The majority of equipment that Smart Family manufactures are used in industrial process cooling applications. Simply put, we build industrial cooling equipment so it makes sense that our customers would be in industrial related fields. This particular case study looks more closely at a multi-chiller job we completely recently for a school district.
The first question many would ask is why would a school district pay a premium price for an industrial chiller when they could purchase a commercial chiller at a 10-15% savings? The answer has many layers to it and we will explore all of them here. Let us first start with the fact that this particular school district is near the coast. Through their experience, they have found that the standard commercial chillers have only lasted approximately five years before needing major servicing. Secondly, this particular location was exploring the option of adding a very expensive Building Management System (or BMS) to monitor their cooling equipment. Many companies and commercial buildings use BMS packages to provide them with up to the minute information on their cooling system.
Some of the major features our Air Cooled Screw Chillers offered on these packages were: Dual Refrigeration circuits, Two Screw Compressors – each with infinite capacity control, Shell & Tube evaporator, Industrial condenser with pre-coated fin stock, and our SmartAdvance2 microprocessor. Exploring these features some more, the screw compressors infinite capacity control allows the chiller to accurately control process temperature over a wider band than a scroll chiller would be capable. Our units also feature the industrial shell & tube evaporator over a brazed plate design. In our experience, brazed plate evaporators do well in smaller process loads but can be a point of fouling and subsequent failure in larger chillers. Our standard condenser has many benefits that the customer appreciated. We build our condensers with wide fin spacing (10-14 fins per inch) which can help reduce fouling. We also use non-lanced fin stock which also helps reduce fouling. Lastly, on our screw chillers, our condensers come standard with pre-coated condenser fins which can greatly increase the life of the condenser in a coastal installation.
The last thing the customer took into consideration was their option for a BMS package. They had chilled water pumps and valves that they wanted to control along with their chillers. With our SmartAdvance2 microprocessor controller, we were able to tie the multiple chillers together and provide a lead-lag option as well (which extends compressor life). In addition to these features, we were able to handle the control of their chiller delivery pumps and chilled water diverting valves. All of this was completed with programming modifications in our SmartAdvance2 controller. In doing so, our customer was able to eliminate the costly BMS from their budget. In the end, the longer expected life of the chillers along with our value added benefits were the deciding factor for the school board.
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