Trouble shooting techniques for chillers in the plastics industry
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 what the thermostat is set for. 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 any belts have been checked and spares are on hand.
6. Make sure that there is at least 1-2 plastics machines with open water circulation. This can be also obtained by the use of a water bypass at the end of the process water loop.
7. 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.
Operating Adjustments: (Plastics)
1. Sweating and Condensation: Plastics molds and rails are susceptible to sweating when the chilled water loop is too cold. Water spots form and cause deformed parts. Raise chiller set point temperature 2 F at a time, until the sweating is reduced. This will vary depending on the dew point or if the plant is air-conditioned.
2. Water too warm: Try not to run the chilled water loop supply temperature above 65F. Running the system this high will hard press the compressor and its operating limits.
3. Water too cold: Try not to run the chiller below 50F without some type of freeze protection solution in the water (Antifreeze)
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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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