An analysis on the energy efficiency of air-cooled chillers with water mist system

Jia Yang, K. T. Chan, Xiangsheng Wu, F. W. Yu, Xiaofeng Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the effect of operating water mist system to enhance the energy efficiency of air-cooled chillers under various operating conditions. A thermodynamic model for an air-cooled chiller with twin refrigeration circuits coupled with a water mist system was developed and validated by measured operating data. The validated model was used to investigate how the thermal properties of the entering condenser air and the performance of the air-cooled chiller varied under different operating schemes with water mist pre-cooling. Under the conventional head pressure control (HPC) with a designed water mist generation rate, the coefficient of performance (COP) increased by up to 21.3%. The chiller performance could be improved further under variable condensing temperature control (CTC). Under CTC, chiller COP was increased up to 51.5% with optimal water mist generation rate. The potential energy savings of these chillers serving a representative office building in subtropical climate was evaluated, and CTC coupling with optimal water mist generation rate would reduce the annual total electricity consumption for cooling by 14.1%. The water consumption of the water mist system was comparatively small, comparing with the total water losses for an open-loop cooling tower system with equivalent heat rejection capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Air-cooled chiller
  • Coefficient of performance
  • Energy saving
  • Water mist


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