As more and more states legalize marijuana processing the number of processing facilities continues to grow as well because of the high profitability of the final product. However, getting to that final product, whether it be TCH or CBD, may be a result of trial and error. It is through this process, that many learn of the importance of accurate temperature control during the extraction process and the need for an extraction chiller.
Extraction Chillers - What You Need to Know
An Extraction chiller is a critical piece of cannabis extraction and, in fact, CBD and THC, would be impossible without the accurate temperature control provided by a chiller that allows the chemical processes to occur. In addition, selecting the right extraction chiller ensures high efficiency and prevents denaturing and product damage.
Trying to figure the best chiller for your specific process can cause your mind to swirl. Knowing you require a chiller is simple, determining the best chiller for your process can be another.
What is a Chiller?
In the simplest of explanations, a chiller is a pumping system that circulates either a water or water/glycol solution from the chiller to the process and thereby removes the heat. The four cycles of a chiller are:
Evaporation– In order to chill the fluid, a refrigeration process must first take place. The refrigeration process and lowers the temperature. A liquid refrigerant flows over the evaporator tube bundle where evaporation occurs, and vapor appears.
Compression– Once vapor appears, the compressor, aka the heart of the chilling system, pulls the vapor from the evaporator and increases the pressure
Condensation–Leaving the compressor, the vapor reaches a condenser where the temperature is increased. The refrigerant condenses in the condenser tubes and releases its internal heat to the air.
Expansion– The high-pressure liquid moves through the expansion valve and returns to the evaporator where the refrigerant pressure is reduced causing flash evaporation and auto-refrigeration of typically less than half of the liquid
Things to consider when selecting extraction chillers.
Air-Cooled or Water-Cooled Extraction Chillers
Which type of condenser is best for your process? Is an air-cooled chiller, using a fan to remove heat, going to work for your process? A water-cooled chiller typically is less expensive to operate and is greener, but it requires a cooling tower. Depending on your plant situation, may help you determine whether an air-cooled or water-cooled chiller works best for your process.
When selecting a chiller for your extraction process, it’s imperative you know the temperature range required. Is 50°F ok for your process or do you require
-40°F or perhaps -80°F?
Dewaxing requires extremely cold temperatures, so it is imperative that the chiller you’re considering meets your temperature requirements while rotary evaporators require the temperature be as close to 0°C as possible.
Sizing Your Extraction Chiller
Proper sizing of an extraction chiller can be somewhat tricky. You want to make sure your chiller is not undersized, because it will not provide the adequate cooling for your process while an oversized chiller will be inefficient. It’s best to check with your sales representative to confirm the sizing of your extraction chiller.
Heat Load Calculations for your Extraction Chiller
Determining the size of the compressor is determined by the combination of the heat load and coolant temperature. Higher heat loads and/or lower set-point temperatures will result in compressors with larger power consumption.
Calculating the heat load for an existing process is relatively simple because you have the operating conditions of the existing chiller.
Determining the heat loads for a new chiller or chiller system is more challenging. It’s best to consult your sales representative to determine the heat load.
Refrigerant Options – is Natural a possibility for your Extraction Chiller?
Environmental concerns have prompted the surge of natural refrigerants in chillers. Could your Extraction chillers use propane, ammonia, or CO2 as a refrigerant? Our knowledgeable sales can explain the benefits, both environmentally and financially along with options available to you.
About Budzar Industries
Budzar Industries has been engineering, designing, and manufacturing chillers for nearly five decades. We’re experts in process temperature control. If you have questions in determining the type or size of a chiller or chiller system, our team is ready to assist you.
Need information specific to your requirements? One of our sales managers can help you. It's easy, contact our team today.