What is your definition of a portable chiller? We want to know.

Beginning this year, Process Cooling & Equipment revamped its Cooling Capabilities Chart on chillers. In our May/June issue, we covered chiller systems. In this issue, we cover portable chillers. In our effort to compile data for this issue, the question "What is your definition of portable?" came up several times.

What I have come to realize is that a company like St. Paul-based Trane calls its smaller footprint systems (with tonnage capabilities from 1 to 5 tons) portable air conditioners. They consider rentals (which are moved via a flatbed truck) portable chiller systems.

Terry Arbruster, marketing manager at Koolant Koolers Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich., tells me that portable to him means a chiller that can be quickly disconnected with no hard piping and no need to drop power from the ceiling.

So that we can bring you data that is truly going to help you in your process, I am asking for your feedback. What is your definition of a portable chiller? What specifications do you find most important when specifying this type of equipment? Send your answers to SpielmanS@bnp.com. Next year, Process Cooling & Equipment and its readers -- as well as the manufacturers that make this publication possible -- will all be on the same page.

In the meantime, click on the "Potent Portables" article link for this year's compilation of portable chillers (all definitions!). Don't forget to log on to www.process-cooling.com and click on Cooling Capabilities for specs such as tonnage capabilities, temperature range and pump capacity, which are included only in our online version.

Our Cooling Capabilities is not the only coverage we have relating to chillers, though. Keith Wheeler, a materials compatibility engineer at Thermo Neslab, Portsmouth, N.H., looks at the use of uninhibited ethylene glycol as an industrial heat transfer fluid. When used in chiller applications, this chemical can degrade, which could cause problems and increase costs. Check out "Technical Insights into Uninhibited Ethylene Glycol" to learn the science behind its properties and why an industrially inhibited ethylene glycol may be better for your process equipment.

Because heat-producing power and control components are being packaged in less space, increasing the power densities in electronic and industrial equipment enclosures, there is a need for something "special" in there. Understanding how special-purpose air conditioners work can help you decide if they are right for your equipment cooling needs. Bruce K. Kreeley, director of engineering at Kooltronic Inc., Pennington, N.J., explains the ins and outs of these devices in "Special-Purpose Air Conditioners Cool Electrical Enclosures".

If you are thinking about using a plate heat exchanger in your cooling process, you need to know the variables involved. In "Dishing About Plate Heat Exchangers," Joseph Payette, sales manager at GEA Ecoflex, Louisville, Ky., focuses on what you should know to specify standard gasketed plate-and-frame heat exchangers.

Finally, Ron Rose, vice president at York Process Systems, Waynesboro, Pa., talks about how a CO2 cascade refrigeration system can eliminate the need for an expansion tank. Because CO2 has a low specific volume at low temperatures, it allows for much smaller compression hardware. In addition, it is environmentally benign. Take a look at Ron's case history, "CO2 Cascade System Eliminates Need for Expansion Tank," to get an idea whether it might work for your process.