Ambient air is the primary heat rejection medium for the condenser coils of air-cooled chillers and dry coolers. Performance of air-cooled condensers can degrade under high ambient temperatures and windy conditions due to the recirculation of hot discharge plumes from the condenser fans into the chiller air intakes. Several factors including the wind speed, wind direction, chiller placement (i.e., distance between chillers, distance from building), and the height of the building and screen walls can affect the dispersion of discharge plumes from the chillers, which may lead to an increase in the temperature of air entering the air-cooled condenser.
For aesthetic reasons, these chillers are often placed behind architectural screens or placed at locations invisible to pedestrians, which can further restrict the flow of ambient air to these chillers. This can affect the performance of the air-cooled condensers. So, what is the ideal location for the air-cooled chillers? This study attempts to answer this question by investigating the impact of wind speed, wind direction (orientation of chillers with respect to wind direction), spacing between the chillers, and the distance of chillers from the adjacent building to determine the optimal location for air-cooled chillers.