Common preventive maintenance for chillers typically involves cleaning, monitoring temperature and pressure, and general system testing. Depending on the maintenance tasks, technicians must perform them anywhere from daily to annually.
Chillers typically live in refrigeration systems to cool segments of processes or space. They operate using a vapor-compression or absorption cycle.
Mechanical compression chillers have an evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion valve. Absorption chillers, on the other hand, have an absorber and generator, instead of a compressor and expansion valve.
Chiller maintenance consists of two main parts. First, chiller operation must be brought to peak efficiency. Second, it must remain at that level.
Basic maintenance should begin with quarterly inspections per the manufacturer’s operations manual. Maintenance technicians should inspect for refrigerant leaks as well as check oil levels, pressures, and temperatures regularly. In addition, technicians should inspect motor voltages and amps as well as starters, relays, and contactors. Finally, the technician should check hot gas and unloader operations.
Preventive maintenance tasks for chillers take place daily, weekly, semi-annually or annually, depending on the nature of the task. For example, technicians should complete a visual inspection on a daily basis when they program data points and sequencing.
Each week, someone must inspect the evaporator and condenser coils, as well as the motor temperature. Chillers should be tested for leaks, control operation and water quality weekly as well. Items such as load balances and limits can be inspected twice a year. A thorough cleaning, electrical system inspection, and other maintenance tune-ups should be performed annually. Not only will preventive maintenance tasks help protect your investments, but they will help you reduce energy usage.
Here are two preventive maintenance checklists from the US Department of Energy for chillers.
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