Troubleshooting techniques for chillers in the MRI-medical and laser industries
Chiller problems can be easily addressed with the below step by step air conditioning check list. Below the troubleshooting techniques range from checking fuses to your air filters. Under no circumstances should anyone perform these tasks unless properly trained or licensed.
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Chiller system does not start:
1. Have all voltages and fuses checked (if system is not operating) If fuses are blown-check for shorts or grounds before new fuses are installed. There was a reason for the fuses blowing-find it first.
2. Make sure chiller has water in the closed loop reservoir tank. This can cause the flow switch to chatter or the system to ice up.
3. Check the thermostat set point and make sure the water in the closed loop reservoir is above that setting. If the water is cool the chiller may not need to run.
4. Keep all air, water filters and coils clean and clear for proper air flow.
5. Make sure that there is at least 1 machine with open water circulation. This can be also obtained by the use of a water bypass at the end of the process water loop.
6. Safeties: Reset them 2-3 times maximum. If the system continues to trip the safety then call a chiller service technician.
Chiller-Start ups and Shut downs:
1. Do not shut off chiller by main power disconnects. Use control power switches provided on the chiller control panel.
2. First time start ups should be done by a qualified chiller service technician. Serious damage can occur if certain steps are not taken from the beginning.
3. Start ups (Daily): make sure the chiller recirculation pump is on and running before the compressors are started.
4. Cool down period: wait for at least 5-10 minutes after the laser production has stopped before the chiller is shut down. The residual heat in the laser tip needs to be removed before the chiller is stopped.
Operating Adjustments: (MRI & Laser)
1. Temperature ranges: Laser applications has a wide range of operating temperatures ( 50- 65F). Some systems even have two separate pumps with different temperature ranges and water pump pressures. Refer to "Your" chiller manufacturers laser machine specifications for the correct temperature range.
2. MRI units have very specific temperatures that it must maintain. The water quality is critical. Make sure that the Manufacturer of the MRI unit gives the necessary water temperatures that this chiller should run. If it is not marked call them and ask.
3. Sweating concerns: Chilling laser applications can have a wide range, but what ever temperature you are asked to use try to stay with that range. If you have a sweating problem raise the set point temperature only 1F increments and see if that will make any difference.
4. Water quality: Most MRI & laser chiller water systems utilize Dionized water (D.I. water). This is done to keep the water free from mineral build up. If you presently do not have access to or used DI water in you system; I suggest that some type of chemical treatment done ASAP. Do not let the water become contaminated. Water treatment is extremely important.
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Professional Refrigeration Troubleshooter
The first hands on Chiller/HVAC/R troubleshooting handbook is out in publication. This is a must have book for you and your service technicians. It will save you time and money along with passing on the vast knowledge of 60 years experience.
This page was last updated on January 8, 2017
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