Air conditioning systems are essential for a comfortable and safe environment in our buildings and facilities. However, not all cooling systems are the same. In fact, there are two types available: process cooling and comfort cooling.
While both are widely used in industrial and commercial sectors, they serve very different purposes and understanding the distinctions between these systems is important for selecting the right one for your premises.
What is Process Cooling?
Simply put, process cooling refers to the use of refrigeration technology to precisely control the temperature of industrial processes to ensure they work efficiently and safely. This can include IT equipment and machinery, as well as raw materials and packaging.
Process cooling systems are designed to remove excess heat that is produced during manufacturing by transferring it to a heat exchanger or cooling tower. These operate using water, glycol or other refrigerant fluids that are circulated through a closed-loop system, absorbing heat along the way. This moves the heat outside, and the cooled fluid is sent back to the manufacturing system to remove more heat.
Effective process cooling is essential in many industries such as plastics, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, data centres and chemicals, as it prevents equipment breakdowns, reduces energy costs and helps maintain product integrity.
What is Comfort Cooling?
Comfort cooling is a type of air conditioning system designed to regulate indoor temperature and humidity levels for the purpose of creating a comfortable living or working environment – most commonly used in residential buildings, offices, hospitals, schools, and homes, among others.
The system operates by circulating refrigerant gas between an indoor evaporator coil and an outdoor condenser unit. As warm air is drawn into the coil, it is cooled and the moisture is removed, producing drier, cooler air that is redistributed throughout the room. This process continues until the desired temperature is reached.
Other Differences Between Process and Comfort Cooling Systems:
Temperature Range – Comfort cooling systems are built to maintain ideal temperatures within a narrow range of approximately 18 to 20°C for indoor spaces. On the other hand, industrial process cooling systems can cool down processes as low as -10°C or even -34°C in some cases to sustain product quality and safety.
Heat load – Typically, comfort cooling systems need to remove a smaller amount of heat produced by human occupancy or office equipment, while industrial process cooling systems must remove heat generated by machinery and other processes, which can be much higher.
Running time – In mission critical environments, industrial process cooling systems operate 24/7 as some outputs require constant cooling. On the other hand, comfort cooling systems usually run during the day in the Summer months when employees are present and shut off at night when the building is unoccupied.
Design – Process cooling systems are more complex in their design, incorporating various types of equipment such as chillers, cooling towers, pumps and heat exchangers to support specific industrial operations. However, comfort cooling systems are relatively simple and mainly rely on air conditioning units, ventilators, and duct systems to provide basic cooling functions.
Achieve Optimal Temperatures with Hebs Group
By working with a trusted HVAC contractor, you can ensure that your facility is equipped with the appropriate cooling technology to keep your business running smoothly.
If you have any questions or need help installing the ideal cooling system, speak with our experts on 0151 2360707, or fill in the form on our website here to send a message.