Developing a simplified model for evaluating chiller-system configurations

Wai Ling Lee, S. H. Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Optimizing system configuration is always an interest of building designers. By statistical analysis of the design data of 50 commercial buildings in Hong Kong and the performance data of 186 chiller models, it is ascertained that the chiller capacity and the fraction of full-load capacity have little influence on the system's energy performance. Following on this, this paper presents an evaluation of the energy performance of a multiple-chiller system consisting of 2-10 equally sized chillers. Such an analysis was based on performance data from three major manufacturers. It is found that the energy efficiency of multiple-chiller system improves with a higher number of chillers, and the maximum saving is estimated to be 9.5%. Based on the results of the study, a simplified model relating energy use with number of chillers has been established. The model can help designers more quickly determine how the energy efficiency can be weighted against other factors, such as the additional plant room space and the financial implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-306
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Energy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Multiple chiller
  • Part-load performance
  • Statistical analysis
  • System configurations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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