TYPES OF EQUIPMENT
There are three types of heat rejection equipment commonly used. They are:
- Air-cooled condenser, in which heat is rejected directly to the air by sensible, heats transfer.
- Evaporative condenser, in which sprayed coils are used to dissipate heat to the air by sensible and latent heat transfer.
- Water-cooled condenser, in which heat is sensible, transferred to water.
Although this water may then be wasted, it is usually conserved by a process of sensible and latent cooling in a cooling tower. The water is then recalculated it the condenser. For this reason, the water-cooled condenser and the cooling tower should be examined together as a single heat rejection device.
An evaluation of owning and operating costs is usually the basis for selection of a means of heat rejection. Customer preference and provision for future condition may influence the choice as well. Local design factors such as air and water conditions and the system application affect the selection insofar as they affect the economics. In an economic analysis, system size is important since the installed costs per ton of the various condensing methods decrease at different rates with increasing size.
All factors being equal, air-cooled condensing is often chosen for capacities up to 75 tons. Evaporative condensing is a primary alternative in the 50150 ton range. Above 100 tons, water-cooled condensing, in conjunction with a mechanical draft-cooling tower, is the most common choice.
There are many applications where well, river or lake water is used for water-cooled condensing purposes. The installed cost per ton of oncethru water-cooled condensing where the water is wasted is wasted remains constant with system size. In the capacity range where all three condensing methods are alternatives, air-cooled condensing is usually the highest in first cost.
However, maintenance costs for sir-cooled condensers are considerably lower for a given capacity. Therefore, air-cooled condensing is well suited to system where service is infrequent or incomplete.
Similarly, long operating hours at light loads favor air-cooled condensing.
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