Sensible Solutions for Refurbished Radiology

CT Scanner: Air Cooled vs Water Cooled

Posted by Vikki Harmonay on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 16:01 PM

When a hospital or imaging center has small lapses of operation due to down time it is inexcusable.   Your CT scanner has many moving components that are electrical, and the heat in the gantry can build up rather quickly. Cooling is a major requirement when it comes to modern multi slice CT systems that are designed to accommodate up to 100kW of tube power and very high patient load. Hence you need to keep the system and room chilled to prevent over-heating.

Deciding on the right choice for your CT sometimes depends on the location that the CT will reside in.  If you are replacing a system, then you might already have cooling method.


In an air-cooled system, heat is rejected to the ambient air through the external covers of the gantry via fan.  If the facility does not have a ready water source such as a cooling tower or plant chilled water system, an air-cooled chiller is the way to go. The chiller itself is a little more expensive. However, with respect to the total system, it is much less because you don't need anything else to carry the heat off other than air.

Consider these advantages:

  • Lower amount of preventative maintenance
  • No concerns over water quality
  • Do not need to maintain or purchase a external chiller 

air or watercooled-1 

Water-cooled chiller

In the case of a water-cooled chiller, heat is rejected to some other water source such as a cooling tower plant chilled water system. 

If the facility does have a ready water source such as a cooling tower or plant chilled water system, then a water-cooled chiller is the way to go, provided that the existing water system has enough reserve capacity to service the additional head the chiller will put in to the system.

Consider these advantages:

  • No noise generated by the fans
  • Cleaner – No dust & dirt from heavy airflow
 of fans
  • No additional HVAC accommodations for room

Whether you install water-cooled or air-cooled system the room environment should meet or exceed the load, temperature and humidity specifications listed in CT manual.

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Meet the author: Vikki Harmonay

Topics: Used Medical Imaging Equipment, Imaging Equipment Solutions, CT Scanner