Cooling enclosures with water uses 40% less energy

12th December 2013
Nat Bowers

Air/water heat exchangers from Rittal can cool the air in an enclosure to a temperature lower than that of the ambient air outside the enclosure. By not relying on ambient air for cooling, the maximum operating ambient air temperature can be as high as 70 °C. The heat is transferred to a water circuit which can move it to a remote location before it is dissipated.

This high operating ambient air temperature, coupled with IP55 ingress protection, means that the air/water heat exchangers are suitable for a wide range of applications.

Using water for cooling can also offer other advantages, including energy savings. The Rittal air/water heat exchangers are supplied with an eComfort controller incorporating Eco-Mode control functionality. Using an intellignet strategy, this minimises energy use by disabling the internal fans once the internal enclosure temperature reaches a predetermined level below the safepoint. By pulsing the fan regularly, the accuracy of the sensed temperature is ensure. Once the temperature rises above that predetermined level, the internal fans are re-enabled to ensure that the temperature cannot breach the safepoint.

Despite the increased capital expenditure to install multiple air-to-water heat exchangers and a water chiller, this cooling method offers energy savings typically around 40%. In cooler climates, such as we have in the United Kingdom, this efficiency may be even further improved by having the water chillers located outside and integrating dry air coolers in order to take advantage of free cooling.

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