Appendix 2A: Chiller Control Principles ............................................................................... 104 2A.1 2A.

2
2A.2.1 2A.2.2

Features of Chiller Control Components .............................................................. 104 Start-up and Shutdown ........................................................................................... 105
Start-up............................................................................................................................... 105 Shutdown ........................................................................................................................... 106

2A.3
2A.3.1 2A.3.2 2A.3.3

Chilled-Water Supply Temperature Control ........................................................ 107
Refrigerant Pump and Level Control ................................................................................. 107 Steam Valve Control........................................................................................................... 109 Solution Pump and HTRG Level Control .......................................................................... 111

2A.4
2A.4.1 2A.4.2

Cooling-Water Supply Control ...............................................................................112
Cooling-Water Pump Control............................................................................................. 112 Cooling Water Fan Control ................................................................................................ 113

2A.5 2A.6
2A.6.1 2A.6.2

Vacuum Maintenance...............................................................................................114 Crystallization Detection and Decrystallization ....................................................115
Crystal Detection................................................................................................................ 116 Crystal Removal................................................................................................................. 116

2A.7

Safety Control and Diagnostics ...............................................................................117

102

.......................................................................................7: Control principle of opening the steam valve......... 109 Figure 2A ......2: Control logic of shutdown procedure .................................4: Principle of the chilled-water supply temperature control .... 110 Figure 2A ..1: Control logic of startup procedure..... AGPD ....................... 111 Figure 2A ....11: Control principle of the cooling fan (decreasing cooling-water temperature).......................................... 114 103 .........10: Control principle of the cooling fan (increasing cooling-water temperature) .................................................. 108 Figure 2A .......................................9: General rule for the variation of solution pump frequency ................................. 110 Figure 2A ...........Figure 2A .......... 108 Figure 2A .......................... 112 Figure 2A .......................................... 113 Figure 2A . 106 Figure 2A ............... 113 Figure 2A .......................3: Configuration of the refrigerant level meter..........................................................................................................12: Principle diagram of automatic gas purge device...................6: Control principle of opening the steam valve........8: Control principle of closing the steam valve ........................... 107 Figure 2A ....................5: Configuration of HTRG solution level probe............................................

Appendix 2A: Chiller Control Principles The chiller operation program is a sequence of processes to start up. • The cooling-tower fan (CTF) has low. the chiller continuously provides chilled water within a preset temperature range at the imposed chilled-water flow and return temperature. The chiller control principles will be discussed in detail in this appendix. and shut down the chiller by adjusting the corresponding chiller control components listed in Table 2-4 on the basis of the measurements in Table 2-3. Load changes complicate the chiller control program. noncondensable gas detection. crystallization formation. The chiller instrumentation and control system the manufacturer has provided was described in chapter 2.1 Features of Chiller Control Components The chiller components to be adjusted during the chiller start-up. Additional factors need to be considered. shutdown. While operating. It starts or stops immediately once an on or off command has been received. they have the following features: • The chilled-water pump (CHWP) is a constant speed pump. Chiller shutdown starts with the shutdown command to the chilled-water pump stop. the cooling-water pump (CWP) is a constant speed pump. • The solution pump has a variable-frequency drive that adjusts the pump speed to maintain the sorbent solution level in the HTRG constant. 2A. Chiller start-up starts with the start-up command and ends with the steam valve fully open. medium. crystallization detection and control. Higher cooling loads require higher heat input and sorbent solution flow. Chiller operation involves chilled-water supply temperature control. such as the detection of noncondensable gas. and abnormal conditions. follow load. The CHWP is usually the first component to start in the chiller and the last component to stop. and shutdown procedures are listed in Table 2-4. load-flow. 104 . • Similar to the CHWP. and chiller diagnostics. It starts or stops immediately once it has received an on or off command. • The refrigerant pump is a constant-speed pump. and load-follow. It starts or stops immediately once it received an on or off command. It operates only when the CHWP is running. cooling-water supply temperature control. It starts or stops immediately once an on or off command is received. and high speeds to maintain the desired coolingwater supply temperature. The chiller control program can be divided into start-up.

once the CWDD has opened for a certain length of time. • The city-water switch (CTS) is a magnetic valve. The opening or closing of the steam valve is not measured directly but is estimated by the corresponding operating time of the drive motor. The steam valve opens or closes in steps between the first and fourth stages. The start-up procedure is illustrated in Figure 2A-1. The motor runs for a certain time to open or close the valve completely once an on or off command has been received. The chiller starts the CHWP.1 Start-up The chiller start-up command can be given through the push button on the chiller control panel or through the control software in the computer. The cooling water begins to drain the cooling-water tank until it is empty. the chiller control system needs to open or close the corresponding valves (the CWDD and the CTS). four conditions must be met: • ambient temperature must be higher than a preset value • cooling-water tank must be filled with water • chilled-water flow must be sufficient • chilled-water supply temperature must be higher than a preset value To meet these conditions. The cooling-water supply temperature is kept sufficiently high by the by-pass of circulating cooling water around the cooling tower. It opens or closes immediately once an on or off signal has been received. • The cooling-water by-pass valve (CWBPV) is motor driven.2 Start-up and Shutdown 2A. and the solution pump. the CWDD must be closed. To operate these four major components. When the cooling tower begins to fill with city water.• The steam valve has four staged openings. as soon as it has received an on or off command. The CTS remains open to supply city water to the cooling tower because the cooling tower loses water to the atmosphere while the chiller operates. the CWP. 2A. and opens the steam valve in sequence.2. • The cooling-water drain device (CWDD) is motor driven. The motor runs until the valve is fully open or closed. • The electric refrigerant pump heater (RPH) prevents refrigerant from freezing in the evaporator. 105 .

2. otherwise. the steam valve will open in stages to supply thermal energy into the HTRG. When water is detected in the cooling-tower tank. If cooling is required. and the chilled-water supply temperature is higher than its preset value. the CHWP will start. and the status of the chilled-water flow will be checked by the chilled-water flow detector. Once the solution pump is operating. the control system modulates the refrigerant pump and the steam valve to meet the preset value of the chilled-water supply temperature. or when the chiller detects an operational malfunction or component failure. If an adequate chilled-water flow is detected CWP will be started to circulate cooling water.2 Shutdown The chiller starts to shut down when it receives the command through the push button or monitoring software. the chiller checks the ambient (surrounding) temperature. but it requires roughly 45 minutes to cool the solution temperature with the circulating cooling water. 2A.Figure 2A . the start-up will halt. After the start-up procedure has been completed. the start-up program will terminate. But if the cooling-water level probe fails to detect water for 3 minutes. the chiller will sequentially close the CWDD and open the CTS to provide city water to the cooling tower. 106 .1: Control logic of startup procedure When the chiller control system receives a start-up command. and the solution pump will be started to circulate dilute solution from the absorber to the two regenerators. The shutdown process is simpler than the start-up process. the chiller will start. If this temperature is as high as the preset ambient temperature for cooling.

and the solution pump. The absorption chiller responds to cooling-load changes by adjusting the amount of refrigerant supplied to and vaporized in the evaporator. The probe pins detect four levels of the refrigerant as illustrated in Figure 2A-3. In response. 2A. 2A.3 Chilled-Water Supply Temperature Control The chilled-water flow rate and the chilled-water supply and return temperature determine the cooling load. 107 . The refrigerant pump control is detailed in Figure 2A-4. the steam valve.3.1 Refrigerant Pump and Level Control Figure 2A-3 illustrates the arrangement of the refrigerant pump and the refrigerant level probe. First the chiller closes the steam valve and then starts the sorbent cooling process by mixing the cold and dilute sorbent solution in the absorber with the hot and concentrated sorbent solutions in the two regenerators until the temperature of the sorbent solution in the HTRG drops from 155 oC to 85 oC.Figure 2A . The chiller components stop one by one in sequence.2: Control logic of shutdown procedure Shutdown Close SV Dilute process Stop SP Stop CTF No Yes Stop RP Stop CWP HTRG solution temperature<preset ? Close CWV Stop CHW End The shutdown process is illustrated in Figure 2A-2. the chiller control system responds to the cooling load changes and maintains the chilled-water supply temperature by modulating the refrigerant pump. In general. The chiller operates the steam valve to supply steam to the HTRG that provides refrigerant. the refrigerant generation rate and the corresponding vaporization pressure variations in the HTRG. as shown in Figure 2A-2. The level probe has three pins in a cylinder connected with the water tray and the top of the evaporator. the dilute sorbent solution flow rate must be adjusted to maintain a constant solution level in the HTRG.

Two additional conditions can also stop the refrigerant pump: first. the refrigerant level submerges refrigerant Pin 1. the chiller executes a shutdown.4: Principle of the chilled-water supply temperature control L2 Pin 3 Pin 2 Pin 1 D Refrigerant tray RBPSV A B RP Chilled water executes the de-crystallization C 108 .3: Configuration of the refrigerant level meter conditions are met: first. the chilled-water supply temperature is the same as the above preset temperature. the chiller program. Figure 2A . it does not stop until the chilled-water supply temperature drops below the preset value or until the water leveling the refrigerant tray drops below Pin 1. second. The steam valve also plays a critical role in controlling the chilled-water supply temperature.The refrigerant pump starts when two Figure 2A . its control principles will be discussed in the following section. Once the refrigerant pump operates. second.

the steam valve must be controlled to respond to the cooling load variations. The structure of the HTRG solution level probe (L1) is illustrated in Figure 2A-5. 7 oC.2A. • the temperature of the sorbent solution in the HTRG.2 Steam Valve Control For an absorption chiller. the adjustment of the steam valve must In general respond to: • the level of the sorbent in the HTRG. the initial requirements must be met: • the sorbent solution pump must be operating.5: Configuration of HTRG solution level probe L3 Condenser Sorbent solution inlet SV Steam LTRG Cooling-water outlet Cooling-water inlet L1 HTRG ABCD E Pin 4 Pin 3 Pin 2 Pin 1 Condensate Sorbent solution inlet and outlet Refrigerant To open the steam valve. Similar to the refrigerant level probe (L2).3. L1 has 4 pins and accordingly 5 areas along the height of the probe cylinder. Nominally 155 oC. • the solution level must be above Pin 1 of the solution level probe in the HTRG 109 . the cooling load is determined by the amount of refrigerant provided to the evaporator from the regenerators. nominally. Maintaining this level assumes adequate surface for heat transfer from the steam to the sorbent. As a result. Figure 2A . maintaining this temperature assumes that the sorbent concentration and absorber pressure are appropriate • the chilled-water supply temperature is. The steam valve regulates the steam supply to the HTRG and the quantity of refrigerant produced in the HTRG. The control of the steam flow.

opening and closing. Figure 2A .Figure 2A . the operation of the steam valve. Under continuing operating conditions.6: Control principle of opening the steam valve Figure 2A-6 presents the overall logic for initial opening of the steam valve. is dependent on the chilled-water supply temperature from the evaporator in Figure 2A-7 and 2A-8.7: Control principle of opening the steam valve 4th stage 3rd stage 2nd stage 1st stage Close Steam valve position 5C o 6C o 7C o 8C o 9C o CHW supply temperature 110 .

the steam valve will open again. The configuration of the sorbent 4-pin-level probe is illustrated in Figure 2A-5. If the level remains in area D for more than 10 minutes. the valve will be adjusted in stage from closed to fully open by an electric motor. When the refrigerant level in the water tray rises into area D.3 Solution Pump and HTRG Level Control The solution pump control is set to minimize the solution level variations through a variable frequency pump. 2A. The level control is implemented by modulating the solution pump frequency. If the refrigerant level remains in D for more than 3 minutes. the third. and the fourth. The frequency band of the pump is between 15 and 42 Hz. 111 . the steam valve closes one stage from its current opening. (this happens when the cooling load drops dramatically).Figure 2A .3. The target of HTRG level control is to hold the solution level constant in area C. from 30% to 60%. the second. The first-stage opening ranges from 5% to 30%.8: Control principle of closing the steam valve 4th stage Steam valve position 3rd stage 2nd stage 1st stage Close 5C o 6C o 7C o 8C o 9C o CHW supply temperature When the steam valve receives a command from the control system. from 80% to 100% open. the steam valve will close completely. from 60% to 80%. When the level drops into area B. The control formulation’s variable frequency pump is illustrated in Figure 2A-9. the steam valve will close one additional stage. There is one special case for the steam valve closing procedure. the change rate is 2 Hz/s.

and when the CHWP is operating. the solution pump will keep its current frequency unchanged until the level drops below or rises over area C. 112 . the control system is aimed to hold the solution level in area C. more than half the total control points for the chiller. with the solution level within area A. and the CWDV. 2A.Figure 2A .4. the CWP. the pump motor will operate at 25 Hz when the solution temperature is below 80 oC and at 30 Hz when the solution temperature is between 80 and 120 oC. Three control points pertain to the control of cooling-water flow and supply temperature: the CWBPV.9: General rule for the variation of solution pump frequency Frequency (Hz) Maximium 42 40 35 30 +2 Hz/5s 25 20 Minimium 15 A 1 B 2 C 3 D 4 E Solution level probe +1 Hz/5s Targeting frequency -2 Hz -1 Hz -1 Hz/5s -3 Hz/5s When the solution pump is activated during the start-up procedure. The pump frequency subsequently will decrease by 2 Hz when the solution level rises up one. 2A. Once the solution hits area C.4 Cooling-Water Supply Control The cooling tower has six control points.1 Cooling-Water Pump Control The CWP is a single-speed pump. and CTF. Appropriate control for the cooling tower is required for effective and efficient chiller operation. increasing or decreasing. For both directions. The frequency will be 38 Hz when the solution temperature is higher than 120 oC. Three control points deal with cooling-water quality: the CTS. The cooling-water pump can be started when the cooling-water level probe detects the required cooling-water level. Figure 2A-9 gives the general rules for the frequency variation corresponding to the solution level changes. the CWDD.

2A. at this temperature. The preset temperature and the temperature range for the fan speeds can be adjusted through the control system. Figure 2A . the cooling-water supply temperature is usually preset at 30 oC.10: Control principle of the cooling fan (increasing cooling-water temperature) Fan status High Speed Midium Speed Low Speed Off 26 C o 28 C o 30 C o 32 C o Cooling water supply temperature Figure 2A . The relation of the cooling-water supply temperature to the fan speed is illustrated in Figures 2A-10 and 2A-11.4. the fan speed will operate at high speed until the temperature drops back to 30 oC. the fan will operate at low speed. In the chiller. the fan runs at medium speed. An acceptable temperature range is preset at 2 oC. The cooling-water fan has three speeds controlled by the measured cooling-water supply temperature. When the water temperature hits at 32 oC.11: Control principle of the cooling fan (decreasing cooling-water temperature) Fan status High Speed Midium Speed Low Speed Off 26 C o 28 C o 30 C o 32 C o Cooling water supply temperature 113 .2 Cooling Water Fan Control The fan can be started only when the CWP in operating. If the cooling-water supply temperature drops to 28 o C.

can be generated. solution supply and return pipes. AGPD.5 Vacuum Maintenance Because of the high vacuum in the evaporator and the absorber vessel.2A. The noncondensable gas in the absorber are separated and stored automatically by the AGPD until the storage chamber is full. and a gas storage chamber. manual vacuum services are still required to purge noncondensable gas from the storage chamber and the upper vessel.12: Principle diagram of automatic gas purge device. air can leak into the water-LiBr absorption refrigeration system. is difficult to remove through sorbent solution migrations. is installed to continuously remove these noncondensable gases to maintain the required low pressures in the evaporator and absorber. An automatic gas purge device. When noncondensable gases are generated in the system during operation. AGPD Figure 2A-12 illustrates the AGPD system of the chiller. the AGPD comprises purge chambers. Non-condensable gases. Corrosion also occurs in the chiller. although corrosion inhibitors are added to the water-LiBr sorbent solution. such as H2. gas pickup pipe. In the chiller. therefore. Figure 2A . however. The noncondensable gas generated in the upper tank (the HTRG and the LTRG). Even if the AGPD is installed. pressure balancing pipes. The solution 114 . they tend to migrate to the absorber where the pressure is lowest. The vacuum can be maintained through the AGPD and periodic manual purge services.

Gas from Chamber A flows into the sorbent solution and down the drain pipe because of the reduced pressure at the lower end of the “gas pick up pipe”. 2A. Chamber B has one end connected to the absorber reservoir. the other end is opened to the open space of Chamber A. New machines tend to generate more noncondensable gases than older machines. Then gases in two regenerators are removed through the vacuum pump. the other end is connected to gas storage Chamber C. This configuration will cause “level 3” to move down because of the increased quantity and pressure of the noncondensable gas in Chambers B and C. The resulting low temperature in the outlet sorbent stream from the absorber results in low temperatures where the concentrated sorbent leaves the HTHX and LTHX and increases the probability of deposition there. To remove the noncondensable gas generated in the upper vessel (regenerators). In this process. a small amount of water vapor is removed from Chamber B and C. When the “level 3” probe indicates that too much gas has accumulated in Chambers B and C and a manual vacuum process is required. As a result. the sorbent solution composition is increased. Crystal formation is significantly affected by operating conditions in the chiller: • The cooling-water supply temperature to the absorber. A short pipe termed “gas pickup pipe” is inserted into the drain pipe at the upper end. 115 . a vacuum pump can be connected to “Vacuum valve 2”. Solid deposits of LiBr on such surfaces can reduce or block sorbent solution flows from the HTRG and/or the LTRG. Water vapor in the gas will be reabsorbed into solution while the noncondensable gas will remain bubbles entering in Chamber B. Such deposits in the Broad chiller are most likely to form on the surfaces where concentrated sorbent solution leaves the HTHX and the LTHX interchangers and enters the absorber. Chamber A also connects the open space of the absorber. The sorbent solution pumped to Chamber A flows back to the absorber reservoir through a drain pipe. This operation requires operating at ambient temperature. The absorber and Chamber A have the same total pressure.6 Crystallization Detection and Decrystallization Crystals of LiBr solid can deposit from the sorbent solution at high concentrations and low temperatures – 63% to 68% LiBr and 398 to 70 oF. at the same time. A second pressure-balancing pipe connects the absorber solution reservoir and Chamber A open space.pump supplies a small portion of dilute solution to chamber A on the top of the automatic purge unit. “Vacuum valve 3” must be opened.

the concentration of LiBr in the circulating sorbent solution increases and the temperature decreases. the solution pump will stop until the level drops to C. After the level has reached to C for 30 seconds.6.6. Once the level reaches B. 2A. and the sorbent solution is blocked. • Abrupt shutdown. If the solution level in the LTRG is higher than its upper limit for more than 120 seconds. the chiller control stops the solution pump until the solution level in the LTRG drops to B. resulting in an increased probability of LiBr deposits.2 Crystal Removal Once crystallization is detected. Steam flow is increased by the chiller control. The sorbent solution stream can still pass through in the pipes. Consequently. the chiller starts the solution pump at maximum frequency to circulate the dilute solution and dissolve the crystals back to solution. If this occurs. the solution pump starts again at maximum frequency. the chiller control concludes that crystals have formed in the HTHX.• Noncondensable gas accumulation in the evaporator and chiller. the decrystallization process is conducted immediately to maintain chiller operation. If no action is taken. The temperature rises in the evaporator and falls in the absorber. If proper actions are taken. When the solution temperature is above 140 oC in the HTRG and the solution level remains at area E for more than 30 seconds. Usually when crystals start to form on the inner surface of tubes. If crystals are detected in the HTHX. and the refrigerant pump sequentially. 2A. the crystals can be dissolved back into the flow of sorbent solution. Crystallization detection in the LTHX is simpler than in the HTHX. Crystal removal involves stopping the CWP. the crystals accumulate in the tubes and eventually completely block the solution flow. This gas inhibits water evaporation from the refrigerant and absorption in the sorbent. If crystals are detected in the LTHX. 116 . professional services are required to clear the blockage. the cooling-water fan.1 Crystal Detection The chiller detects the crystallization indirectly by monitoring the temperature and solution level in the HTRG and the LTRG. A shutdown results in decreasing sorbent solution temperature prior to reducing the sorbent solution concentrations by mixing the various sorbent and refrigerant reservoirs in the chiller. This process continues for 10 minutes. This can cause crystals to form. they do not immediately block flows. the chiller control concludes that crystal has formed in the LTHX and sorbent solution flow is blocked.

” messages appear on the monitor.When the process has continued for 5 minutes. such as any one of the two chilled-water temperature sensor failure. In “abnormal warning. the refrigerant pump. Some of the alarm messages. and abnormal warnings. the cooling water pump.” a message appears. the decrystallization process is similar to the HTHX decrystallization process.” the shutdown program is executed if the cooling-water supply. and the cooling-water supply temperature sensor failures and the coolingwater pump. the city-water supply. If the power is interrupted. The alarm messages include: any one of the two chilled-water temperatures. will not shut down the chiller operation. and if the chilled-water supply temperature and the HTRG solution temperature sensors fail. the solution pump. 117 . Any of these malfunctions trigger the shutdown program or ends the start-up program. and the steam valve fail. 2A. but the cooling-water supply temperature sensor and the cooling-water pump problem do trigger the shutdown program if the problems persist.7 Safety Control and Diagnostics Chiller control diagnostics and protection procedures are followed when malfunction or abnormality occurs during chiller operation. decrystallization will be concluded. A warning message is a notice such as “the noncondensable is full. The chiller safety control and diagnostics can be categorized into the following three levels: malfunction shutdown.” Warnings do not affect the chiller operation but are reminders that service or regular checks are required. malfunction alarming. In “malfunction shutdown. In “malfunction alarming. and the HTRG solution level control failures.