What is the difference between a Chiller and a Cooling Tower?

What is the difference between a Chiller and a Cooling Tower?

If you’re going to buy a cooling system for your company and confused about the chiller or a cooling tower, don’t worry! In this article, we will clarify the difference between a chiller and cooling towers.

However, both technologies play an important role in commercial buildings or industrial processes.  Also in many organizations, they do have different jobs to accomplish together.

Before we discuss the differences between a chiller and cooling towers, let’s know something about them both.

Difference between the chiller and a cooling tower:

Both technologies (cooling towers and chillers) are designed to remove heat from liquids used in several types of organizations.  Mostly, the liquids are used to cool industrial processes. Usually, power stations or in HVAC applications require these technologies.  

Hence, cooling towers and chillers pieces of equipment vary depends on their role and settings like which components they are encompassed in and cooling. Have a look at the basic Difference between a chiller and a cooling tower.


Basically, Chillers absorbs heat from the coolant, which is fully contained within the cooling method.  Usually, it transfers the heat to the surrounding air in the cooling process.

Cooling Towers:

In this technology, a condenser is used that discharges water to cooling towers and removes the heat.  Hence, this process is done via air-liquid in combination with spraying water on the surfaces. With the help of its fans, the heat is transferred to the air passing in the cooling tower.

Moreover, we can find out more difference between a chiller and a cooling tower by putting them in many aspects. Have a look at the types, components, uses and applicability and power consumption of both technologies for removing heat in many organizations.  

Cooling Tower & Chiller Types:

Generally, Cooling Towers are two types:  

  1. Natural draft- this cooling tower has enormous structures which are commonly associated with nuclear power plants where the exhaust air goes into a tall chimney.  
  2. Mechanical draft- this product has fans to pull cool air from outside into the system to transfer the heat from the liquid.

Whereas chillers are just like radiators and it can be cooled by air or water.  However, water cooled chillers need more maintenance than air-cooled chillers but the best part of this machine, it consumes much less power.

Cooling Tower & Chiller Major Components:

Cooling towers- its major components are pumps and basin.  In this system, pumps send the water which creates the cooling flow and cools the facility. Meanwhile, the distribution basins collect discharge water from the coolant system.

Chillers- basically, it has three major components:

  1. Compressors
  2. Condenser heat exchangers
  3. Evaporator heat exchangers

These all components help a chiller in removing the heat and liquids are used to cool the industrial processes.

Uses & Applications:

Chillers are widely used in several organizations. Their different areas will not be affected by the help of an air Chiller.  Most importantly, there are many installations rely on the chiller to produce heat during the winter season also.

Generally, a Cooling tower is found in mechanical processes and electric power generation procedure of power plants.  These plants are commonly located near lakes or rivers which are selected to provide cooling.

Meanwhile, the water coming out of the condenser in the power plants should be cool down to sustain the power generation process.  So, a Cooling tower is must be installed over there.

Efficient Power Consumption:

As it has already explained that a Chiller uses compressor and heat exchangers. Hence it is not as energy efficient as cooling towers. But fans and water pumps in cooling towers do consume more energy because they provide greater cooling volume.

Along with it, the Chillers use air cooling and water cooling technique but air cooling may not as efficient as water cooling system. It is common and everyone knows that a wet surface transfers heat better than a dry one. So, with a 10% greater efficiency a water-cooled chiller can be better for you. But at the same time, we can’t neglect the maintenance of Chillers & Cooling Towers.

Cool Drops Chiller & Cooling Tower Maintenance:

If you are looking for the best quality chiller maintenance or cooling tower surely you are going to save your money on its maintenance. As an expert, I would suggest you get in touch with our experts, before buying any system.  Along with it, you can also order our services on a regular basis to ensure your equipment stays in top-notch position.



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