Free Cooling Can Keep Your Energy Costs Down in Winter

Turning ambient air into energy savings with Newsome.

In this blog, we’ll be covering:

Keeping energy costs low is a primary concern this winter – not just for households, but for businesses too. At Newsome, we’re keen to share our industry knowledge of energy-saving solutions to help companies save energy and lower their carbon footprint.

With the help of free cooling, you could make savings of up to 80% on your mechanical energy consumption during the colder months. Now that’s not to be sniffed at…

Continue reading to discover how Newsome’s free cooling solutions could help you maintain manufacturing efficiency this winter…

What is free cooling?

Free cooling uses low-temperature external ambient air to assist in the chilling process of water for industrial or manufacturing uses. It is a fast, effective, and economical alternative to traditional air or water cooling processes, as it does not apply active refrigeration to the system, requiring no extra energy.

Traditional air-cooled chillers lack the benefit of free cooling. They absorb the heat from processed water using an evaporator and compressor. This process requires fans to operate and demands a significant amount of energy.

An air-cooled chiller with free cooling, on the other hand, uses naturally low external temperatures to the user’s advantage, requiring next to no added energy to keep systems at the right temperature. It does not require a compressor, which is typically the most energy-intensive component of the cooling process.

How does a free cooler work?

The working principle of an air-cooled chiller relies on the second law of thermodynamics. This states that heat always moves from hotter objects and areas to colder objects and areas. In the case of free coolers, the heat inside the system naturally moves towards the cooler external air, producing an overall cooling effect within.

For free cooling to work, the ambient air surrounding the system must be cooler than the water within. When this is the case, a free cooler will automatically dissipate heat from within the system, reducing the chiller’s power consumption.

In many areas of the UK, the average ambient temperature is 5C or lower for a third of the year. This makes free cooling chillers the perfect solution to maintain optimum cooling during the autumn, winter, and early spring.

Free coolers can be used to provide part or all of the cooling required in a system or environment, optimising efficiency.

Why do I need an air-cooled chiller?

In manufacturing and industrial settings, certain processes, machinery, and products must be kept cool to ensure efficiency, quality, and proper operation.

No industrial process or machine can claim 100% efficiency – heat is the most common source of energy loss. This is where industrial air-cooled chillers are essential. By removing this excess heat, chillers prevent downtime and premature equipment failure.

Free cooling chillers can be used across a range of industry applications, from plastics to food and beverage production.

The benefits of free cooling

Free cooling has many benefits for industrial and manufacturing businesses, including:

  • Up to 80% reduction in mechanical energy consumption
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Easy to retrofit, depending on the space requirements
  • Payback in as little as a year, depending on temperature needs
  • Increased hygiene due to decreased risk of legionella compared with cooling towers
  • Extended operational life and reduced maintenance costs due to decreased pressure on chiller components.
  • Energy savings translate to economic savings, leaving more money to reinvest elsewhere in the business

Types of free cooling units

There are two main types of free cooling units. These are:

  • Integrated free cooler – a chiller with a built-in free cooling coil.
  • Independent free cooler – a separate free cooler working in series with a chiller.

Independent free coolers are more efficient as they provide a larger surface area for cooling, can continue to provide cooling in higher ambient temperatures, and yield much higher energy savings overall.

Join the free cooling revolution today

At Newsome, we understand that no two businesses’ cooling needs are identical. That’s why we pride ourselves on providing bespoke solutions to manufacturing and industrial organisations.

Whether you’re interested in hiring or buying a free cooling system, we’re here to help. Our rental options are the perfect way to experience the potential cost savings of free cooling this winter, before committing to investing in a system for the long term.

Are you ready to access the energy and cost-savings associated with free cooling? Browse our free cooling air-cooled chiller catalogue today, and get in touch to discuss your business’s needs with our expert team.