An industrial air-cooled chiller is a refrigeration system that cools fluids and works in tandem with a facility’s air handler system. A chiller has four main parts: an evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion valve.

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An air-cooled chiller works by absorbing the heat from processed water. Once the water in the air handler system is used, it becomes warm and is sent back to the chiller. Heat is transferred away from the water using the chiller’s evaporator. Liquid refrigerant evaporates as it moves over the evaporator tube, creating a low-pressure gas. Next, the evaporated refrigerant travels to the compressor where the low-pressure gas is compressed into a high-pressure gas. The gas then leaves and goes to the air-cooled condensers. While in the condenser, heat is removed from the chiller by being blown outside through fans on the side of the condenser. Because the heat is blown outside of the chiller, it is ideal to place the chiller outdoors or in a large indoor location that will not be affected by the excess heat. After the gas leaves the condenser, the refrigerant changes into a high-pressure liquid. The high-pressure liquid travels to the evaporator through the expansion valve. During this process, the refrigerant changes from a high-pressure liquid to a low-pressure liquid. Because an industrial chiller works on a continuous cycle, this low-pressure liquid is then transferred back to the evaporator where the whole cycle will repeat itself.

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Industrial chillers are often used in large buildings such as hotels, indoor malls, hospitals, and large industrial buildings, as well as locations that may have multiple buildings that require cooling such as outdoor malls and theme parks. Portable air-cooled chillers can also be used for large events or emergency situations.

Portable Air has a fleet of portable, air-cooled chiller rentals ranging in size from 15 tons to 500 tons. Portable Air’s chiller rentals are trailer mounted, making delivery and set up quick and efficient.

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If you ever find your air-cooled chiller down for repair or need to rent an air-cooled chiller, visit or call 800-341-4297.