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The question of whether to repair or replace a chiller or cooling tower sometimes yields an expensive answer. To justify this capital investment, maintenance and engineering managers often compile a model of life-cycle costs to calculate a payback period for the up-front cost. This model can be as complicated as a chiller itself, and many factors are difficult to translate into dollar figures. Buying new systems larger than existing ones might never have a payback period. But managers must carefully consider many factors beyond the first cost before deciding whether to replace or repair these systems.
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