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Air Cooled Chiller for Mining Application at High Altitude

One cooling condition often overlooked when sizing a liquid chiller is altitude. An air cooled chiller works by drawing a specified volume of air across the condenser coils. As you go up in altitude the mass of the air is reduced (this is commonly referred to as the air “getting thinner”) and the chiller will not function at the same capacity that it would at sea level.

The engineering team at General Air Products was recently faced with this very situation regarding a mining customer’s need for a chiller to operate in a copper mine at the top of a mountain in the western United States. Many companies in this situation, in order to sell standard product would increase the size of the chiller using a 30 ton chiller to do the job of a 20 ton chiller. This is costly to the customer and not out General Air Products approaches our customer’s applications. Our solution was custom fans, or in this case “high altitude fans”, mounted on one of our standard 20 ton air cooled chillers.

The high altitude fans you see in the picture allow the chiller to draw sufficient air across the condenser coils and the chiller to cool at its rated 20 ton capacity meeting the cooling needs of the customer exactly.

Furthermore, the customer required removable, cleanable ambient air filters mounted to the liquid chiller due to the especially dirty mining environment as well as a glycol fill station which we were happy to manufacture and supply for them.

Additional Optional Equipment in this 20 Ton Air Cooled Chiller: Phase Monitors, Heated Flooded Receiver with Head Pressure Controls, Dual System Pumps with Auto Switchover, Remote Micro High Altitude Fans, Expansion Tank.