Central Energy Plant – BASIC Overview – Chilled and Condenser Water Loops

I made this video as a very BASIC overview of a few of the main pieces of equipment in a Central Energy Plant (CEP) or Chiller Plant. In addition to showing how the chiller, cooling tower and pumps are connected to each other; I talk a little a bit about the parts and operation of a chiller and cooling tower.

Central Energy Plant – Basic Overview – Chilled and Condenser Water Loops

Now, I have to apologize for the video. I had some technical difficulties and was not able to do as much editing and clean up as I normally would and it also seems my mouse pointer disappeared on me. All in all not the quality I would have liked, but still hope it dished out a bit of basic info to those who haven’t dealt much with large cooling systems.

Detailed Controls Sequences of Operation

In the future I want to follow up with some videos specifically looking at each piece of equipment and all the sensors and devices required to control and modulate the various temperatures and pressures in the system.

13 Responses to Central Energy Plant – BASIC Overview – Chilled and Condenser Water Loops

  1. Danny Gasparini February 3, 2012 at 02:57

    very nice, simple, clean cut demo ! will past this on to new comers to the controls company I work for.

    look forward to seeing some more videos !!

    Reply
  2. ben February 4, 2012 at 14:44

    Awesome stuff. Well presented and easy to follow. Extremely helpful there Able. You keep this up not only are you going to have the best controls blog in the world, you’re going to get 100+ comments in 18 months or so.

    Reply
  3. ben February 4, 2012 at 14:45

    What system are you using to make these videos? Good stuff.

    Reply
    • The Controls Freak February 5, 2012 at 01:09

      To make the screen capture videos I use Camtasia Studio 7.0. It’s not a cheap piece of software by any means, but there are some cheap and/or free software that might be able to do close to the same level of output.

      Reply
  4. Chris Norris February 6, 2012 at 21:40

    Thanks, Abel. Great explanation!

    Reply
  5. Fred February 11, 2012 at 13:55

    Very nice demo I wish if you can make the on BAS systems

    Reply
  6. Michael Reed February 27, 2012 at 10:49

    The only thing I can think of that should be added or changed, is the reference of condensing water being “cold”. The typical setpoint for condensing water should be referenced to dewpoint, usually dewpoint + 5-7 degrees. (Usually about 82 degrees here in Texas.) Not exactly cold, but cooler than the return. This is the most efficient way for a centrifugal chiller to operate. Great explanation though.

    Reply
    • The Controls Freak February 27, 2012 at 12:08

      @Michael – I think the part where I said ‘cold’ condenser water was in reference to the use of a bypass valve which will operate when the outside air temperature is like below 40°F for those 2 days a year in Texas. LOL

      At that point the basin temperature could be ‘COLD’ like in the 60s, which for some of the newer magnetic, oil-less centrifugals is just perfect. The McQuay Magnitude actually loves 60°-65°F condenser water and has a minimum limit of 55°F.

      Reply
  7. sohaib May 8, 2012 at 00:46

    nice illustration of a chiller and cooling tower together, Give some description on Absorption tower also

    Reply
  8. sohaib May 8, 2012 at 00:48

    where the chiller water from evaporator first enters???

    Reply
  9. Alejandro Flores December 2, 2012 at 21:07

    thanks a lot Able.Getting up to speed with chillers as i am a CSE but normally dont work with chillers. it was a clear “big picture” that will help as i fill in the details.
    thanks again

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Chilled Water Reticulation for HVAC Explained — MEP-Construction-Academy.com

  11. Edward Socha February 8, 2015 at 16:45

    Nice job very basic explaining the chiller there one thing now in plant there is free cooling coil when outside gets cold .Thats a add thing like you said. I work in utility plant as a hvacr work on control too .The plant where I work for supply for 184 300 squ feet building.

    Reply

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