Falling Film Chiller

Falling Film Chiller Process reliability to produce constant cooling of ice water near freezing point

Falling Film Chillers, also referred to as the baudelot ice water coolers, is intended for continuous cooling water close to the freezing point at 0.5°C constant temperature as desired temperature. To prevent ice formation on the panels, it's necessary to regulate the suction gas pressure at the evaporator suction header and to ensure efficient cooling. Additionally, it's important to maintain the evaporation temperature, which should not fall lower than -3°C, and monitor the water temperatures and flow rate. If the system uses glycol, it's necessary to control the glycol inlet temperature.

Cold water has a high heat capacity, which means that it can carry a large amount of heat with relatively small quantities compared to other cooling agents. This makes it an effective choice for industrial water chillers. Water's flow-specific and thermodynamic parameters are favorable for achieving high heat transfer rates. The freezing point of water is important when making and using cold water for cooling purposes. To maximize the temperature difference and keep the product being chilled as cold as possible, it's necessary to get the temperature of the water as close to its zero point as possible.

Low-specific and thermodynamic parameters from an industrial water chiller of ice water near freezing point

As temperature approaches zero point at very low temperatures, the risk of ice formation increases, which can cause significant damage to the equipment used in cold water production. One of the anomalies of water is that its lowest specific volume is at 4°C, causing it to expand when it freezes. This expansion can cause destruction to the equipment. Ice formation in cold water systems also results in considerable performance losses due to the thick layers of ice acting as insulation and reducing the thermal transmission output. To avoid these issues, it's important to implement proper measures and equipment to prevent ice formation.

Producing cold water requires a technique that brings the water temperature very close to zero, without the risk of ice formation. If the cooling system experiences control fluctuations that cause ice formation, a layer of ice on the panels will reduce heat transfer and cooling power of the baudelot ice water cooler. Unlike Plate Heat Exchangers, ice buildup on the panels may occur for a few minutes without causing mechanical destruction. The ice will melt automatically once the temperature inside the panels rises to the next normal operation mode cycle. With our baudelot ice water cooler, maximum power reserve in production is guaranteed at this temperature to cool large amounts of process water.

What’s a Falling Film Chiller?

How does a Falling Film Chiller work?

The Baudelot ice water cooler, also known as the Falling Film Chiller, is a highly efficient custom made cooling system for process water. It consists of a distribution tray, a heat exchange system of plates, a frame, and a cover, along with an optional bottom collecting tank. Water is pumped into the distribution tray and evenly distributed over vertical panels, allowing for maximum heat transfer. The thin film of water flows or water falls down the plates as a thin layer, achieving high transmission coefficients and an optimal outside film coefficient. Upgrade your cooling requirement with the Baudelot ice water cooler as suitable solution for improved process efficiency.

A high flow velocity guarantees the high efficiency of ice water and kind of self-cleaning down the plate, even with contaminated liquids. The use of stainless steel ensures compliance with all sanitary requirements, as the ice water contacts only AISI 304 or 316L stainless steel parts, as well as higher-grade stainless steel up to titanium. This ensures both cleanliness and durability, while also providing high-performance operation.

Industrial Ice water chiller in dairy processes

A Falling Film Chiller, also known as a Baudelot ice water chiller, is a machine that can continuously produce cooled water at 0.5°C without forming ice on the plates. This makes it the perfect cooling medium for milk-processing plants. Not only is ice water non-toxic and has excellent heat transfer and transport properties, but it is also an inexpensive and widely available resource. With the goal of meeting high global quality standards, it is crucial to ensure fast and smooth cooling processes from processing to storage of sensitive dairy products such as milk, milk powder, yoghurt, milk desserts, butter and cheese, even if it comes at the expense of high energy costs.

Milk processing plants can save costs and space by partnering with companies like Refrigeration AG for ice water technology. Rather than installing additional ice water storage tanks, it's more efficient to use a Falling Film Chiller for ice water pre-cooling. This not only saves money but also generates ice water temperatures between 0°C and 1°C without any risk. Falling-Film Chillers cool returning water and relieve existing plant systems with their robust, simple operation and high energy efficiency. Find out how Refrigeration AG can help your dairy expand its capacity while reducing costs.

Why a Water Chiller?


Water near freezing point (0.5°C) plays a vital role in food refrigeration by ensuring rapid cooling for optimal product quality. Our Falling Film Chiller (or Baudelot ice water cooler) features an open, non-pressurized water side for quick and easy inspections and cleaning. Experience the benefits of our innovative design today!

Ice water at 0.5°C is an effective way to quickly cool large produce by pillow plates. Blanching, cooling, washing, and mixing processes often require cooled water near freezing point to achieve optimal results. The standard Falling Film Chiller can be adjusted to meet various process requirements, ensuring the best performance on site. For optimal results, it's important to communicate your specific application needs to our team. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions.

Industrial Applications for Industrial Water Chillers

What’s the Process?

The Falling Film Chiller or Baudelot Industrial Water Chiller is a powerful tool for efficiently chilling water down to 0.5°C even for s short period. It can be used as a pre-chiller for industrial ice bank systems, connected to the ice water side of a Plate Heat Exchanger, or pumped directly into various food cooling processes. The homogeneous falling film ensures maximum efficiency, while the water collecting tank and pumps make it easy to bring chilled water to any location. Whether you're in the food industry or another industrial process, the Falling Film Chiller is a reliable and effective solution for all your water chilling needs.

Process water chiller with discontinuous inlet water flow

Our Falling Film Chiller, also known as the Baudelot ice water cooler, is designed to cool water with discontinuous or changing flow rate temperatures. Our split-tank-design allows for continuous operation of the evaporator, ensuring optimal performance for your refrigeration machine. The water reservoir with flow path is custom-designed to match the flow profile and water temperatures, making it robust to unexpected fluctuations. Our exclusive use of stainless steel meets all the requirements for a food-grade design, ensuring that your Ice Water Falling Film Chiller is safe for use in any food service environment. Choose our Falling Film Chiller for reliable, efficient, and safe cooling of your water supply.

Why mainly NH3?

Ammonia is a natural refrigerant that's both climate-neutral and energy-efficient, making it an ideal choice for cooling large plants like those found in dairies. Compared to direct expansion systems, ammonia-based refrigeration plants require less energy to generate the same cooling capacity, resulting in reduced operating costs. To further increase efficiency, these systems use gravity-driven evaporators with separators and effective heat recovery systems like evaporative condensers, heaters, and oil coolers. By incorporating these features, the entire system is optimized for maximum efficiency and cost savings.

De-oiling device of an industrial water chiller

The Falling Film Chiller is a top choice for refrigerant NH3, as it features a standard de-oiling device to improve efficiency. A small suction pipe for gravity or pump operation is located at the liquid bottom header of the system. For CO2, this device is available upon request. However, there are potential solubility gaps with different oils, even with helpful additives. To ensure optimal performance, regular de-oiling is required, which is determined based on the properties of the refrigerant compressor and the oil used. Our experienced engineers, with academic advice, are responsible for the design of each project, which includes an individual channel design and construction. This is due to the high inside film coefficient and low pressure drop of the system.

The Baudelot cooler

Historical review and beginnings of an industrial chiller

Jean Louis Baudelot (1797–1881), was born in France, and studied engineering in Belgium. Though he claimed several inventions, fame came in 1856, when he patented a liquid cooler. Specifically intended for the brewing industry.

A cousin who was a brewer presented him with the fact that until then beer worts had to be cooled in a shallow vessel (cool ship) and stirred during a whole night—a process that easily took 8 hours. Worse, the continuous exposure of the worts to the air resulted often in unwanted inoculation and infected beer. Yet exposure was mandatory because beer yeasts need oxygen at the outset of fermentation. Therefore, the wort needs to be well aerated.

Baudelot envisaged a fine double copper sheet overlaying copper tubes (first cylindrical, later elliptical in cross-section) wherein cold water (spring water or icewater) ran countercurrent to the worts. The worts were collected on top of the cooler in shallow tray, and then finely dispersed, flowing over outside of the copper sheets, which were being being cooled internally. In this way, cooling took place in less than a quarter of the original time needed, limiting exposure to contaminating microbes, while aeration was assured. Hot wort flowed like an undulating waterfall down the exterior of the cooler, emerging cool and aerated at the bottom. It was a massive improvement that led to beer of much better quality and stability.

Falling Film Chiller advantages

  • Our chiller is perfect for contaminated liquids like greywater or red water, with no risk of freezing at 0.5°C.

  • Made entirely of stainless steel, it's also suitable for salt water.

  • With a low tendency to fouling and no seals to worry about, our chiller is easy to control and maintain.

  • Plus, our enclosed design ensures no product contamination. Choose our falling film chiller version for ice water chillers. Get in touch today to learn more!

What are Industrial Water Chillers?

  • Our industrial water chillers range from 10 kW to 10,000 kW in capacity.

  • Our evaporators work with all primary refrigerants (NH3, freon, CO2), as well as secondary refrigerants like glycol or brine.

  • We use only the highest-quality stainless steel materials, from AISI304 to titanium, 254-SMO, Duplex, and more.

  • This choice of material ensures that the chilled water only comes into contact with stainless steel, making it safe for any industrial use.

  • You can choose from either plug-in units up to 100 kW or on-site refrigeration systems. Trust us for all your industrial water chiller needs!

Which industrial applications need a chiller?

  • Our industrial water chillers provide the fastest cooling solution for food close to freezing, with no risk of damage.

  • Ideal for fresh produce, meat, fish, seafood, and beverages, these chillers are also excellent for cooling milk, yogurt, and cheese.

  • Our Falling Film Chillers are preferred for high-capacity applications with limited ground space, chilling liquids to almost refrigerant temperature.

  • We also offer "White Water" chillers for the pulp and paper industry, waste water chillers for sewage treatment and chemical plants, and cooling water chillers for the chemical and process industry.

  • Additionally, our chillers can be used to recover heat in sea and river water, and cooling in breweries and soft drink factories.

Simple chiller maintenance

  • Accessing the open system with ease is made comfortable.

  • The system is also easy to clean with a water distribution tray that's open, a large discharge opening for particles, removable side panels, and an open construction plate system. These features make maintenance a breeze, so you can focus on what's important.

Falling Film Chiller construction and dimensions example

Typical dimensions without tank
L (m) / W (m) / H (m)

Compact system: 1.2 / 0.5 / 1.8
System type A: 2.0 / 2.1 / 2.0
System type B: 3.8 / 2.5 / 2.0