Portable vs. Discrete Chiller

Posted Friday, 22 June 2018 08:52 by Martin King in HVAC Business

What is a portable chiller ?

A portable chiller is an alternative to a central chiller system. Portable chillers are usually small units that are mounted on wheels and can be rolled from one place to another inside a facility. But not all portable chillers are actually mobile. Another word for a ‘not so portable’ chiller is a discrete chiller. A discrete chiller can have an outdoor remote condenser (which is not portable) or an elaborate ductwork system to cool down warm air in the summer and provide heat in the winter. A discrete chiller can provide up to 50 tons of cooling capacity, which can make each unit quite large. Discrete chillers can be used to cool a single process or processing machine.

Benefits of a Discrete Chiller:


The number one benefit of using a discrete chiller, rather than a portable chiller, is flexibility. With a discrete chiller, you can get more for a lower price. These chillers can eliminate the need for having both a central system and separate temperature control units that are usually needed to change fluid temperature provided by the central system. In the long run, this process will save you money in operations. A discrete chiller also allows you to select the best temperature for each process. If you change to a new mold, you simply change the temperature to accommodate that mold's needs.

Low Risk

If there is a problem with a discrete chiller, only one machine will be affected rather than every machine in the plant. With central chilling systems, if a problem occurs, multiple circuits can go down at the same time, which can badly affect production and your bottom line.

Easy Installation

Discrete chillers take a fraction of the time to produce, and can be used anywhere. Many discrete chillers are always in stock and require only power and hoses to get into production. Central systems require, on the other hand, expensive piping networks and long lead times to get up and running.


Discrete chillers can expand easily when your business does. If your central cooling system hasn't been able to grow with system expansion, growing a system can be expensive and difficult to install. With discrete chillers, expanding is easy! A processing machine can be added to your discrete chiller, expanding the capabilities of your machine to match your growing business.


Discrete chillers use many more parts than a central system, such as increased compressors, pumps, valves, and electrical controls, but all of these parts are much smaller on a discrete chiller. When a problem occurs with a discrete chiller, repairs and replacement are much cheaper and less complex than a full unit. When deciding to go with a discrete or central chilling unit, you have to decide what is best for your business. Production and budget are the most important factors in this decision, and are unique to each situation.

For information on how a process chiller can assist your business, visit our website at www.legacychillers.com