Installation of Vacuum Pump Chiller and Free Cooling Unit

Installation of Vacuum Pump Chiller and Free Cooling Unit

Client: Global Lithium chemicals manufacturer.

Project Type: Mechanical Services Integration

Project Scope: Installation of Vacuum Pump Chiller and Free Cooling Unit

Project value range: £100,000 – £150,000

Project Objectives:

A global Lithium chemicals manufacturer sought to improve their cooling capacity by integrating a recently purchased vacuum pump chiller and a free cooling unit. Newsome Ltd was tasked with ensuring the seamless installation of these crucial components. Newsome Ltd successfully executed the mechanical services integration project for the client, ensuring the seamless installation of the vacuum pump chiller and free cooling unit. The project adhered to specified requirements, and meticulous planning, including allowances and assumptions, contributed to the project’s success. Following completion, the cooling plant was commissioned to provide the client with an enhanced cooling capacity, meeting their operational needs.

Project Specifications:

• Free Cooling Design Requirement:
• Thermal Duty: 533kW
• Fluid Type: Water / Glycol
• Chilled Fluid Supply Temperature: 25˚C
• Return Fluid Supply Temperature: 30˚C
• Chilled Water Flowrate: 27.29 litres/second
• Siting: External
• Design Ambient Air Temperature: 21.7˚C

Cooling Design Requirement:

• Thermal Duty: 4kW
• Fluid Type: Water / Glycol
• Chilled Fluid Supply Temperature: 15˚C
• Return Fluid Supply Temperature: 20˚C
• Chilled Water Flowrate: 0.19 liters/second
• Siting: Internal
• Design Ambient Air Temperature: 32˚C
• Project Execution:

Installation of Vacuum Pump Chiller and Free Cooling Unit

Hydraulic System:

Newsome Ltd recommended the installation of a run and standby pump set external to the chillers. This approach allowed for the selection of pumps suitable for the required flow rate and pressure. A run and standby pump set capable of handling a flow rate of 27.29 l/s and a maximum operating pressure of 6.8 bar was selected for the cooling side of the heat exchangers and cooling vessel, based on a 25% glycol mix. The control of the pumps was facilitated by inverters and controls within the free cooler.

Mechanical Installation:

Before commencing the installation, Newsome Ltd conducted a project review meeting in collaboration with the client to agree on the project’s schedule. The pipework engineers from Newsome Ltd prepared the site for the off-loading and positioning of the free cooler and pump set. HIAB Vehicles were used for this purpose. Additionally, a new pump skid and buffer vessel were positioned in proximity to the free cooler.

The cooling pipe work system was connected to various components, including the Transtherm Free Cooler, Run/Standby Pump Set, Cooling Vessel, Heat Exchangers, Vacuum Pump, and the New Chiller (4kW). The installation was designed as a pressurised system, and a pressurisation unit and expansion vessel were utilised on the suction side of the pump.

Pipework Installation:

Newsome Ltd provided cost estimates for the installation of stainless steel thin-walled pipe work to connect the cooling circuit as outlined in the drawings. This included the provision of various components, such as butterfly valves, flexible bellows, binder test points, non-return valves, strainers, pressure gauges, drain points, and an integrated pressurization set with an expansion vessel. Several assumptions and allowances were made during the project planning, including the offloading and positioning of proprietary items by others, the provision of valves by the client, jackpad feet for levelling, and the absence of support blocks unless otherwise stated.

Material Specifications:

Newsome Ltd specified that materials used in the project would be stainless steel grade 304l, including reduced thickness zinc-coated flange backing rings for pipework of size DN40 and below. Valves and ancillaries would have ductile iron/brass bodies with 316 stainless steel, rubber, PTFE, and brass internals. Isolation valves were designated as butterfly type DN50 up and lever ball type DN40 and down, including drain and vent.


The project included commissioning sets consisting of double regulating valves and fixed orifice commissioning plates. Pipework was supported as per manufacturer recommendations, with support using rubber-lined galvanised pipe rings suspended from threaded rod hangers. High point air vents and low point drain cocks were fitted as necessary. Chemical flushing of the pipework, fittings, and equipment was recommended, and step ladders and mobile access platforms were included for the project. The work was completed during standard working hours, with an allowance for site induction. A mains water feed was assumed to be readily accessible.

Civil Works:

Newsome Ltd emphasised the need for a flat, level, solid base for the equipment. While they did not include civil works for this purpose, they included a steel base frame with levelling pads to compensate for a 2° slope in the yard.

Off Loading & Positioning:

Newsome Ltd took responsibility for delivering, offloading, and positioning equipment such as the Free Cooler and Run/Standby Pump Skid using HIAB vehicles.

Pumps and Control Panel:

Newsome Ltd provided an integrated Pump Skid designed to operate on a run and standby basis for the cooling circuit. Detailed performance data and specifications were provided for the pump.

Construction and Electrical Works:

Details of the construction materials used, electrical supply requirements, and control panel placement were provided as part of the Newsome full service project delivery.