Efficiency State of Mind
Coolant Change-Outs a Thing of the Past
UCLA has recently undertaken a project to convert its backup generators to waterless engine coolants. With over 66 generators on campus, ranging in size from 100 W to 2.5 MW, estimated annual savings may exceed $100,000. Traditional water/ethylene glycol based coolants typically need to be replaced and disposed of every three years. For many years, water, or water-based, coolants have been the only choice to keep engines cool. Water works well, but has its downsides: the low boiling point and, of course, corrosion.
|Photos: Courtesy of Evans Cooling Systems |
The operating temperature of an engine must be kept below the boiling point of water to avoid overheating. Water is corrosive to metals, and that requires additives to inhibit corrosion. Additives eventually drop out and periodic coolant change-outs are necessary to avoid problematic maintenance issues. The cooling system must be pressurized to artificially raise the boiling point for a comfortable separation between the coolant boiling point and the operation temperature.
Coolant change-outs can be taken out of the maintenance schedule forever, along with associated labor costs and disposal headaches. UCLA has pointed out that the savings from avoiding future coolant change outs are only one reason for making the switch.
The Waterless coolant from Evans Cooling Systems offers a variety of advantages for facilities looking for an alternative to traditional water/ethylene glycol based coolants. For example, these coolants have a boiling point of 375°F, allowing for a separation of the operating temperature and enabling a boiling point of well over 100°F. The waterless formula, for example, avoids corrosion while the additives remain soluble permanently. As a result, the coolant will not only last the life of the engine, it may contribute to a longer engine life. Additionally, when a system has been switched to a waterless coolant, there is no need to have that system pressurized, thereby reducing stress on the cooling system plumbing. This is especially true in high heat environments, where the operating temperatures can be safely raised without concern for overheating. Ultimately, these advantages result in the possibility of continual power, less downtime, and improved reliability.