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Absorption Anti-Crystallization & De-Crystallization Devices

Major absorption chiller manufacturers now incorporate devices that minimize the possibility of crystallization. These devices sense impending crystallization and shut the machine down after going through a dilution cycle. These devices also prevent crystallization in the event of power failure. A typical anti-crystallization device consists of two primary components:

  1. A sensor in the concentrated solution line at a point between the concentrator and the heat exchanger, and


  2. A normally open, two-position valve located in a line connecting the concentrated solution line and the line supplying refrigerant to the evaporator sprays.

If crystallization occurs, the liquid level rises in the concentrated solution line as resistance to flow within the heat exchanger increases. This increase in level is sensed which, in turn, opens the valve permitting refrigerant (water) to flow into the concentrated solution, thereby reducing the solution concentration. When flow is re-established, the machine is placed in a dilution cycle and shut down.

If a power failure occurs, the valve is already open and the pressure of the refrigerant in the evaporator spray piping forces enough water into the concentrated solution line to dilute the solution and prevent crystallization. Restoring power closes the valve and the machine returns to normal operation.

Some chillers are also equipped with heat exchanger bypass lines that facilitate de-crystallization. When crystallized, concentrated solution cannot flow from the concentrator to the absorption chiller. Diluted solution, however, does flow from the absorption chiller to the concentrator, building up to the point that it spills over into the bypass line and returns directly to the absorption chiller. This causes the absorption chiller to heat up until its temperature approaches that of the concentrator. The hot solution returning from the absorption chiller through the heat exchanger de-crystallizes the machine.

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