Antifreeze: Does your process chiller need antifreeze?  Probably. 

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** Antifreeze is primarily used in a closed chilled water loop of a cooling system. Few tower systems use antifreeze and only if the tower loop is 100% closed (No evaporation - ambient cooling only).

Specific reasons for use:

* If your chiller is located outside and is air cooled, as opposed to tower water cooled, you will probably need some type of antifreeze. If unsure as to how cold it gets in your geographic region, look in a Farmers Almanac. If you have your air cooled chiller has ductwork that connects to an outside wall, again you may need antifreeze. Even though your chiller is located inside and in a heated area, the ductwork can channel the very cold air to the inside components of your chiller.

* If your chilled water supply temperature (coldest water exiting the chiller) is below 50 F; you more than likely will need antifreeze The reason for this is that, even though the water is only 49F, the actual refrigerant tubes temperature coming in contact with the water is very near or below freezing. 50 F is only a guide and "your" water quality and system design efficiency will determine the "Not to go below" safe temperature point. Some chillers may go as low as 47F, while others, usually old with poor efficiency, need to be set as high as 60 F to keep from freezing.

* If your chilled water comes in direct contact with your product, (example: Extrusion or bath cooling), you can not use any type of antifreeze. Usually with this type of situation there is an extra water to antifreeze/water heat exchanger installed to combat this problem of direct contact.

* If you have daily or weekly closed loop system water losses, I would recommend that a pre-mixed solution be made and stored in a 55 gallon or 5 gallon containers. This way if the system tank becomes low, the pre-mix is added assuring the proper freezepoint solution. I also recommend that 5 gallon buckets be placed at any water filter check area. This will reduce your spills and keep the antifreeze that you have in you system not down the drain.

* If your product is of pharmaceutical or food applications, the antifreeze used must be a clear propylene glycol. Antifreeze solutions with dyes or special inhibitors are considered "toxic" and can not be used in these situations.

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This page was last updated on January 15, 2015

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