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engineers newsletter providing insights for todays

hvac system designer

the saga continues

Variable-Primary-Flow Systems Revisited
from the editor Perhaps this explains the increased pressure drops and efficiency of the
Obtaining reliable, cost-effective HVAC interest in chilled water systems pumps.2 A VPF design displaces the
performance remains a priority for with variable primary flow (VPF). small, inefficient, low-head primary
building owners, facility managers, and VPF designs use fewer pumps and pumps used in primarysecondary
system designers alike. A 1999 fewer piping connections than primary systems. The pressure drops
Engineers Newsletter (volume 23, secondary systems, which means previously satisfied by the primary
number 3) discussed one avenue for fewer electrical lines and a smaller pumps are instead satisfied by the
achieving that goal in a chilled water footprint for the plant. These factors distribution pumps, permitting selection
system: variable primary flow. reduce the initial cost of the chilled of larger, more efficient pumps (with
water system.1 efficiencies similar to those of the
The growing number of successful secondary pumps in a primary
VPF installations has broadened their As for operating costs, how much a secondary system).
acceptance, as well as our experience VPF design saves depends on the
with them. Yet the inherent complexity
makes many building professionals 2 Bahnfleth and Peyer discuss the operational
reluctant to implement variable primary 1 The savings may be partially offset by additional savings of VPF designs in Comparative Analysis
costs for flow-monitoring and bypass flow of Variable and Constant Primary-Flow Chilled-
flow. If this describes you, perhaps this
(bypass line and control valve). VPF designs may Water-Plant Performance (HPAC Engineering,
EN will allay your fears. In it, we provide also require more programming for system April 2001). For most common systems,
specific guidelines for designing and control than other designs. however, the primary pump power on which they
base their assessment may be too high.
operating a VPF plant, and identify key
equipment characteristics that are
particularly critical for reliable operation. Figure 1. Variable-primary-flow system (chilled water loop)

The desire to make or save money lies

at the heart of many of our decisions.
In the context of HVAC design,
decisions made to save money often
involve a tradeoff between acquisition
expense and operating cost. If you can
realize savings on both fronts, so much
the better.

2002 American Standard Inc. All rights reserved Volume 31, No. 4
Table 1. Flow-rate changes that result from isolation-valve operation
What Makes
Number of operating chillers
VPF Systems Different
1 2 3 4 5
Before we identify the ingredients that
Flow-rate reduction when an isolation valve opens a 50% 33% 25% 20% 17%
go into the successful application of
variable primary flow, lets review the a Flow-rate reduction is expressed as a percentage of the actual chilled water flow rate prior to transition:

traits that distinguish this type of number of chillers operating

% flow-rate reduction = 1 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
number of chillers operating + 1
system from the more familiar
primarysecondary design, which
hydraulically decouples the constant-
flow production side of the chilled A less obvious difference between system, the pump controller increases
water loop from the variable-flow variable and constant primary flow lies the speed of the pump. Conversely,
distribution side. in system operation. In a primary when the air-handler control valves
secondary system, a chiller and its close in response to decreased coil
The VPF design eliminates the primary pump typically operate in loads, the pump controller slows the
constant-flow chiller pumps and uses tandem. The VPF design can separate pump speed to maintain the target P.
the variable-flow pumps to circulate pump control (delivering enough water)
water throughout the entire chilled from chiller sequencing (making the Meanwhile, the plant controller
water loop (Figure 1, p. 1). Both water cold enough). stages the chillers on and off to match
systems include a bypass line. cooling capacity with system load. If
However, notice that the VPF design Like the secondary pump in a primary the air handlers operate properly, the
adds a modulating control valve in the secondary system, the pumps in a difference between the return- and
bypass line. At low loads, the bypass typical VPF system operate to maintain supply-water temperatures, T,
valve delivers the water necessary to a target differential pressure, P, at a remains nearly constant. Therefore,
maintain the minimum evaporator-flow specific point in the system (Figure 1). increasing the water flow through the
limit of each operating chiller. By This pressure difference tends to chiller evaporators increases the load
contrast, the bypass line in a primary decrease when the air-handler control on the operating chillers.
secondary system ensures constant valves open in response to increasing
chiller flow at all times. loads. To restore the P across the

Challenges of
Evaporator flow limits Variable Primary Flow
Chiller manufacturers specify minimum machines with cooling capacities of Varying the water-flow rate through
and maximum limits for evaporator water 150 tons or more). Granted, more passes the chiller evaporator poses two control
flow. Their objective? mean a higher evaporator pressure drop challenges for those who design and
and more pumping power. However, each
operate VPF systems:
To promote good heat transfer and reduction of the system flow rate also
stable control (minimum flow limit) reduces the evaporator pressure drop by
approximately the square of the flow rate. Maintain the chiller flow rate
To deter vibration and tube erosion
(maximum flow limit)
Therefore, the pump will require less extra between the minimum and
power to work against the pressure drop maximum limits of the evaporator.
As recently as three years ago, the typical as the system flow rate drops below the
range was 3 ft/sec to 11 ft/sec. Since then, design value. Manage transient flows without
manufacturer-conducted testing shows compromising stable operation,
that specific chillers may accommodate Small packaged chillers typically offer less
especially in multichiller plants.
evaporator flow rates as low as 1.5 ft/sec, design flexibility than larger machines. It
depending on tube type. This is good news may not be possible to select one for a
for VPF systems because it extends the minimum flow rate of less than 60 percent Transient flows refer to the hydraulic
chillers ability to operate effectively of the design system flow But dont let
effects caused by an isolation valve
without the addition of bypass flow. this deter you from designing a VPF plant
that includes small packaged chillers. Just when it opens (before the associated
You can lower the minimum flow limit for be sure to devise a sequencing strategy chiller starts) or closes (after the chiller
a chiller by selecting an evaporator with that accommodates the chillers minimum stops). To illustrate what happens, lets
more passes (a common option for evaporator-flow limit. look at an example.

2 Trane Engineers Newsletter Vol. 31, No. 4

Assume that the two-chiller VPF Our experience with actual VPF plants
system in Figure 1 (p. 1) is designed for Holistic plant operation indicates that a minimum evaporator-
a 16F T and that it delivers 40F Some practitioners believe that operating flow limit of 60 percent for packaged
chilled water. The temperature of the more chillers at the same time permits chillers and 40 percent or less for
return water remains relatively constant each chiller to operate more efficiently. configured chillers work well.
Remember that the chillers are not the
at 56F, provided that the coils and
sole energy consumers in the plant.
two-way valves function properly. Only Activating the chillers also activates the
Chiller 1 operates when the cooling Select for the greatest tolerance to
condenser water pumps and tower fans.
load is low; the isolation valve for large changes in flow rate.
Chiller 2 remains closed. Determine the optimum control sequence
The objective is to simplify system
for the entire plant by performing a
detailed energy analysis of each control by minimizing the need for
As the cooling load increases, the component. Base the analysis on realistic supplemental demand limiting or
pump controller increases the rate of load profiles and ambient conditions, and valve control as chillers come online.
chilled water flow through the system. be sure to account for simultaneous energy Chillers that are well-suited for variable
Chiller 2 starts when Chiller 1 can no use of auxiliary equipment.
primary flow can tolerate and respond
longer produce 40F water. Opening to rapid flow-rate changes (Table 1).
the isolation valve for Chiller 2 almost Selecting chillers with these
instantly reduces the flow rate through constant. As the flow decreases, it characteristics improves the likelihood
Chiller 1 by half (Table 1), which approaches the minimum flow rate of of stable, uninterrupted operation.
effectively doubles the T. Chiller 1s the chillers So, how do we select for
controller will unload the machine as a minimum chiller flow rate that will Estimate the expected flow-rate
quickly as possible, but in the interim, accrue the pump-energy savings? changes and make sure that the chillers
it will attempt to produce a 32F T and you select can adapt to them. For
cool the water to 24F. If the chiller The answer depends on the type of example, one of the newest unit
cannot unload quickly enough, built-in chiller, but generally speaking, lower is controllers (Figure 2) on the market can
fail-safes should stop and lock out the better because it extends the ability of reliably maintain the desired chilled
chiller before damage occurs but at a single chiller to operate at low loads water temperature with a flow-rate
the expense of satisfying the without bypass flow. Most of the reduction of 67 percent.
cooling load. potential savings are realized by the
time that the system flow rate Another, less robust chiller controller
decreases to 50 percent of design. permits flow-rate changes of less than

Guidelines for Success

Designing a VPF chilled water plant that
performs reliably at all load conditions Figure 2. Example of chiller control responsiveness to flow-rate reduction*
requires careful attention to chiller
selection, bypass flow, plant
configuration, and system control.

Chiller selection

Select for a minimum evaporator-

flow limit that is 60 percent of the
chillers design flow rate.

One benefit of VPF systems is reduced

pumping energy. To accrue this benefit,
chilled water flow must not remain

*Data represents a Trane CH530 chiller controller with flow compensation.

providing insights for todays HVAC system designer 3

pressure drops at their design
Table 2. Effect of dissimilar evaporator pressure drops
flow rates.
Flow rate, gal/min Pressure drop, ft H2O a
tons Selection Actual Selection Actual Change, % Bypass flow
Chiller 1 500 750 819 12 14.3 +9.2
The sole purpose of the bypass line
Chiller 2 300 450 381 20 14.3 -15.3
with modulating control valve is to
a Values shown here are based on the assumption that pressure drop changes with the square of the flow rate. assure that the rate of chilled water
flow through each operating chiller
never falls below the minimum limit
2 percent per minute and would need Chiller 1s evaporator because its required by the manufacturer.
30 minutes to adapt to a flow-rate pressure drop is lower than that of Delivering the appropriate bypass flow
reduction of 50 percent. Fluctuations of Chiller 2. Load is proportional to flow requires attention to line sizing, control-
2 percent or more are typical, even rate and temperature difference, valve selection, and the response time
during normal system operation. tons = (gpm T) / 24. Because of the system.
Attempting to limit flow-rate changes to Chiller 1 is asked to satisfy a load that
this extent while starting or stopping a exceeds its capacity, it cannot satisfy
Select a suitable control valve of
chiller is impractical, if not impossible. the chilled water setpoint when the
high quality.
return water temperature equals the
When comparing prospective chillers, design condition. Meanwhile, Chiller 2 When the bypass line is positioned
consider the transient-flow tolerance of is less than fully loaded. near the chiller plant (A in Figure 1,
the unit controllers. Then work closely p. 1), as it is in many VPF installations,
with the chiller manufacturer to devise Balancing the system at the design the control valve is exposed to
a flow-transition sequence that condition reduces this problem, but comparatively high operating
accounts for the unique operating does not guarantee proper distribution pressures. Selecting an appropriate
characteristics of both the chiller and of the flow at part load. Alternatively, valve actuator is critical because the
the application. you could increase the load on Chiller 2 valve must close against this pressure.
by lowering its chilled water setpoint; As for the valve itself, choose one that
however, this complicates system maintains a linear relationship between
Select for nearly equal pressure
control. The simplest solution is to valve position and flow rate; otherwise,
drops across all chiller evaporators.
select chillers that have (nearly) equal
A VPF design loads and unloads the
chiller(s) based primarily on the rate of
water flow through the evaporator. If a Dont scrimp on accurate flow measurement
difference in size or type of evaporator The success of a variable-primary-flow device must provide accurate and
gives one chiller a lower pressure drop installation depends on the quality of the repeatable measurements. For the plant to
than the others in the plant, that chiller flow-measuring device that controls the operate well, the device also must remain
will receive a higher rate of water flow system bypass valve (and perhaps also calibrated and perform reliably over time.
indicates the plant load). Some Purchase prices vary widely, but the adage
and a correspondingly greater load. practitioners use a flow meter1 to directly you get what you pay for typically holds
detect the flow rate (C in Figure 1); others true. In our experience, the cost of a
Dissimilar pressure drops can make use a differential pressure sensor (D) that suitable flow-measuring device is closer to
it difficult to provide stable plant monitors the change in water pressure $1,000 USD than to $100 USD. Put simply,
operation. Table 2 demonstrates this across the chiller evaporator and then dont compromise on accurate sensing
correlates the pressure differential to a devices when negotiating potential cost
effect in a two-chiller system (similar water flow rate. reductions during the value engineering
to the one shown in Figure 1). In this phase of a project.
case, more water flows through Regardless of which type of device you use,
the flow meter or differential pressure One further caveat about measurement
sensor must be of high quality; that is, the accuracy: Proper installation is critical to
ensure accurate readings. If the
manufacturer states that at least 10 pipe
1 D. Houghton PE, Know your flowa market diameters of uninterrupted flow are
survey of liquid flow meters, E SOURCE Tech required both upstream and downstream
Update TU-96-3, March 1996. of the sensing device, then make sure that
the piping layout complies.

4 Trane Engineers Newsletter Vol. 31, No. 4

the valve may permit too much water
flow when it begins to open. Flow-rate control
The Engineers Newsletter typically limits stable operation of a variable-primary-flow
Note: A common butterfly valve its discussions to system control and plant relies heavily on the operating
wont provide the necessary flow avoids commenting on the capabilities of characteristics of the chillers, we offer the
specific products. However, because the following profile of Trane equipment.
characteristics. Verify the suitability of
a particular valve by requesting flow-
versus-position data from the supplier. Variable-flow tolerances of Trane chillers
Allowable flow-rate change
Chiller type Unit control module (% of design flow per minute)
Locating the bypass line far from the Absorption UCP1 Not recommended for VPF a
chiller plant (B in Figure 1) lowers the UCP2 30% for comfort cooling
operating pressure for the control valve. 10% for process control
Scroll compressor All 10%
Helical-rotary compressor UCP1 Not recommended for VPF a
Select flow-sensing devices
UCP2, UCM, and CH530 without 30% for comfort cooling
that provide precise, repeatable flow compensation b 10% for process control
measurements. Centrifugal compressor UCP1 Not recommended for VPF a
(constant- or variable-speed)
UCP2 30% for comfort cooling
Accurate flow-sensing is the linchpin in 10% for process control
VPF applications that work well and CH530 with flow compensation See Figure 2, p. 3
the root cause of most problems in (introduced in 2001)
those that dont. Avoid sacrificing a Control retrofits are available for many chillers
b Controller varies by chiller model
accuracy for lower cost unless youre
willing to jeopardize the reliability of the
entire cooling system. (See the inset
titled Dont Scrimp on Accurate Flow valve controller, and valve actuator; or chilled water setpoint one to three
Measurement on p. 4.) by selecting devices that communicate minutes before the isolation valve
directly with each other. Avoid relaying actuates.3
input/output signals through multiple
Select an accurate proof-of-flow
system controllers.
device for each chiller. Open the chiller isolation valves
slowly to encourage stable operation.
Flow reductions through chillers in VPF Chiller sequencing
systems often cause paddle-type flow How slowly? That depends. If the
Proper sequencing helps to maintain
switches to flutter or open altogether, chiller controller can only handle a flow-
the flow rate through each evaporator
which shuts down the chiller. To avoid rate change of 2 percent per minute,
within the range recommended by the
nuisance trips and provide accurate, then the isolation valve must take
chiller manufacturer. As the system
reliable confirmation of flow, select a 30 minutes to open far too long for
flow nears the maximum limit for the
sensitive pressure-differential switch most applications.
operating chiller(s), another machine
and install it properly, piping it across
must be brought online. Similarly, as
the evaporator. In our 1999 Engineers Newsletter on
the system load and flow decrease,
VPF systems, we noted that [with]
chillers must be shut down to reduce
sophisticated chiller controls, a
Minimize control lag. the need for bypass water flow.
30-percent-per-minute change in the
Regardless of where the bypass line is rate of flow should work well in most
situated (at A or B in Figure 1), the Temporarily unload the operating applications. At this rate, the isolation
control valve must react quickly to chillers before starting the next one.
changes in system flow. You can
Reduce shock resulting from transient 3 In his article, Primary-Only vs. Primary
improve control response either by Secondary Variable Flow Systems, (ASHRAE
flows by unloading the operating
hard-wiring the flow-sensing device, Journal, February 2002), Steven T. Taylor, Principal
chillers before opening an isolation of Taylor Engineering LLC, notes that unloading
valve to bring another chiller online. the active chillers before starting another
You can accomplish this by imposing a produces warmer chilled water. Although the
temperature increase seldom causes problems
demand limit of 50-to-60 percent on for comfort cooling, it may be unacceptable in
the operating chillers, or by raising the industrial/process applications.

providing insights for todays HVAC system designer 5

valve will transition from fully closed to Devise a stop strategy down a chiller. In this case, the plant
fully open in about two minutes. that protects the chillers from controller should not turn off any of the
short-cycling. chillers until each of them unloads to
Like the bypass valve, be sure to select 53 percent.
Knowing when to stop a chiller (to
isolation valves that maintain a linear
provide sufficient downtime between
relationship between valve position and Note: For plants with unequally sized
chiller starts) often is more challenging
flow rate. chillers, weight the %RLA value of each
than knowing when to start it. The
chiller by its design capacity and
most reliable way to do soassuming
Note: Slow valve operation reduces compare the weighted value with that
that the VPF system is properly
the likelihood of valve-induced water of the chiller to be sequenced off.
installed, calibrated, and maintained
hammer in the piping system.
is to monitor the power draw of the
Plant configuration
operating chillers. 4 Most unit
Let the operating chiller(s) load controllers measure running load amps Consider a series arrangement for
almost fully before starting another (RLA) at regular intervals. The %RLA small VPF applications.
one. (actual RLA divided by design RLA)
provides a good indication of the When the plant consists of only two
The simplest way to control a VPF chillers and expansion is unlikely, you
present chiller load.
system is to monitor the leaving- can simplify control by piping the
evaporator water temperature and evaporators in series. Doing so avoids
Base the stop strategy for a
allow the operating chiller(s) to load flow transitions because the water
multichiller plant with equally sized
almost fully before bringing the next always flows through both chillers.
machines on the sum of the present
chiller online. As long as the system
%RLA for all chillers divided by the
can maintain the target temperature, The series arrangement requires
number of operating chillers minus one.
there is no need to activate careful selection because the pump
If the result is less than the desired
another chiller. must be sized for the pressure drop
capacity for the operating chiller(s),
then stop one of the machines. through both chillers. However, the
When the operating chillers no extra pressure quickly decreases (by
longer provide enough cooling, the roughly the square of the flow rate) as
For example, suppose that a plant
plant controller should start the next the flow rate slows. For example, at
consists of three equally sized chillers,
chiller. One caveat: The next chiller 80 percent of design flow, the
each of which is presently running at
should start before the chilled water evaporator pressure drop is only
60 percent of full-load capacity. If one
flow reaches the maximum limit of 64 percent of design. Given this
chiller is shut off, the two chillers still
the operating chiller(s), even if the operating characteristic, a VPF design
online would operate at 90 percent of
operating chillers are not yet may permit a slightly higher system
full-load capacity.
fully loaded. pressure drop than a comparable
3 operating chillers 60% per chiller = 180%
primarysecondary system without a
noticeable penalty in operating cost. 5
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- = 90% load on
3 operating chillers 1 chiller
each chiller still

5 Multiple-Chiller System Design and Control,

If the desired remaining capacity is
Trane applications engineering manual
80 percent, it is not appropriate to shut SYS-APM001-EN, discusses the series
arrangement of chillers in greater detail. In a
separate article, SeriesSeries Counterflow for
Central Chilled Water Plants (ASHRAE Journal,
4 Some plant operators prefer to sequence chillers June 2002), Groenke and Schwedler describe a
by comparing the actual system load with the chilled water plant that arranges both evaporators
total plant capacity that would result if a chiller is and condensers in series.
turned off. However, this method can be less
reliable than one based on power draw because
flow- and temperature-sensing devices require
periodic recalibration to correct for drift.

6 Trane Engineers Newsletter Vol. 31, No. 4

Note: To further reduce the system P, Figure 3. Example of operating-cost properly manage transient flow-rate
lower the required rate of chilled water savings for a VPF, single-chiller plant changes because the transition from
flow through the system by increasing one operating chiller to two is inevitable
the temperature difference between in almost all plants.
the supply and return. Plants that
supply 40F chilled water based on a Outside the chilled water plant
T of 16F or more are increasingly The success of a VPF application
common. depends on more than the chilled water
plant. It requires careful orchestration
Assess the economic feasibility of of the entire HVAC system, which
VPF for single-chiller plants. means air handlers and coil-control
valves as well as chillers and pumps.
Although most VPF applications consist
of two or more chillers, variable primary
flow also offers potential operating-cost Select slow-acting valves to
savings in a new or existing, single- control the airside coils.
chiller plant. Instead of a bypass line
Valves that open and close slowly will
and flow-sensing devices, minimum
Analysis results are based on a 50-ton moderate the normal fluctuations of
flow through the chillers can be scroll chiller and a 5-hp chilled water chilled water flow through the loop.
maintained by three-way valves. (Use pump for two-story office building in
enough three-way valves to assure that St. Louis, Missouri.
the minimum evaporator-flow rate of Use multiple air handlers, and
the chiller is always satisfied.) This stagger their start/stop times.
simple approach will reduce pumping
Unless it is programmed to do
costs while providing the chiller with
Moderate low T syndrome by otherwise, the building automation
enough chilled water.
manifolding the chilled water pumps. system will simultaneously shut down
all of the air handlers when the
To quantify the savings potential of Manifolding two or more chilled water
occupied period ends. If two chillers are
variable versus constant primary flow in pumps (or slightly oversizing a single
operating when this happensand if
a single-chiller plant, we examined a pump) can provide an individual chiller
all of the coil-control valves close at the
two-story office building in St. Louis, with more than its design chilled water
same timethen chilled water flow
Missouri. The HVAC system includes a flow which means that you can fully
through the evaporators will drop to
50-ton scroll chiller and a 5-hp, chilled load the chiller even if the return water
zero almost instantaneously. Such a
water pump. Figure 3 illustrates the temperature is colder than design.
dramatic change not only causes
results of our analysis. Although the Sometimes described as
problems for the chillers, but also may
absolute savings are not large, variable overpumping, this strategy does not
deadhead the pumps.
primary flow did reduce the cost of cure low T syndrome; it merely
operating the chilled water system by reduces the adverse effect of low T
To help assure that flow-rate changes
more than 6 percent enough to on system operation.6
remain within acceptable limits,
warrant further investigation. The
divide the air handlers into several
difference in installed costs is a
Understand that controlling groups. Then implement control
variable-speed drive, a differential
transient flows is mandatory, schedules that shut down each group
pressure sensor, and a pump controller.
regardless of plant size. individually at 10-minute intervals.

The number of chillers in the plant will

not alter the degree of care needed to

6 Taylor describes methods to alleviate low return-

water temperatures in Degrading Chilled Water
Plant Delta-T: Causes and Mitigation (ASHRAE
Transactions, January 2002).

providing insights for todays HVAC system designer 7

sequences of operation, it is unlikely
Closing Thoughts that the controls provider will devise
More variable-primary-flow systems programs that operate the plant as
exist today than when we first wrote intended. Bottom line: VPF plants that
about them in 1999. With three more work result from close, early-on
years of hands-on experience comes a collaboration between the engineer, By Mick Schwedler PE, applications
better understanding of how to design, the chiller manufacturer, and the engineer, and Brenda Bradley,
install, and operate a VPF plant that controls provider. information designer, Trane.
performs reliably. The guidelines
summarized in Table 3 supplement and Variable primary flow is a value-added You can find this and other issues
further refine the recommendations in option that can help your clients curb of the Engineers Newsletter at
our 1999 article. operating costs at a lower initial cost
than traditional primarysecondary newsletters.asp. To comment, send a
If experience has taught us anything designs but only if you select note to Trane, Engineers Newsletter
about implementing variable primary the right components, install them Editor, 3600 Pammel Creek Road,
flow, its this: The single, most properly, and operate them in La Crosse, WI 56401-7599, or e-mail us
important contribution of the engineer accordance with a well-thought-out at
is to provide written, detailed control scheme.
descriptions of the plants sequence
of operation. These descriptions
should include control sequences for:
Table 3. Guidelines for a successful VPF system
Full- and part-load operation Chiller selection
Select for the lowest possible minimum evaporator-flow limit (no more than 40%60% of system flow)
Minimum and maximum flow-rate Select for the greatest tolerance to large flow-rate changes
management Select chillers with approximately equal pressure drops across the evaporator at the design flow rate
Understand the specific loading/unloading characteristics of the chiller controller
Transient flow-rate changes
Bypass flow
Starting and stopping chillers Select a high-quality control valve with linear-flow characteristics
Select flow-sensing devices that deliver precise, repeatable measurements
Minimize control lag by hard-wiring the controls or by selecting devices that communicate directly
Furthermore, this information must
be shared early in the design process. Chiller sequencing
Temporarily unload the operating chillers before starting the next
Without specific, documented
Open chiller isolation valves slowly to encourage stable operation
Let the operating chiller(s) load almost fully before starting another
Prevent short-cycling by devising a stop strategy based on the power draw of the operating chillers

Plant configuration
Consider a series arrangement for small VPF applications to avoid transient flows
Assess the economic feasibility of variable primary flow for single-chiller plants
Moderate low T syndrome by manifolding multiple chilled water pumps or slightly oversizing a
single chilled water pump
Take care to properly manage transient flows regardless of the number of chillers in the plant

Airside control
Select slow-acting valves to control the chilled water coils
Use more than one air handler and stagger their start/stop times

A business of American Standard Companies
Trane believes the facts and suggestions presented here to be accurate. However,
For more information, contact your local Trane final design and application decisions are your responsibility. Trane disclaims
office or e-mail us at any responsibility for actions taken on the material presented.