Most of us involved with medical imaging equipment are well aware that it generates a considerable amount of heat and that a number of cooling methods are employed to keep that in check. CT scanners have both air and water cooling methods, MRI machines have coldheads and liquid helium, C-arms have rotating anodes in their tubes, and cath labs have chillers.
In the latter case, however, many of the people we talk to about cath lab systems are surprised to learn that the GE Innova series comes with not one, but two chillers. Keep reading to learn which chiller regulates which crucial Innova cath lab component and how much you can expect to spend if you need to replace one.
X-Ray Tube Chiller
This is the larger of the two chilers (≈33 x 22 x 43 in.), occupying one of the system cabinets. Its purpose is to pump cool fluid through the tube housing to keep the temperature down during long studies. Without it, the tube would overheat, leading to a multitude of issues including, eventually, tube failure. It is a closed-loop system, meaning that its coolant supply is filled, capped, and recycles continuously.
The second, smaller unit, is called the detector conditioner. The purpose of this unit is to keep the detector at a steady temperature. Excessive heat build-up or sudden cooling can reduce the longevity of your detector and reduce image quality over time.
A Note for Bi-Plane Innova Users
For those of you that own an Innova bi-plane cath lab, you’ll notice that you actually have two of each chiller in your equipment room. The tubes and detectors on your system are controlled separately to ensure each is being regulated properly. If you are using one tube to take images more than the other, that tube will generate more heat and will require more cooling than the other.
The following prices are current secondary market averages for replacing the chillers on the Innova product line. The cost of replacing a chiller certainly isn't peanuts, but it's far more affordable than replacing a tube or a detector. Double-check the part number on your existing chillers to confirm which type you have.
Coolix 4000 Chiller Performix 160w RS232, P/N 5115497: $4,500 - $5,500 (exchange)
Thermo-Con, P/N 5131740: $3,000 - $4,500 (exchange)
Coolix 4000, P/N 2228054-3: $4,500 - $5,500 (exchange)
Thermo-Tek, P/N 2387548: $4,000 - $5,000 (exchange)
It pays to be aware of the contribution proper temperature regulation makes to the well-being of your Innova cath lab system. It also pays to be aware of just how much you can spend on replacement parts when your chillers aren't able to do their job. If you're experiencing a chiller problem, our Parts Team can help. Use the button below to get a quote and get a replacement chiller on its way to your facility.