In what is believed to be the first application of the technology in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, an ultra-efficient Turbomiser chiller is cooling IXYS UK Westcode’s high-tech facility at Chippenham.
The Turbomiser runs on virtually frictionless magnetic bearings, and can cut cooling energy costs by up to 60 per cent compared with conventional cooling systems.
IXYS UK Westcode is a world leader in the manufacturer of high power semiconductors, and introduced the first commercial rectifier in the 1920s. Today its products are used across the world in applications such AC and DC drives, uninterruptible power supplies, motor soft starts, power conditioning and high energy physics.
Cool-Therm installed the 280kW Turbomiser TMA280 chiller at the company’s plant at Langley Park, Chippenham, to provide essential cooling for its clean room for the manufacture of high power semiconductors.
The process requires tight control of temperature and humidity to maintain the stable environment required to ensure the quality of components under manufacture.
The chiller produces chilled water for an air handling unit, which in turn supplies conditioned air to the manufacturing hall.
Due to space restrictions within the plant room, run and stand-by pumps were incorporated within the chiller itself rather than being located separately. These were designed into the system and factory-installed by chiller manufacturer Geoclima on behalf of Cool-Therm.
Larry Barlow, who headed up the project for Cool-Therm, says: “Key issues for the client were reliability in delivering close control conditions, energy efficiency and running costs. There are a number of traditional chillers on site, and there was a desire to ensure low running costs while delivering the best possible control of environmental conditions, while reducing ongoing service and maintenance costs.
“The Turbomiser delivers an attractive combination of these, with frugal performance and proven reliability that was an ideal solution for the project.”
The manufacturer is delighted with the results, and currently monitor energy use to assess the scale of savings.
Steve Barnden, plant manager, said: “The Turbomiser has worked superbly from day one. It is vital for manufacturing quality to maintain strict environmental conditions. The Turbomiser has delivered a rock solid temperature of 21 deg C and RH of 40 pert cent, which is the ideal condition for both production and the workforce.”
The previous chiller was having difficulty coping in warm summer months with humidity control proving challenging.
Steve Barnden adds: “The Turbomiser is a premium machine and capital costs are higher than for standard chillers. However, due to its exceptional energy efficiency and rising power costs, payback can be achieved relatively quickly, with savings continuing to accrue over the lifetime of the plant.”
Following the success of the project, the company is looking to replace three further existing chillers at the site, running on R22, with two new larger capacity Turbomisers.