Propylene glycol is being specified on a more frequent basis to support freeze protection and heat transfer in the HVAC universe. There are many brands and what seems like a plethora of options available. Therefore, there is much confusion in the market as some glycols may even be offered on a simple commodity basis. Smart consumers will recognize the subtle differences. Suppliers of glycol can be differentiated by considering several key factors. First, flexibility in the formulation needs to be the primary consideration. Depending upon project scope, the glycol being added must match in concentration, color, and most importantly inhibitor pack. For most formulators, managing these variables with one formula on range is extremely difficult to accomplish, and hence they will tend to market their “brand” as the best. Here the inhibitor pack is essential, as it must be suitable for the unique operating conditions of a given system, and be selected to match and protect system metallurgy. Quality suppliers of glycol will offer capable laboratory support, specialized delivery approaches, and field installation services. While simple “glycol” may seem like a commodity item, it is not. Doing a little research on supplier options in your geography can save time, effort and big dollars down the road.
John D. Caloritis, CWT
The Metro Group, Inc.
John is Chair of the AWT (Association of Water Technologies) Cooling Water Committee and a Member of the Association’s Legionella Task Force.