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CT System: Choosing Air-Cooled or Water-Cooled

CT machines need a cooling system to be in place to keep the system running at optimal levels

The heat in a CT system can build rather quickly. There are so many moving parts inside the CT machine that a good cooling system needs to be in place to keep the system running at optimal levels. This means keeping the CT room chilled, and choosing the right cooling method for your facility: Air-Cooled, or Water-Cooled.

Air Cooled CT System

  • Air-cooled CT systems get rid of heat with a fan. The fan releases the heat through the external covers of the gantry in order to keep the CT cool.
  • Air-cooled chillers are more expensive than water, but in the long run air-cooled may end up saving you money because the air-cooled chiller itself doesn’t need continual maintenance throughout its life, unlike water-cooled.
  • Having an air-cooled CT system means that there are no worries with water quality and no need to maintain/purchase an external chiller.
  • Air-cooled systems tend to be noisier and the fans accumulate dust/debris in the gantry.
  • Air-cooled scanners also have a hard time adjusting to temperature changes in the room, which could mean air-conditioning and energy costs every so often.
  • Out of the two, the air-cooled CT system has a smaller footprint than water-cooled.

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Water Cooled CT System

  • Instead of using fans to reject heat, water-cooled CT systems get rid of heat via a cooling tower or plant chilled water system.
  • Some facilities already have a ready water source, and in these cases a water-cooled CT scanner proves to be the best option if the existing water system has enough reserve to carry the extra workload from the new machine.
  • If your facility does not already have a good water source, choosing a water-cooled system means purchasing an external chiller.
  • Water-cooled CT scanners must have exceptional water quality which must be maintained throughout its lifespan. If a water-cooled system does not have regular maintenance to ensure the water cooling systems are in top shape, it could mean valve wear, reduced component life (from varying temps), and image consistency while scanning.
  • The pros of a water-cooled system revolve around its lack of fans: zero noise, and no dust accumulated from fan airflow.
  • Rooms that also have inconsistent temperature control would do well with a water-cooled system, as temperature changes affect them much less than air-cooled.

All in all, there are pros and cons to both the air-cooled and water-cooled CT systems. Choosing which one is right for your practice depends on whether you already have a ready water source and your personal preferences on maintenance. Of course any questions you will have can be answered by Amber Diagnostics’ dedicated team of experts, always on hand to help you make the best decision within your price range.

Amber offers a wide range of refurbished CT scanners to choose from, and we have a handy CT Buyer’s Guide you might want to go through as well. When you’re ready, contact us to get your CT project up and running!


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