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CASE STUDY: Designing a Lighter Recirculating Chiller with Tight Temperature Stability

Recirculating Chiller with Tight Temperature Stability
Compressor-based recirculating chillers are often used to cool lasers and medical equipment, as they can provide the cooling and precise temperature control needed for these applications. One of Lytron’s customers needed a recirculating chiller that had a cooling capacity of 2kW, a maximum weight of 75 lbs (34 kg), and a height limit of 12.75 inches. Lytron’s smallest standard recirculating chiller, the Kodiak® RC006, weighs 97 lbs (44 kg) and is 22.0 inches (559 mm) high. Therefore, the standard chiller was a bit too large and too heavy to meet the customer’s requirements. A custom chiller was the solution. When space is an issue, Lytron’s engineers will review the performance requirements for the cooling system and find innovative ways to pack the necessary components into the allocated space.

In addition to the high-performance-in-a-small-package requirement, the customer had a few other unique requirements. The tight temperature stability provided by Lytron’s standard chiller was also needed in their custom chiller, since the water temperature on the pump discharge line needed to be maintained at ±0.1°C. Lytron’s standard Kodiak chillers offer up to 6kW of cooling capacity and maintain ±0.1°C temperature stability, but have a relatively large tank that can help to maintain that stability. With the required smaller tank, this tight temperature stability was more challenging. In addition, the customer required that the chiller have an additional control board to maintain water resistivity levels of ±0.05 megohms-cm.

To meet the performance requirements, Lytron replaced the typical tube-fin heat exchanger used in the standard recirculating chiller with Lytron’s highly efficient flat tube heat exchanger technology. Wherever possible, Lytron leveraged its standard components to keep costs low. With some additional engineering, Lytron provided a custom cooling system that met the customer’s demanding specifications.