How to Knock-Off our Chiller (Tongue-in-Cheek)
The Aqua Production Systems chiller has the following features:
- 40 to 60% lower power bill than conventional
- Legally sound (CRN pressure vessel certification)
- Ratings at your operating temperature
- Lifetime warranty on chiller barrel (evaporator)
- Free money (incentives from Efficiency NS)
- Made in Canada
However, the initial cost for such quality tends to be too much for some people to swallow. So, to help those folks out, here is how you can knock-off our chillers.
Let’s start with the condensing unit.
APS carefully selects each compressor to achieve best efficiency at your operating temperatures. To eliminate this cost, look for something mass produced like an air conditioner or a swimming pool cooler. It will be operating out of range and use 2x the power, but it will cool water… some. It might even last 3 to 5 years before you have to shell out another $5,000 to replace it and the refrigerant is contaminated by running so hot.
In the same manner, the condensing unit of a mass-produced swimming pool cooler or air conditioner can be cheaper up front. No receiver means less cost. It won’t feed a properly sized evaporator without the receiver, but that’s ok, because you can save money up front by putting in a cheap, under-sized evaporator too!
The evaporator. The APS shell-and-tube chiller barrels are rated as Tons at your operating temperature. To save money up front, buy a shell-and-coil chiller barrel. They come with hp ratings yet they do not need electrical connections! The rating is done with warm water so that the number is not completely false. Just misleading if you want to use it with cold water. A 10 ton chiller at 70F will provide about 5-6 tons at 35F, all the while using 10hp of energy to do so.
Another cost associated with the APS evaporator is the CRN pressure vessel certification. To satisfy the Boiler and Pressure Vessel regulations, a CRN certification is required by law. However, you can buy a cheap shell-and-coil chiller without CRN and grandfather yourself in…. for now. As long as the insurance company doesn’t dig too deep when the coil chafes a hole and leaks refrigerant into your tank (killing lobster) you may still get the claim approved. But at least you can save money up front.
In summary, to save money up front buy mass-produced air conditioners and conventional chiller barrels. You will be operating just inside the law (in most provinces) and operating just on the edge of the units’ operating range. This will save you about 30% up front on a 10hp unit! That is about $5000 saved right there!
Of course, there is a trade-off or two.
Your energy bill will be 40-60% higher, but at least that cost is spread out into a monthly payment.
The capacity of a 10hp unit will actually be 6 or maybe 7 tons at your operating temperature…rather than 10 tons with an APS unit. But that’s ok, because if the 6 or 7 tons is not enough, you know how to buy a cheap knock-off… again. [And we already covered how the (now double + 30%) power bill is spread into a monthly payment]
Also, the insurance company might not pay out if the unit leaks refrigerant into your tank.
Example of Knock-Off Unit
Energy efficiency incentives are not available for these inefficient units, but it costs money and takes a bit of work to get those anyway. You have to get an engineer to write up the paperwork, and you have to sign two papers and answer a couple of questions… who wants to do that for free money and a lower energy bill forever?
There is a 1 year warranty on the cheap evaporators vs a lifetime warranty on APS chiller barrels. Just keep your fingers crossed and don’t pump too much water through the cheap ones. They will last longer (although this limits their capacity a bit more… so you will need more of them and a higher power bill luckily spread out in monthly payments).
The biggest cheap chiller barrel unit you can buy is 10hp. So you can buy 14 units to get 140 tons of cooling in warm water and burn 140hp to get 60 tons of cooling at cold temperatures. Then you have so much redundancy you buy cheap gear and not care if one goes down… or two… or more (unless you have lobster in the tank and need to bring new water in to flush ammonia and keep lobster alive). With APS units, you can get two chillers to provide 120 tons of cooling at 35F (or whatever number is needed), and enough warranty comes standard that there is no need to worry about redundancy or ammonia build-up.
If you need more detailed help creating a knock-off, please contact our engineering department at (902)-745-3855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.