Whether you run a bar, a restaurant that serves alcohol or simply own the world's best man cave, your glycol beer cooling system is a vital piece of equipment for dispensing ice cold beers whenever you need them. Sadly, the hot summers that make your beer so popular can also be the most difficult time of year to keep your glycol system running properly, and without the proper precautions excessive ambient heat can severely undermine your system's reliability and efficiency.
The hotter the weather, the harder your glycol system has to work to keep your beer at the proper temperature, and minor problems that would not cause issues in winter can become serious problems in summer. As well as preventing your system from chilling your beer thoroughly, the excessive heat also affects the glycol refrigerant within your system, increasing internal pressures and potentially triggering your system's high pressure safety cutoff.
However, avoiding these problems needn't be a difficult task, and by taking the following simple precautions you can almost guarantee that your glycol system keeps your beer ice cold for the entire summer:
Keep it clean
Despite their importance, many glycol systems go months or even years between proper cleanings, especially if they are tucked away in cellars out of easy reach. Maintaining your glycol system isn't just a question of sanitation; without regular cleanings, solid sedimentary deposits can build up within the pipes of your system's condenser, blocking proper refrigerant flow and preventing your system from cooling your beer properly.
Free flowing glycol is especially important in summer, when your system has to work harder to maintain optimum temperatures, so during the hottest time of year, you should take the time to disassemble and thoroughly clean your condenser every few weeks. Specialised cleaning solvents can make this job quicker and easier, but a little scrubbing and elbow grease works just as well. Take care to remove even the thinnest films of sediment, as even these innocuous deposits can cause problems on very hot days.
Keep it clear
Adequate airflow is just as vital to your glycol system's effectiveness as the glycol itself, as the refrigerant cannot be cooled properly without enough cool air passing over the condenser's cooling vanes. You should therefore make sure the intake vents on your system's condenser are totally clean and unobstructed. Many glycol system owners deal with persistent overheating and high pressure problems, only to find that they are caused by a crate of beer or a heavily laden shelf blocking off the intake vents and preventing sufficient airflow.
Keep it cool
Even if your system's condenser receives adequate airflow, high pressure problems may persist if the air itself is too warm to be used to cool the glycol. Keeping a thermometer in the space your glycol system is installed in is always a good idea, and particularly hot ambient temperatures in your chiller room should be dealt with swiftly. You might wish to install a simple air conditioning system in your chiller room if high ambient temperatures are a perennial problem; even an inexpensive portable conditioner can be enough to keep the room cool.
If none of these measures help with your persistent overheating problems, you may be dealing with more significant mechanical problems. In these cases, you should call in a professional glycol system maintenance service as soon as possible, letting the experts swiftly and accurately diagnose the source of your problems.Share