, working on the same physical principles. The explanation of the thermal cycle of a chiller can be commonly found in many sources on the web, involving cycles of compression, expansion, evaporation and condensation. I wanted better to underline an essential concept, being the fact that a chiller is not a ‘cold maker’, but it simply removes heat, using a refrigerant gas, or freon, as fluid thermal vector.

The refrigerant enters the environment to be cooled through a compressor, and passing through an evaporator, that is a heat exchanger, the gas evaporates. To achieve the status change from liquid to vapor, the gas absorbs thermal energy, heating up, cooling down as a consequence the environment’s temperature.

The gas reaches then the external condenser, another heat exchanger, where it cools down condensing and returning to a liquid state, dissipating the heat into the external ambient. The complete thermal cycle is then accomplished as a simple heat transfer cycle, from an environment to be cooled toward an outdoor space.