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March 28, 2022

Portable Chillers - How to Determine the Size You Need

Industrial portable chillers are often used to cool large buildings such as hotels, indoor malls, hospitals, and locations that may have multiple buildings like educational facilities and theme parks. Portable Chillers paired with Chilled-water air-handlers are great cooling solutions for large events or disaster related emergency situations. A sales representative should ask questions about your situation and configuration to determine if a portable chiller is the correct solution for your needs. Here are some things a sales rep will consider:

Existing Chiller Size

Knowing the existing chiller size is the most common way to size the portable chiller. It is not uncommon for permanent units to be oversized, therefore portable units can often be up to 20% smaller and still meet the cooling requirements of the space.

Building Square Footage

If the existing tonnage is not known, the building square footage can help a sales representative determine the appropriate chiller size to use. 

Heat load

In addition to knowing the size of the space, knowing what is inside the space that could create additional heat will help a sales representative create a solution. For example, server rooms, rooms with lots of people, or buildings with sun exposure should be factored into the calculation.

Temperature and Flow Rate

The customer should provide you with a target temperature for the space. Your sales representative should determine the flow rate that the chiller must provide to the process.  

Placement of Chiller

Once the size of the unit is established, the representative needs to determine where the unit is going to be placed. Portable chillers vary in size and are typically large trailer mounted units that will sit on the outside of a building.


Your sales representative should ensure that there is enough on-site power available to use. Portable Generators should be used if there is not enough power provided.


Your sales representative will ask about the various connections available to tap into the existing system. Most buildings have taps available, but if not, a contractor may be required to assist in making the connections.

At ​​​​​​Portable Air we strive to provide the best solution to each situation. Sometimes it is for an emergency situation and other times it could be planned maintenance or a changeout. Either way, we provide best-in-the-industry customer service by providing job walks with a knowledgeable account manager and technician to ensure the best solution possible. 

On a recent Friday afternoon, we received a call from a school in the Tampa area requesting help by Sunday night for class Monday morning. The account manager got all of the information and calculated the size chiller they needed. The Operations team loaded up in the rain, drove to the school, installed, and had it up and running by Saturday morning so the school was cool and ready for classes on Monday. The portable unit was on site until the permanent one was fixed.  

Portable Air is always looking for hard working people to join our talented team of professionals! Visit to apply.







555 South Industry Rd.,
Cocoa, Florida 32926


4403 N Masters Rd.,
Pearland, Texas 77584


1415 Chaffee Rd. Leesville,
 Louisiana 71446
Portable Air Corporate Headquarters
555 South Industry Rd. 
Cocoa, Florida 32926

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