Petra’s Energy Efficient Chillers

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Petra has stayed at the forefront of chiller technology since its founding in 1987. Because this global HVAC leader continually works on perfecting heat pump chillers and free cooling chillers, it’s continually finding innovative ways to make buildings and industrial heating and cooling processes more energy efficient.

Mark Hartman oversees the organization of Petra’s rep force in North America. In a recent interview, he reported, “Petra is working on perfecting heat pump chillers and improving free cooling chillers. There’s no doubt that Petra Chillers will work well with the electrification initiatives happening across the U.S.”

Heat Pump Chillers for Carbon Neutral Goals

Petra heat pump chillers use electricity to move heat from one location to another. Heat pump chillers have only recently become part of the mainstream conversation. “For example, if you go look at the system of any large building in Philadelphia today that has a chilled water central plant, it’s unlikely that any have heat pump chillers installed yet. However, the Philadelphia Building Better Initiative, and other programs like it, make heat pump chillers a desirable, energy-efficient option that will help the city meet their carbon neutral goals.”

Free Cooling Chillers for Climates with Cool Nights

Free cooling chillers capitalize on cooler outside air temperatures. They integrate an air-to-water heat exchanger, which acts like a radiator but in reverse. “A control valve regulates the water flow,” Harman explains. “When the outside air temperature drops below a set point, the valve diverts the chilled water loop away from the chiller. For data centers, this set point can actually be as high as 70 degrees, so free cooling chillers are often a good choice for these kinds of buildings.”

Fans draw cool outside air through the heat exchanger, but the chiller remains part of the system as a backup. If the outside air temperature rises above the set point, the valve automatically redirects the water flow back to the chiller. The other chiller then takes over the cooling duties, ensuring consistent building temperature.

“Free cooling chillers are very energy efficient,” says Hartman, “so in cooler climates like Pennsylvania, it often makes sense to use it in tandem with a traditional chiller. In these regions, the free cooling chiller reduces the reliance on energy-intensive compressors for most of the year, and the traditional chiller takes over in unusually hot weather. They are less useful in the warmer climates where the nights are 50 degrees or above most of the year.”

Find Out More About Petra Chillers

Petra offers water-based HVAC systems that prioritize energy efficiency. Petra heat pump chillers are exceptionally well suited to multi-story buildings requiring year-round climate control. The Petra free cooling chillers offer an air-cooled operation that is especially appealing to large buildings with higher ambient temperature goals, such as data centers. Coward Environmental Systems, Inc. proudly represents Petra in select regions. Contact us today to find out more.