Understanding & Designing Chilled Water Systems

Designing chilled water systems

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, September 16, 2014

Learning objectives:

1. Understand the codes and standards that guide CHW system design and energy efficiency requirements.

2. Learn design basics for CHW systems to meet a distribution loop’s load requirements.

3. Understand key equipment and its integration to improve energy efficiency.


Regardless of whether the design is for a new chilled water (CHW) system or a modification to an existing system, an early review of codes, standards, and regulations is necessary to allow for an expedient design and avoid conflicts that will cost time and money to resolve. Local, state, and federal codes and regulations will dictate permitting requirements that affect the location of buildings and equipment (central plants, cooling towers, buried piping systems), fuel handling and storage, environmental emissions and noise, water quality, and safety items.

Groups such as ASHRAE, Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and NFPA all have standards to review for systems, equipment, and testing requirements.

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