Consulting engineers routinely recommend chiller technologies to clients who are seeking the lowest annual energy operating costs to manage their facilities. Most often, evaluations are made comparing gas/steam absorption machines vs. rotary/screw/centrifugal electric-driven chillers. Naturally, first cost, reliability, maintenance, and equipment preferences are important factors during their assessment. However, annual operating costs are most often the primary consideration in their final decision.
The procedure that follows demonstrates a method to determine the magnitude of annual operating cost differentials for gas and steam vs. electric.