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Engineering Bulletin

Condenser Water
Temperature Control
For CenTraVac Centrifugal Chiller Systems with
Tracer AdaptiView Controls

November 2009

CTV-PRB006-EN

Introduction
Intended specifically for HVAC system designers and Trane field sales engineers, this engineering
bulletin provides information on the effect of condenser water temperature on Trane centrifugal
chillers with Tracer AdaptiView generation controls. It discusses various condenser water
temperature control strategies for designing efficient systems and provides operating
recommendations for CenTraVac chillers.

Trademarks
CenTraVac, System Analyzer, TRACE, Tracer AdaptiView, Trane, and the Trane logo are trademarks
of Trane in the United States and other countries.

2009 Trane All rights reserved

CTV-PRB006-EN

Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Optimizing the System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Condenser Flow Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Condenser Water Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Economize with Outdoor Air or Free Cooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Outdoor Air Economizer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Free Cooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls . . . . . . . . . 7


Operating Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Direct Tracer AdaptiView Signal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Maintaining The Minimum Refrigerant Pressure Differential . . . . . . . . . . 8
Cooling Tower Fan Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Cooling Tower Bypass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Chiller Bypass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Throttling Valve(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Variable-Speed Condenser Water Pump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Control Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Chiller System Differential Pressure Logic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11


Sequence of Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hardware Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Other Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11
12
12
15

Indirect Tracer AdaptiView Signal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17


Maintaining The Minimum Refrigerant Pressure Differential . . . . . . . . .
System Design Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cooling Tower Fan Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cooling Tower Bypass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chiller Bypass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Throttling Valve(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Variable-Speed Condenser Water Pump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Control Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sensing Condenser Refrigerant Pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sensing Refrigerant Pressure Differential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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20
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Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

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Optimizing the System


Condenser Flow Rate
System poweri.e., energy consumed by the chiller plantis the combined power used by the
chiller(s), cooling tower, and the pumps that circulate evaporator and condenser water.
While lowering the flow rate through the condenser increases chiller power consumption slightly,
it allows the tower to operate more efficiently and significantly reduces condenser pumping power.
Generally, this reduction more than offsets the small increase in chiller consumption; that means
a lower system operating cost, particularly at part-load conditions.
Other benefits attributable to a lower-than-normal condenser flow rate are listed below. Since
some of these benefits are mutually exclusive, clearly define the design goals of the
application before conducting an analysis to discover the optimal flow rate.
Consider these factors when determining the optimal condenser flow rate for your application:

Pressure dropi.e., high condenser system pressure drops favor low condenser water flow

Chiller efficiencyi.e., more efficient selections favor low condenser water flow

Load profilei.e., more hours at part load favor low condenser water flow

Energy and economic analysis tools like Tranes System Analyzer and TRACE software can help
you determine the right condenser flow rate for your application. For more information on this
subject, review Trane Engineers Newsletter, How Low-Flow Systems Can Help You Give Your
Customers What They Want (1997Vol. 26, No. 2).

Potential low-flow benefits for . . .


Existing facilities:

Lower pumping costs

Lower leaving-tower/entering condenser water temperature

Lower tower operating costs

Increased chiller capacity when replacing a chiller without replacing the tower

And new facilities:

Lower pumping costs

Smaller, less expensive condenser pump

Smaller, less expensive condenser water piping

Smaller, less expensive cooling tower

Lower tower operating costs

Lower leaving-tower/entering condenser water temperature

Condenser Water Temperature


Cooling towers are generally selected to supply 85F water to the chiller condenser at design
conditionsi.e., when the ambient wet-bulb temperature equals design and the chiller is operating
at full load. But these conditions rarely occur. Usually, the ambient wet-bulb temperature is below
design and the chiller is running at less than full capacity. The tower can typically provide a lower
condenser water temperature at these off-design conditions.
While chiller efficiency generally improves as the condenser water temperature decreases, the
lowest tower water temperature may not be the most economical system choice. Colder tower
water isnt free ... it requires additional fan energy. Consequently, the optimum condenser water
temperature (i.e. the temperature that minimizes system power) is an intermediate temperature
between design and as cold as possible.

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Optimizing the System

Note: For a more detailed discussion of condenser optimization strategies, review these Trane
Engineers Newsletters: Tower Water Temperature ... Control It How? (1995Vol. 24,
No. 1) and Chiller Plant System Performance (1989Vol. 18, No. 2).

Economize with Outdoor Air or Free Cooling


The best ways to economize are often the simplest. If the building load analysis reveals that cooling
is needed when ambient temperatures are low, consider adding an outdoor air economizer or free
cooling to the system. Both options provide inexpensive cooling and may reduce chiller operation
and minimize system energy usage.

Outdoor Air Economizer


In many systems, outdoor air can be used for direct space cooling, provided the sensible
temperature is below 55F and the dew point is low enough to assure that the space humidity level
remains below 60 percent RH. To apply this option successfully, the outdoor- and exhaust-air
sections of the air handling equipment must be sized to handle the increased volume of outdoor
air. Equally important are a system design and control strategy that promotes proper humidity
management.

Free Cooling
Chiller-mounted refrigerant migration: As an option, free cooling can be fully integrated into the
chiller. The benefit to this option is that no additional pumps or piping are necessary.
Another means of free cooling is a plate-and-frame heat exchanger installed in a sidecar
arrangement; see Figure 1, p. 6. Positioning the heat exchanger in series with the chiller(s) exposes
it to the warmest water in the system, extending its operating hours and usefulness.
Note: Sidecar free cooling is practical when the tower sump temperature is at least 20F less
than the return chilled water temperature. For more information about this design option,
see Trane Engineers Newsletter, A New Era of Free Cooling (1991Vol. 20, No. 3).

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Optimizing the System

Figure 1. Sidecar free cooling

Regardless of the method used, combining chillers with free cooling requires consideration of the
chiller manufacturers condenser water limits. For more information, see Operating
Recommendations, p. 7 in this bulletin.

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer


AdaptiView Controls
Operating Recommendations
All chillers require a minimum pressure difference between the condenser and evaporator
refrigerant circuits to assure proper management of oil and refrigerant, as well as hermetic motor
cooling (when applicable).
Following are specific guidelines for CenTraVac condenser refrigerant pressure with Tracer
AdaptiView controls.

At start-up ...

The chiller should reach the required minimum pressure differential within 15 minutes of
starting the chiller. This means that the entering condenser water can be very cold at the start
(e.g., ~40F50F). The chiller can start in an inverted mode where the condenser water is colder
than the evaporator chilled water temperature.

Running the chiller continuously for 30 minutes at the required minimum refrigerant pressure
differential will assure that the oil returns to the oil tank via the oil reclaim system.

When running ...

The chiller can run steady state with very cold entering tower water. It is important to maintain
a minimum 3 psid (20.7 kPaD) pressure differential as shown in Figure 2. The 3 psid (20.7 kPaD)
minimum at all loads is nominally equivalent to a 15F differential between leaving chilled water
temperature and leaving condenser water temperature. For example, a chiller running at 40F
chilled water could operate with an entering condenser water temperature below 50F, as long
as the leaving condenser water temperature is greater than or equal to 55F. If you have chillers
with older controls, refer to previous revisions of this bulletin for pressure differential
minimums.

Figure 2. Minimum condenser-evaporator refrigerant pressure differential

An optional signal is available from the chiller that can be used to maintain the 3 psig pressure
differential. Once the signal option is chosen, there are two different control signal pathways
available for use. The first pathway is the direct option. In this case, the signal from the chiller can
be set up to go directly to the bypass valve or variable speed drive (see Direct Tracer AdaptiView
Signal, p. 8). The second pathway is the indirect option. In this case, a raw signal from the chiller
is provided and an intermediate controller must be used prior to the external bypass valve or
variable speed drive (see Indirect Tracer AdaptiView Signal, p. 17).

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Direct Tracer AdaptiView Signal


Maintaining The Minimum Refrigerant Pressure Differential
In this section, we will be making use of differential pressure (evaporator-condenser) directly from
the Tracer AdaptiView control panel. This may not work for all chiller applications. It will depend
on chilled water configuration. If necessary, use the indirect control option (see Indirect Tracer
AdaptiView Signal, p. 17).

System Design Options


Regulating the refrigerant pressure difference between the condenser and evaporator typically
means controlling the condenser refrigerant pressure when necessary. There are essentially five
different ways to accomplish this through system design:

cooling tower fan control

cooling tower bypass

chiller bypass

throttling valve(s)

variable-speed condenser water pump

Brief descriptions of these methods follow, along with the primary advantages and disadvantages
of each.

1. Cooling Tower Fan Control


One way to increase condenser refrigerant pressure is to cycle on and off, or modulate the speed
of, the cooling tower fans. Tower fan operation is usually based on the water temperature of the
tower sump/basin. This strategy allows a single control system to furnish properly controlled water
to more than one chiller.

Advantages ...

Low-cost controls.

Better system efficiency.

Disadvantages ...

Control system may not be appropriate for the application (e.g. those that use river water, or
with a tower that serves other systems).

Many weather conditions can prevent cooling tower fan control from maintaining the leavingtower water at or above the minimum temperature needed for proper chiller operation.

If the tower sump contains a great deal of water, it may not be possible to comply with the
CenTraVac Operating Recommendations, p. 7.

Fan cycling may result in wide condenser-to-evaporator pressure swings.

2. Cooling Tower Bypass


This design option, shown in Figure 3, p. 9, elevates the condenser refrigerant pressure by mixing
leaving condenser water with entering-condenser water from the cooling tower. A suitable bypass
piping arrangement for this purpose connects two butterfly valves with a common actuator linkage
(or a single three-way valve) to a flanged tee.

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Figure 3. Cooling tower bypass


Condenser Pressure or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal (Optional Signal)
Electric or Pneumatic
Valve Actuator

2 Butterfly
Valves

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

To/From
Cooling Tower
Condenser
Water Pump

Advantage ...

Good control.

Disadvantages ...

A valved bypass may be more expensive than other system design options.

Requires a dedicated condenser water pump.

May vary cooling tower flow below the tower flow limit.

3. Chiller Bypass
Figure 4, p. 9 illustrates this system design option. Using the chiller bypass to reduce condenser
water flow through the chiller raises the temperature differential (T) across the condenser which,
in turn, maintains the condenser refrigerant pressure.
Figure 4. Chiller bypass
Condenser Pressure or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal (Optional Signal)
Electric or Pneumatic
Valve Actuator
To/From
Cooling Tower

2 Butterfly
Valves

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

Condenser
Water Pump

Advantages ...

Excellent control.

Maintains a constant cooling tower flow rate.

Does not require a dedicated condenser water pump on the tower.

The system bypass can be provided at the tower rather than at each chiller, reducing this
options first cost.

Disadvantage ...

Like the cooling tower bypass, a valved bypass may be more expensive than other system
design options.

4. Throttling Valve(s)
Throttling valves offer another means for reducing condenser water flow to increase refrigerant
pressure by creating a greater temperature differential across the condenser. There are two

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

common variations of this design option. The first, shown in Figure 5, p. 10, requires only one
butterfly valve.
Note: Be sure to select a valve with a modulating range that can maintain the minimum refrigerant
pressure differential (P) when the chiller is running at minimum load and at a minimum
tower sump temperature.
Figure 5. Throttling valve
Condenser Pressure or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal (Optional Signal)
Electric or Pneumatic
Valve Actuator

Butterfly
Valve

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

To/From
Cooling Tower
Condenser
Water Pump

The nonlinear flow characteristics of a butterfly valve can cause unstable control at low flow rates.
To avoid this instability, consider adding a small globe valve in parallel with the butterfly valve as
shown in Figure 6, p. 10. Operate the valves in sequence so that the globe valve opens over the first
half of the signal range and the butterfly valve begins to modulate when the globe valve is fully
open. The globe valve should be large enough to prevent butterfly valve operation in an unstable
region.
Figure 6. Throttling valve with globe valve piped in parallel
Electric or Pneumatic
Valve Actuator

Condenser Pressure or Pressure


210 Vdc Signal (Optional Signal)

Butterfly
Valve
To/From
Cooling Tower

Globe Valve

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

Condenser
Water Pump

Advantages ...

Provides good control at relatively low cost if the valves are properly sized.

May reduce system pumping costs.

Disadvantages ...

Requires a pump that can accommodate variable flow.

Using a single butterfly valve (without a globe valve piped in parallel) may cause erratic control
at low condenser flow rates.

May vary cooling tower flow below the tower flow limit.

5. Variable-Speed Condenser Water Pump


This system option also modulates water flow through the condenser, increasing the temperature
difference between the entering and leaving water and, in turn, raising the condenser refrigerant
pressure. As shown in Figure 7, p. 11, it requires one variable-speed condenser water pump (an
inverter-duty motor may be necessary, depending on the turn-down).

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Figure 7.

Variable-speed condenser water pump


Condenser Pressure or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal (Optional Signal)

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

To/From
Cooling Tower
Variable-Speed
Condenser Water Pump

Advantages ...

Good control at relatively low cost.

Can reduce pumping costs.

Disadvantages ...

Requires a suitable pump, motor, and drive combination.

May vary cooling tower flow below the tower flow limit.

Control Strategies
The system design options described in the preceding section offer ways to maintain the necessary
condenser-evaporator refrigerant pressure differential by regulating condenser refrigerant
pressure. Successfully implementing any of these options requires a control system that measures
the refrigerant pressure differential at the chiller. Direct measurement of the condenser-evaporator
refrigerant pressure differential provides the most reliable operation.

Chiller System Differential Pressure Logic


The following control sequence is meant to be adaptable to either a VFD or a modulating electronic
control valve that will accept a 010 Vdc input and that can vary flow in the condenser water loop.
Tracer AdaptiView embedded head pressure control does not actually sense or control
condenser water flow directly. Instead, the chillers refrigerant system differential pressure is
measured and the flow device is modulated to maintain a minimum required refrigerant
differential pressure for the CenTraVac chiller.

Sequence of Operation
In general, the following control states, chiller modes, delays, set points, and functions only exist
if the Refrigerant Pressure Output Type in the Tracer TU Configuration menu is set to
Condenser Head Pressure Control.
At Tracer AdaptiView power-up or reset, and after the compressor is stopped, the Condenser
Head Pressure Control output is initialized to the voltage defined by the Off State Output
Command setting.
Upon recognition of a call for cooling and a corresponding call for the condenser water pump, the
Condenser Head Pressure Control output is commanded to a value that is 50 percent of the
maximum flow position (50 percent of the Output Voltage @ Desired Maximum Flow). The
condenser water pump is then started.
Once the condenser water flow is proven and all other pre-start conditions (pre-lube, etc.) are met,
the compressor is commanded on. Once compressor operation is confirmed, the head pressure
control will begin running closed-loop control for head pressure per the internal setpoint.

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

During normal operation with condenser water conditions providing a refrigerant differential
pressure greater than the Head Pressure Control Setpoint, the control output will increase the
condenser water flow, up to the maximum allowed output.
During operation with cool condenser water conditions and a resulting refrigerant differential
pressure less than the Head Pressure Control Setpoint, the control output will decrease the
condenser water flow, down to the minimum allowed output.

Hardware Requirements
In order to provide the 010 Vdc head pressure control output signal, a CenTraVac chiller with
Tracer AdaptiView controls must be equipped with the optional dual analog %RLA and
Condenser Pressure Output LLID. If factory-installed, this is shown on wiring diagrams as LLID
1A15. The 010 Vdc output signal will be available on LLID 1A15 terminals J2-4 (+) and J2-6 (-).
On Tracer AdaptiView units not factory-equipped with LLID 1A15, and if applying condenser head
pressure control is desirable, it will be necessary to purchase and install the correct dual analog
output LLID. Contact Trane Aftermarket for parts identification and pricing.
The Tracer AdaptiView/UC800 platform does not have LLID hardware to provide a 4 mA20 mA
analog output. If a 4 mA20 mA signal is a requirement of the controlled device, then the use of an
external signal converter (not provided by Trane) will be required.
The condenser water flow device to be controlled (electric valve, pump VFD, etc.) is field-provided
and -installed.

Setup
The Tracer TU laptop service tool must be used to configure and set up the head pressure control
output feature of the Tracer AdaptiView. Start and connect Tracer TU to the UC800.

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

1. In Configuration view, select the Options tab. Set %RLA and Condenser Rfgt Pressure
Output to Installed.

2. In Configuration view, select the Options Setup tab. Set Rfgt Pressure Output Type to
Head Pressure Control.
Note: Older units with retrofit Tracer AdaptiView CVR software will also need to have Pump
Control set to Installed, or the Head Pressure Control feature will not appear.

3. Select Save to save the configuration to the UC800.


4. In LLID Binding view, ensure that the %RLA and Condenser Pressure Outputs LLID is
properly bound in and communicating.
5. In Field Startup view, select the Head Pressure Control tab. Set the following setpoints:
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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Actuator Stroke Time - Set this value to the actual time that it takes the commanded flow
device to stroke from the specified minimum flow position to its maximum flow position.
This setpoint is adjustable from 1 second to 1000 seconds, with a factory default of
30 seconds.
Note: The factory default setting may not be appropriate for the device being controlled.
Measure the actual stroke time of the device being controlled and enter it as the
Actuator Stroke Time.
Desired Minimum Flow - This value sets the desired minimum flow for the application.
It is the lowest flow that is commanded while running the pump. This setpoint is adjustable
from 0 percent to 100 percent, with a factory default of 20 percent. This value is typically
adjusted in the field to result in a lowest flow rate that is just above the point at which the
condenser water proof-of-flow device (flow switch) will make/break.
Head Pressure Control Setpoint - This is the setpoint to which the control algorithm
controls. For CVHE, CVHF, or CVHG and CDHF or CDHG chillers, this setpoint is adjustable
from 3 psid to 10 psid (20.7 kPaD to 68.0 kPaD), with a factory default of 3 psid (20.7 kPaD).
Output Voltage at Desired Maximum Flow - This is the voltage for the full desired flow
of the device to be controlled, and is the largest flow command that will ever be sent to the
device. This setpoint is adjustable from 0 Vdc to 10 Vdc, with a factory default of 10 Vdc.
Output Voltage at Desired Minimum Flow - This setpoint corresponds to the lowest flow
point of the device to be controlled. For example, an electronic valve may accept a 2 Vdc to
10 Vdc signal, with 2 Vdc corresponding to full closed and 10 Vdc corresponding to full open.
In this situation, the Output Voltage at Desired Minimum Flow would be set to 2 Vdc.
This setpoint is adjustable from 0 Vdc to 10 Vdc, with a factory default of 2 Vdc.
Note: The Desired Minimum Flow setpoint defined earlier is in addition to the value
set for the Output Voltage at Desired Minimum Flow. For example, if the
Desired Minimum Flow is set to 20 percent, the Output Voltage at Desired
Minimum Flow is set to 2 Vdc, and the Output Voltage at Desired Maximum
Flow is set to 10 Vdc, the lowest flow command sent during chiller operation will
be 3.6 Vdc (i.e., 20 percent of 2 Vdc to 10 Vdc).
Off State Output Command - This setpoint sets the voltage that the output will assume
after initialization and/or after the compressor and condenser water pump have been shut
off. This setpoint is adjustable from 0 Vdc to 10 Vdc, with a factory default of 2 Vdc.
Damping Coefficient - This setpoint can be used to make the control output more or less
aggressive for a given system. This setpoint is adjustable from 0.1 to 1.8 in increments of
0.001, with a factory default setting of 0.5.
Setting a larger Damping Coefficient will result in a faster response, and setting a smaller
Damping Coefficient will result in a slower response.
Note: The factory default setting of 0.5 should provide an adequate control response for
almost all systems. Adjust the Damping Coefficient only if close observation of
the system operation indicates the control response is inaccurate.

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Select Save to save the setpoints to the UC800.

Other Applications
Reverse Acting
There are some systems or flow devices where it might be desirable to have a reverse acting
command provided for the flow control device. An example might be a valve controlling a bypass
line, where opening the valve increases the bypass flow and reduces the flow through the
condenser of the chiller. In this situation, it is necessary to increase the voltage signal to reduce the
condenser flow, and decrease the voltage signal to increase the condenser flow. This can be
accomplished by inverting the setpoints for Output Flow at Desired Maximum Flow and
Output Voltage at Desired Minimum Flow.

Output Voltage at Desired Maximum FlowThis is the voltage for the full desired flow of
the device to be controlled, and is the largest flow command that will ever be sent to the device.
For an application requiring a reverse acting signal, this setpoint is set to the low value, typically
2 Vdc (for a device accepting a 2 Vdc to 10 Vdc signal).

Output Voltage at Desired Minimum FlowThis setpoint corresponds to the lowest flow
point of the device to be controlled. For an application requiring a reverse acting signal, this
setpoint is set to the higher value, typically 10 Vdc (for a device accepting a 2 Vdc to 10 Vdc
signal).
All other Head Pressure Control setpoints and recommendations remain the same.

Duplex Chiller
CDHF and CDHG Duplex chillers have two refrigeration circuits with two refrigerant differential
pressures. When Condenser Head Pressure Control is selected in Configuration view of a
Duplex chiller with Tracer AdaptiView, a single analog output will be provided that is based on the
lower of the two water flow commands of the two running circuits.
If only one circuit of the Duplex chiller is running Condenser Head Pressure Control, analog
output will represent the flow command of just the running circuit.
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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

If Condenser Head Pressure Control is selected for a Duplex chiller, there will be only a single
analog output from a single analog LLID that is located in the circuit 1 panel.
Note: If Condenser Head Pressure Control is not applied, and if it is desirable to instead receive
simple traditional DeltaP or %HPC signals, then an analog output LLID for each circuit is
requiredone in each panel.

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Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Indirect Tracer AdaptiView Signal


Maintaining The Minimum Refrigerant Pressure Differential
The following system design options offer the ability to control chiller head pressure; however, they
require an intermediate controller. The optional 010 Vdc head pressure control output signal must
be ordered. This applies when you want to utilize the indirect signal options from the chiller
controller:
1. condenser pressure
2. evaporator/condenser differential pressure

System Design Options


Regulating the refrigerant pressure difference between the condenser and evaporator typically
means maintaining the condenser refrigerant pressure when necessary. There are essentially five
different ways to accomplish this through system design:

cooling tower fan control

cooling tower bypass

chiller bypass

throttling valve(s)

variable-speed condenser water pump

Brief descriptions of these methods follow, along with the primary advantages and disadvantages
of each.

1. Cooling Tower Fan Control


One way to increase condenser refrigerant pressure is to turn off, or modulate the speed of, the
cooling tower fans. Tower fan operation is usually based on the water temperature of the tower
sump/basin. This strategy allows a single control system to furnish properly controlled water to
more than one chiller.

Advantages ...

Low-cost controls.

Better system efficiency.

Disadvantages ...

Control system may not be appropriate for the application (e.g. those that use river water, or
with a tower that serves other systems).

Many weather conditions can prevent cooling tower fan control from maintaining the leavingtower water at or above the minimum temperature needed for proper chiller operation.

If the tower sump contains a great deal of water, it may not be possible to comply with the
CenTraVac Operating Recommendations, p. 7.

Fan cycling may result in wide condenser-to-evaporator pressure swings.

2. Cooling Tower Bypass


This design option, shown in Figure 8, p. 18, elevates the condenser refrigerant pressure by mixing
leaving condenser water with entering-condenser water from the cooling tower. A suitable bypass
piping arrangement for this purpose connects two butterfly valves with a common actuator linkage
(or a single three-way valve) to a flanged tee.

CTV-PRB006-EN

17

Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Figure 8. Cooling tower bypass

Electric or Pneumatic
Valve Actuator

FieldProvided
Controller
2 Butterfly
Valves

Condenser Pressure
or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal
(Optional Signal)

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

To/From
Cooling Tower
Condenser
Water Pump

Advantage ...

Excellent control.

Disadvantages ...

A valved bypass may be more expensive than other system design options.

Requires a dedicated condenser water pump.

May vary cooling tower flow below the tower flow limit.

3. Chiller Bypass
Figure 9, p. 18 illustrates this system design option. Using the chiller bypass to reduce condenser
water flow through the chiller raises the temperature differential (T) across the condenser which,
in turn, maintains the condenser refrigerant pressure.
Figure 9. Chiller bypass

Electric or Pneumatic
Valve Actuator
To/From
Cooling Tower

FieldProvided
Controller

2 Butterfly
Valves

Condenser Pressure
or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal
(Optional Signal)

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

Condenser
Water Pump

Advantages ...

Maintains a constant cooling tower flow rate.

Does not require a dedicated condenser water pump on the tower.

The system bypass can be provided at the tower rather than at each chiller, reducing this
options first cost.

Disadvantage ...

18

Like the cooling tower bypass, a valved bypass may be more expensive than other system
design options.

CTV-PRB006-EN

Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

4. Throttling Valve(s)
Throttling valves offer another means for reducing condenser water flow to increase refrigerant
pressure by creating a greater temperature differential across the condenser. There are two
common variations of this design option. The first, shown in Figure 10, p. 19, requires only one
butterfly valve.
Note: Be sure to select a valve with a modulating range that can maintain the minimum refrigerant
pressure differential (P) when the chiller is running at minimum load and at a minimum
tower sump temperature.
Figure 10. Throttling valve

Electric or Pneumatic
Valve Actuator

FieldProvided
Controller
Butterfly
Valve

Condenser Pressure
or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal
(Optional Signal)

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

To/From
Cooling Tower
Condenser
Water Pump

The nonlinear flow characteristics of a butterfly valve can cause unstable control at low flow rates.
To avoid this instability, consider adding a small globe valve in parallel with the butterfly valve as
shown in Figure 11, p. 19. Operate the valves in sequence so that the globe valve opens over the
first half of the signal range and the butterfly valve begins to modulate when the globe valve is fully
open. The globe valve should be large enough to prevent butterfly valve operation in an unstable
region.
Figure 11. Throttling valve with globe valve piped in parallel

Electric or Pneumatic
Valve Actuator
Butterfly
Valve
To/From
Cooling Tower

FieldProvided
Controller

Globe Valve

Condenser Pressure
or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal
(Optional Signal)

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

Condenser
Water Pump

Advantages ...

Provides good control at relatively low cost if the valves are properly sized.

May reduce system pumping costs.

Disadvantages ...

CTV-PRB006-EN

Requires a pump that can accommodate variable flow.

Using a single butterfly valve (without a globe valve piped in parallel) may cause erratic control
at low condenser flow rates.

May vary cooling tower flow below the tower flow limit.

19

Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

5. Variable-Speed Condenser Water Pump


This system option also modulates water flow through the condenser, increasing the temperature
difference between the entering and leaving water and, in turn, raising the condenser refrigerant
pressure. As shown in Figure 12, p. 20, it requires one variable-speed condenser water pump (an
inverter-duty motor may be necessary, depending on the turn-down).
Figure 12. Variable-speed condenser water pump

FieldProvided
Controller

Condenser Pressure
or Pressure
210 Vdc Signal
(Optional Signal)

AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel

Chiller
Condenser

To/From
Cooling Tower
Variable-Speed
Condenser Water Pump

Advantages ...

Good control at relatively low cost.

Can reduce pumping costs.

Disadvantages ...

Requires a suitable pump, motor, and drive combination.

May vary cooling tower flow below the tower flow limit.

Control Strategies
The system design options described in the preceding section offer ways to maintain the necessary
condenser-evaporator refrigerant pressure differential by regulating condenser refrigerant
pressure. Successfully implementing any of these options requires a control system that measures
the refrigerant pressure differential at the chiller. Direct measurement of the condenser-evaporator
refrigerant pressure differential provides the most reliable operation, though sensing condenser
pressure for an indirect measurement offers a practical alternative.
The control panel on Trane CenTraVac chillers can accommodate either control strategy, as
described in the following sections.

Sensing Condenser Refrigerant Pressure


If the evaporator pressure is relatively constant, the minimum refrigerant pressure differential can
be maintained by sensing and regulating condenser pressure.
Note: Since this control strategy requires a constant evaporator pressure, do not use it in
conjunction with chilled water reset or ice storage.
To help implement this indirect control strategy, the control panel can provide a 2- to 10-Vdc signal
proportional to the condenser refrigerant pressure (see Figure 13, p. 21). If it detects a condenser
pressure of 0 psia, for example, the control will produce a 2- Vdc signal. The control panel
generates a 10-Vdc signal if it detects a condenser pressure that corresponds to the chillers highpressure cutout (HPC) setting; i.e., 15 psig for standard chillers. Figure 14, p. 21 illustrates the
relationship between the unit control output signal and condenser pressure for a standard chiller.

20

CTV-PRB006-EN

Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Figure 13. Monitoring condenser refrigerant pressure


AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel
Chiller
Condenser
210 Vdc
Proportional Signal
(Option)

Control Panel Output Signal (Vdc)

Figure 14. Refrigerant pressure-to-output-signal relationship (standard chiller)

Condenser Refrigerant Pressure (psia)

Typically, the unit controls output signal is sent to a dedicated controller which modulates
condenser water flow as necessary-either using valve(s) or a variable-speed drive-to maintain the
minimum condenser-evaporator pressure differential (see Figure 9, p. 18 through Figure 12, p. 20).
Important:

Do not use this unit control signal to directly control the valve(s) or drive since this
may cause unstable operation.

Sensing Refrigerant Pressure Differential


Directly measuring the refrigerant pressure difference that exists between the condenser and
evaporator is the most reliable way to maintain the chillers minimum condenser-evaporator
refrigerant pressure differential: it accounts for refrigerant pressure changes in the evaporator and
the condenser. That makes this control strategy particularly appropriate for systems with chilled
water reset.
As Figure 15, p. 22 implies, the unit controller monitors the refrigerant pressures in the condenser
and evaporator, and produces a 2- to 10-Vdc signal proportional to the pressure difference between
them. This output signal is scalable; that means the chiller operator can tailor the pressure
differential range for the application; i.e., the 2-Vdc signal can be set to represent any value between
0 and 400 psid, and the 10-Vdc signal to represent any value between 1 and 400 psid. Figure 16,
p. 22 illustrates typical settings for the unit controllers pressure-differential output signal.
Again, this 2- to 10-Vdc signal is usually sent to a dedicated controller that will, in turn, modulate
valve(s) or a variable-speed drive to alter the condenser flow rate and maintain the minimum
condenser-evaporator refrigerant pressure differential.
Important:

CTV-PRB006-EN

Do not use this unit controller signal to directly control the valve(s) or drive since this
may cause unstable operation.

21

Guidelines for CenTraVac Chillers with Tracer AdaptiView Controls

Figure 15. Monitoring the condenser-evaporator pressure differential


AdaptiView
Chiller
Control
Panel
Chiller
Condenser
210 Vdc
Proportional Signal
(Option)

Chiller
Evaporator

Figure 16. Typical settings for unit control scalable differential pressure output signal

Control Panel Output Signal (Vdc)

10

22

9
6
4.5
3.0
1.5
Condenser-To-Evaporator
Refrigerant Pressure Differential (psid)

CTV-PRB006-EN

Summary
The optimum condenser water temperature for minimizing system power is not the lowest
possible temperature (within the manufacturers guidelines). Rather, the optimum condenser
water temperature will be some intermediate temperature, i.e. between design and as cold as
possible.
The optimum condenser water flow for minimizing system power is generally lower than
3 gpm/ton. The optimum flow rate will depend on tower performance, the condenser system,
pumps and chiller performance. Other influencing factors are certain first-cost considerations such
as smaller/less expensive condenser water pumps, smaller/less expensive cooling towers, and
condenser water piping.
All chillers must maintain a minimum refrigerant pressure differential between the condenser and
evaporator to assure proper oil- and refrigerant-flow management and adequate hermetic motor
cooling. This engineering bulletin defines the minimum differential for CenTraVac chillers
manufactured during or since 1990; it also describes the system design options and unit control
strategies that can be used to maintain this minimum differential.

CTV-PRB006-EN

23

Literature Order Number

CTV-PRB006-EN

Date

November 2009

Supersedes

CTV-PRB006-EN (June 2000)

www.trane.com
For more information, contact your local Trane
office or e-mail us at comfort@trane.com

Trane has a policy of continuous product and product data improvement and reserves the right to
change design and specifications without notice. Only qualified technicians should perform the
installation and servicing of equipment referred to in this literature.