Understanding Four-Pipe Chillers

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We’re always hearing about the latest advances in computing or artificial intelligence. However, there are new technologies emerging all the time in other areas, revolutionising everything that came before, that barely get a mention. One example is the pumps we use in our HVAC systems. In recent years, the emergence of the four-pipe chiller & heat pump has allowed engineers to heat and cool large buildings without the need for two separate pieces of equipment. In this blog, we look at how the modern four-pipe chiller can be the right technical solution for more cost- and energy-efficient HVAC systems.

What Is a Four-Pipe Chiller?

A 4-pipe chiller – sometimes called a multi-function chiller – combines the function of both a chiller and a boiler in a single machine, allowing for simultaneous heating and cooling. Until relatively recently, for a building to have both heating and cooling required separate systems, typically one chiller and one gas-powered boiler. This required extensive pipework, plantroom space, and higher maintenance costs.

How Is a Four-Pipe Chiller More Efficient?

A traditional, two-pipe system can only heat or cool a building at any one time – it cannot do both. In the process of cooling, a chiller actually generates thermal energy or heat as a by-product. In a two-pipe system, this heat is lost to the surrounding environment. In fact, the amount of heat wasted by a traditional system may be up to 25% more than the cooling it provides.

In a four-pipe system, the heat that would normally be wasted is captured by the system and used to power the heating needs of the building. This means that far less energy is required to produce the same amount of heat, resulting in improved energy efficiency, reduced operational costs, and a smaller carbon footprint.

What Are the Most Suitable Uses for Four-Pipe Chillers?

Four-pipe chillers are best suited for use in large commercial buildings that require a significant portion of the year in those “in between” temperatures, neither extreme heat nor extreme cold, when both heating and cooling might be called for in different sections of a given building depending on the preferences of the residents, exposure to the sun during that time of day, and a variety of other factors.

Masterflow’s Four-Pipe Chillers

Masterflow offers a range of combined chiller and heat pumps that are selected and priced locally. The SPINchiller Multifunction by Clivet is an exceptionally efficient combined liquid chiller and heat pump. The SPINchiller is able to supply both hot and cold water simultaneously and deliver cooling with an outdoor temperature of up to 52°C. The system features an advanced heat recovery device that can harvest thermal energy created through cooling to cover the entire heat load required.

Contact Masterflow Today

Masterflow has been supporting the Australian building and HVAC industries for over 20 years. For more information about our range of four-pipe chiller or to speak to a team member today about your next project, visit the contact section of our website and get in touch by phone or email.