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Water-cooled Chillers

Chillers typically consume more electricity than any other single energy-consuming device in a large commercial building. A packaged water-cooled chiller produces chilled water for use in your building's air conditioning system and is typically 40 per cent more efficient than air-cooled chillers due to lower condensing temperatures. Upgrading existing equipment with a variable speed drive can also reduce energy consumption in your building significantly.

Provincial environmental legislation designed to eliminate the release of CFCs and HCFCs may prohibit the overhaul or conversion of an existing chiller system. Overhauling an existing chiller with new refrigerant can be costly, making chiller replacement the most economical option for some buildings.

Benefits

  • reduced annual cooling costs of up to 40 per cent;
  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions;
  • increased profitability and competitiveness.

We offer incentives for water-cooled chiller installations for existing buildings and variable speed drive retrofits. Typical projects can save more than $10,000 a year in energy costs.

Incentive

Integrated Part Load Value (IPLV) is rated in kW/ton. It is the average power input based upon a chiller operating at part loads through a cooling season.

Incentive = Baseline IPLV ( kW/ton) – your chiller efficiency IPLV ( kW/ton) x rated tons x $450.

Incentives available for retrofit projects only. The maximum eligible incentive is $250,000 for all electrical measures included in the project.

Chiller capacity
(tons)
Baseline IPLV*
(kW/ton)
Maximum IPLV requirement
(kW/ton)
< 150 0.65 0.62
150–299 0.60 0.55
300–2,000 0.51 0.46

Example: A 550 ton water-cooled chiller with an IPLV of 0.440 kW/ton is installed.
Incentive = (0.51 – 0.44) x 550 x $450 = $17,325
New chiller IPLV must be less than or equal to the requirement as stated above.

Typical Annual Savings

Replace an existing 30 year-old chiller (550 ton, 0.70 IPLV) with a new water-cooled chiller (550 ton, 0.44 IPLV) and:

  • achieve $12,500 in annual savings;
  • payback the cost to upgrade in 2 to 3 years.

Based on:

  • general service medium customer billed at $0.0346 per kWh and demand charge of $8.85 per kVA;
  • demand savings calculated over 3 months;
  • 1,500 operating hours per year.

Selecting a Chiller

When selecting a chiller for your business, you should:

  • Review your air conditioning needs: buying more capacity than you need increases your initial costs and could increase your monthly bills for the life of the equipment, which can be up to 30 years.
  • Obtain competitive bids: different equipment manufacturers will offer various performance and efficiency options, many of which provide different benefits and system interactions. A consulting engineer can be employed to conduct an independent review of all selections.
  • Select a chiller that operates at a lower kW/ton at part load: a chiller that is most efficient at peak load may not result in the most efficient operation over the entire cooling season. Selecting chillers that operate at a lower kW/ton at part load may be the better option.
  • Expect to pay more up front: realize that this is often money well spent. Even modest improvements in chiller efficiency can yield energy savings and attractive incentives and paybacks.
  • Consider selecting machines of different sizes for multiple chiller installations: select one machine small enough to meet light loads efficiently and the other(s) to meet larger loads efficiently.

CFC & HCFC Chiller Overhaul Regulation

The Manitoba Ozone Depleting Substances and Other Halocarbons Regulation states that as of December 31, 2005, a chiller containing a Class 1 substance (CFC Refrigerant) shall not be overhauled unless it is concurrently converted to use or operate with a substance other than a Class 1 substance. For more information, visit the Government of Manitoba's Ozone Depleting Substances Management Program website.

To learn more about HCFC phase-outs, visit the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute (HRAI) of Canada website.