Setting Maintenance Priorities Vital to Producing Efficient Chillers
If technicians have not performed regular chiller maintenance and the facility has a number of chillers, managers will have to prioritize the implementation of maintenance activities. Trying to do everything all at once will strain b udgets and personnel. Instead, managers need to prioritize implementation based on such factors as the size of the chiller, the critical nature of the load it serves, its history, and the availability of a backup chiller.
For each chiller in the program, managers need to develop schedules for completing daily, weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance activities. They also need to monitor the program to ensure technicians perform the activities effectively.
As technicians detect defects, managers must develop a plan for dealing with them. Many defects require simple corrective action, but others will help identify chillers approaching the end of their service lives. This discovery will allow managers to plan for and schedule either overhaul or replacement. While both options are expensive and disruptive, either one is better than a chiller failure, particularly during the cooling season.
James Piper, P.E., is a national facilities consultant based in Bowie, Md. He has more than 25 years of experience with facilities maintenance and management issues.