Q&A with G&D Chillers Engineer Scott Timms

G&D Chillers cannabis extraction equipment mgretailer
Image: G&D Chillers

Founded in 1993, G&D Chillers initially sold chillers to the wine industry. The company quickly moved into the craft beer and distillery industries before expanding into cannabis extraction with a line of low-temperature equipment.

Lead sales engineer Scott Timms broke down some of the most common questions the team hears.


How cold can G&D’s chillers go?

Our low-temp line can take Dynalene HC-50, which is the fluid we use, down to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, you can get your process down to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. At minus 40, you’re going to be able to take care of dewaxing and winterizing the product and you can cut out an entire step later in the process.

How does the chiller run efficiently at those temps?

We use a handful of things to run efficiently at those temps. We start with the compressor itself. The compressor is a two-stage, semi-hermetic, reciprocating machine that can handle the wide pressure differential required to get down to these temperatures.

We also implement within that compressor an economizer sub-cooler that helps the compressor run more efficiently at that place. We also use increased amounts of insulation and special pumps and things like that to make the unit run more efficiently at those temperatures.

Is this a turnkey package?

Like all of our chillers, this is a turnkey package. It comes with its own onboard pump, its own onboard reservoir, and all the piping you need. Essentially, it’s a black box. You hook up piping and electrical, add the fluid you need, and you’re ready to rock.

What other special design features have you incorporated to get the cannabis chiller to cool at ultra-low temps?

We’ve integrated a seal-less mag drive pump. A lot of times in these low-temp situations with the Dynalene HC-50 and also with the temperature itself, leaks around seals are a major issue. Our design gets rid of that issue completely. We’ve also completely changed out the instrumentation throughout the whole situation to operate well at these temperatures and control the systems more efficiently.

What type of maintenance should I expect for the chiller?

The low-temp chiller will require some maintenance, of course. We recommend having a good relationship with a local technician who can come out once a year, look at the condenser portion of the chiller, make sure that it’s clean and operating efficiently’ look through the refrigeration system and make sure all the little things we look for in there are optimized.

Also, the tech should check the Dynalene solution, as throughout the year it might dilute itself a little bit. One of the main issues you can have within this chiller is the Dynalene solution being off-spec. So, making sure that’s correct once a year is especially important.

Do you use proprietary parts in the chiller?

All of our parts are nonproprietary. We pride ourselves on it. That way, any technician who comes out can look inside the equipment and not be totally blown away. They’ll be able to see parts they’ve seen in any other chiller or HVAC situation before. This is specialized, for sure. But at the same time, they’ll be able to operate and find something close to you to get you back up and running if there is a problem.

How do the extraction chiller controls work?

We use a single-point electrical connection that makes life a lot easier at startup. We have also implemented a microprocessor controller that is specifically designed for the refrigeration industry. One neat little add on to this is that it has a spot for you to plug in your local network connection, which will connect the unit to the internet and let you see your controller from anywhere in the world. When purchasing a unit, we’ll give you a year of that service for free.

On top of that, with that service we’ll actually be able to log into your controller from here in Eugene, Oregon, look at all the refrigeration specs, and be able to figure things out before your tech even gets out. And keep your downtime to a minimum.

Within all our units, we utilize circuit breakers as opposed to fuses, because you’re going to have all sorts of issues that could come about with dirty power or a power surge. It’s always going to happen on a Friday night, late. Then you’re going to be down all weekend because you can’t get to the electronics store to get a replacement fuse.

With our controller, you’ll be able to just flip it back on. We’ve designed the whole setup to be as user-friendly as possible so you make the decisions and changes you need to without any problems.

Where should I locate the extraction chiller?

These chillers are designed to be outside. There’s a large condenser section, and all the heat that’s inside your process and the heat that’s produced by the equipment itself will exit through the condenser. So, locating the chiller indoors will cause some real issues. With the unit outdoors, it will push all that heat outside.

The oversized condenser is designed to manage super-hot situations. We’ve also installed variable frequency drives on the fans and other control optimizations that help the equipment run at super-cold temperatures without any issues.

What type of piping is required?

It’s all about being super cold, so pipes need to be able to manage the temperature and the insulation solution that’s going to prevent heat ingress, which can cause a chiller to be undersized.

We recommend ABS plastic, and there are products that come pre-insulated. It’s very easy to install. Copper is another great one material, or stainless steel. Definitely use a clamshell-type insulation over the top of copper or stainless steel. Other than that, just think about preventing heat ingress.

What services does G&D Chillers offer?

We have 24/7 customer service technicians who are available to handle any problems. We can design entire cannabis extraction facilities. We can help you optimize your chilling solution by splitting up pulldown. We can optimize your facility with high-temp chillers that can manage the solvent recovery side of things or bring it all together into one chiller — whatever makes the most sense.

For more information, visit GDChillers.com or call (800) 555-0973.