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Home > What's New > Evaporative Water Cooler - This Water Cooled Condensing Unit Is No Swamp Cooler
  • Evaporative Water Cooler - This Water Cooled Condensing Unit Is No Swamp Cooler2009-04-30
  • This unique cooling technology from Freus, shouldn't be confused with a swamp cooler. Although water is used to assist with the cooling, it is sprayed over condensing coils rather than pads.

    The water cooled condensing unit is a residential application of the 250 ton split system chillers already used by commercial buildings. Think of this technology as a mini-chiller for residential use.

    Evaporative water cooler units for split system air conditioners have a number of advantages over air-cooled units. Water removes heat from the condenser coils far more efficiently than air. This reduces the temperature of the compressed R-22 refrigerant, which in turn reduces the work load of the scroll compressor. Not only will the compressor last much longer, there is only a minimal loss of cooling efficiency when the outdoor temperature exceeds 100 degrees.

    Typical air cooled units can lose as much as 25% of their efficiency at the same temperature.

    How much can you save with a water cooled condensing unit?

    Charles Mullin, a casino worker who lives in North Las Vegas is also single. So every utility bill comes from his lone paycheck. That's why he switched the air conditioning system on his 1,500-square-foot home to a water cooled condensing unit.

    "Before I installed it, I had my thermostat set at 75 to 78 degrees to try to keep my electric bills down," he said. "I tested the new system at 65 degrees – felt like a meat locker. My bill went down to $86. That's about a 45-percent savings and the house was set cooler."

    Mullin told all his friends about the units and the savings he's seen. He figured the Freus system will pay for itself in about two years.

    Richard Waite, president of Hal Mechanical, installer of Mr. Mullin's water cooled AC, said they are specifically made for the desert climate.

    "The only extra that's needed to swap out an old air conditioning unit for a new water-cooled one is to run a water line to it. The unit has an automated system, similar to a toilet tank, keeping the water at the correct capacity. The system also flushes itself to avoid calcium buildup."

    Due to the almost constant capacity, the condenser size does not need to vary due to climate zones, like air-cooled units. The Freus is installed in much the same manner as an air-cooled condenser and has the unique ability to service multiple air handlers. This provides the space saving convenience of housing two or three compressors (up to 10 total tons) in a single cabinet.

    Jim Kilby of Green Valley, a casino management professor, replaced his 10-year-old air conditioning units, one 5-ton and one 3-ton, with two water-cooled ones of roughly the same capacity. He figures his electric bills dropped by a third.

    "The hotels have been using this technology for years," Kilby said. "When you think about it, water does a better job of cooling the air than air. It just makes sense."

    Whether you call them evaporative water coolers or water cooled condensing units, this mini version of the 250 ton chiller is sure to revolutionize desert cooling.
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