Evaporative cooling technologies for air-cooled chillers for building energy performance improvement

F. W. Yu, K. T. Chan, J. Yang, R. K.Y. Sit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Where water conservation is concerned, central air-conditioning systems in commercial buildings are installed with air-cooled chillers for comfort cooling. This study examines evaporative cooling technologies for air-cooled chillers to improve their energy performance. Two common devices for cooling air intake to condensers are evaporative coolers and mist generators. Depending on weather conditions and packing materials, evaporative coolers can enhance the refrigeration effect and chiller energy performance at various degrees. Yet, different configurations and designs for air-cooled condensers call for tailor-made design of the coolers. The coolers also impose additional flow resistance to condenser air and, in turn, additional fan power. Mist generated in front of the condensers brings no flow resistance to condenser air and allows the dry bulb temperature approach closely the corresponding wet bulb temperature. The cooling effectiveness can be maximized with lesser water consumption. The benefit of evaporative cooling for air-cooled chillers is more appealing in future climate scenarios in a subtropical climate, considering the higher difference between the dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures. Integration of control and optimization strategies with mist precooling has been discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Building Energy Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016


  • air-cooled chiller
  • cooling effectiveness
  • evaporative cooler
  • mist generator


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