Optimizing condenser fan control for air-cooled centrifugal chillers

F. W. Yu, K. T. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The current design and operation of air-cooled condensers can cause a significant decrease in chiller performance under part load conditions. This paper demonstrates optimal condenser fan control to improve the coefficient of performance (COP) of air-cooled chillers. This control involves identifying the optimum set point of condensing temperature with the optimized power relationships of the compressors and condenser fans and enhancing the airflow and heat transfer area of the condensers. An example application of this control for an air-cooled centrifugal chiller indicated that the COP could increase by 11.4-237.2%, depending on the operating conditions. Such the increase of the COP results in a reduction of up to 14.1 kWh/m2, or 27.3% in the annual electricity consumption per unit A/C floor area of chillers, given that the chillers serve an office building requiring an annual cooling energy per unit A/C floor area of 173.3 kWh/m2. The simulation results of this study will give HVAC engineers a better understanding of how to optimize the design and operation of air-cooled chillers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-953
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Thermal Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Air-cooled chiller
  • Centrifugal compressor
  • Coefficient of performance
  • Electricity consumption


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