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Modern chiller systems are designed to operate with little or no fouling on condenser tubes. Even a thin coating of scale reduces chiller efficiency significantly. A 1/16" layer of calcium carbonate based scale on the condenser tubes of a high efficiency centrifugal chiller negatively affects the efficiency to the extent that electrical consumption is increased by 14%.

Biofilm has an even greater effect on chiller electrical consumption. Biofilm, the slimy substance formed on heat exchange surfaces by water-borne bacteria, is four to five times as insulating as calcium carbonate scale. A biofilm layer 1/16" thick increases the chillerís electrical usage by as much as 35%, and can even result in the shutdown of the equipment.

Electronic or magnetic water treatment devices work by causing the precipitation of calcium carbonate, frequently resulting in scale formation on condenser tubes, increasing the chiller's electrical usage and expanding its carbon footprint. When these devices are used without biocide addition, biofilm will likely form, exacerbating the problem.

Similarly, inexpensive, low technology cooling water chemical programs often allow scale and biofilm to foul condenser tubes, with the same environmentally (and economically) devastating results.

Green program state-of-the-art technology provides like-new condenser tube conditions, allowing chiller systems to operate at maximum efficiency, minimizing their carbon footprint.

For more information on energy use, visit the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration at:

Interactive Carbon Calculator

Use the Interactive Carbon Calculator below to discover how scale can inflate your operating costs and carbon footprint. Input your system specifications and energy costs to see the savings the International Chemtex Green Cooling Water Program can achieve for you.

Tonnage Hours/Day Days/Year Load Factor (percent) Kilowatt hours/ton Cost of 1 Kilowatt Hour

 Scale Thickness in Inches 0.00" 0.04" 0.06" 0.08" 0.10"
 kWh/Year 2,409,000.00 2,649,900.00 2,770,350.00 2,890,800.00 3,011,250.00
 CO2 Pounds/Year 5,540,700.00 6,094,770.00 6,371,805.00 6,648,840.00 6,925,875.00
 Electrical Costs/Year $192,720.00 $211,992.00 $221,628.00 $231,264.00 $240,900.00
 Money lost due to Scale $0.00 $19,272.00 $28,908.00 $38,544.00 $48,180.00
 CO2 Emitted due to scale (Pounds) 0.00 554,070.00 831,105.00 1,108,140.00 1,385,175.00