When choosing a cooling solution for a factory, it is important not to focus only on the initial investment, but to consider all the elements that make up the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the system.
What makes up TCO
With a typical traditional air conditioning system, day-to-day energy use can account for up to around 85% of the TCO – for the fans, pumps and cooling system. On the other hand, with evaporative cooling these running costs tend to be dramatically lower.
Comparing TCO for different cooling solutions: a real life example
Let’s look at an example. Dutch company Fonterra looked at both chilled water air conditioning and evaporative cooling systems for their dairy factory.
The first solution would have required 750 kW to maintain the temperature and humidity conditions Fonterra required for its plant.
By contrast a scheme of Colt CoolStream evaporative cooling units - supplemented by air handling units to address the need for filtration - only uses around 38 kW to achieve the same conditions. The CoolStream system barely uses around 5% of the energy that a chilled water air conditioning system would need to maintain the same conditions.
Cutting the energy usage from 750 kW down to 38 kW results in dramatic savings in running costs over the lifetime of the system.
Not surprisingly, Fonterra opted for the evaporative cooling solution and is now enjoying the considerable savings it has brought.
If you want to know more about evaporative cooling, you can:
- Read our series of articles on the topic in our blog
- Join us on our CPD accredited webinar on evaporative cooling
- Read about our Coolstream evaporative cooling system on our website
Paul Langford is an Engineering Director experienced in product development, manufacturing & testing for HVAC, solar shading, louvre systems and smoke control.