How Chilled Water or DX Water Cooled Systems Work

Chilled Water or DX Water cooled systems expel heat through a condenser by two methods. One method is air cooling where the refrigerant is cooled by air forced over the finned tube coils and the second method is water cooled systems, which reject heat into water that is re-circulated through a cooling tower. The water cooled air conditioner systems use shell and tube type condensers. Most DX systems use air-cooled finned tube condensers to expel heat. The larger packaged air conditioners may be water cooled or air cooled.

The economics of a water cooled system v/s an air cooled system can be summarised as:

  • Applications vary from office, retail, hotel, luxury apartments, industrial, new and retrofitted buildings.
  • At peak load conditions air cooled machines consume over 30% more power than water cooled units.
  • Compressor capacity drops by over 10% for air cooled machines compared to water cooled.
  • The paucity of good quality soft water makes it imperative to opt for air cooled systems in most installations.
  • The air cooled condenser have to be generally kept very close to the evaporator units and for smaller sized equipment, the length should be 30 to 40 feet whereas for larger systems it may go up to 3 to 4 times this figure. In the case of water cooled equipment, the cooling tower which is the final heat rejection point may virtually be placed at any distance from the cooling equipment.