How to Convert GPM to Cooling Rate in Tons

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Factories use heat exchangers or chillers to regulate an area's temperature. The machine absorbs heat from an area that produces it and carries it to a different location. The medium that carries the heat is a refrigeration fluid that absorbs and releases heat as it experiences differing pressures. A standard formula for finding a chiller's cooling capacity from its flow rate in gallons per minute determines the cooling rate in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. One refrigeration ton is a cooling rate of 12,000 BTUs per hour.

    Multiply the exchanger's flow rate in gallons per minute by 500, a conversion constant. For example, if 350 gallons flow through the unit each minute: 350 × 500 = 175,000.

    Multiply this answer by the fluid's temperature change as it passes through the heat exchanger. For example, if the fluid rises 21 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature: 175,000 × 21 = 3,675,000. This is the chiller's cooling rate, measured in BTUs per hour.

    Divide this rate by 12,000, which is the number of BTUs per hour in a ton: 3,675,000 ÷ 12,000 = 306.25. This is the unit's cooling rate, measured in tons.

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Ryan Menezes is a professional writer and blogger. He has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University and has written for the American Civil Liberties Union, the marketing firm InSegment and the project management service Assembla. He is also a member of Mensa and the American Parliamentary Debate Association.

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