MRI Chillers – What Are They & Why Are They Important

by | Oct 16, 2020 | MRI

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine is a standard diagnostic imaging system in hospitals and medical centers. It is used to create detailed pictures of the inside of your body. It is crucial to various clinical applications, such as body imaging, breast imaging, neurology imaging, musculoskeletal imaging, and angiography imaging.

This machine produces scans that help differentiate between healthy and diseased tissues and provides crucial data about your brain, spine, joints, and internal organs. It plays a vital role in detecting several diseases so your doctor can help treat them early on. One of the vital MRI parts is the chiller.


What is an MRI chiller?

MRI Chillers

For MRI machines to work efficiently, their magnets inside have to stay cool at all times. Therefore, they require a reliable cooling source: the MRI chiller. This refrigeration unit cools MRI machines, radiation therapy cancer treatment machines, CT scans, and other medical equipment and laboratory applications. 

Air-cooled and water-cooled MRI chillers work well for MRI machines. They transfer heat to different areas. Air-cooled chillers transfer heat to the surrounding ambient air. These are ideal in facilities without a water source. On the other hand, water-cooled chillers transfer heat to a water source, like a cooling tower or a plant-chilled water system.

Both air-cooled and water-cooled chillers are used to cool down the magnet coils by running cold water around the magnet. They can also be used to cool down the gradient cabinet.


Why are MRI chillers essential?

MRI chillers are important because they serve to cool down the gradient coil and liquid helium compressor. The magnet’s temperature is controlled at -269 degrees Celsius to maintain the superconducting state of the superconducting coil by the whole refrigeration part of the system. If the chiller fails, the entire refrigeration system will stop working. 

Furthermore, MRI chillers are vital to reduce economic losses to the hospital due to a loss of a large amount of liquid helium. This can happen when the magnet has a great risk of quenching and the liquid level is below 60 percent.

If there is no constant cooling water or the water from the MRI chiller stops, the machine’s compressor will get very hot and eventually halts operating. As a result, you will start losing helium on the magnet. When this happens, reach out to Direct Med Parts. We supply stocked MRI parts and offer MRI part repair and services.


How does MRI Chiller work within the machine?

The magnet inside the MRI machine needs constant cold running water to keep cool and ensure that the medical equipment runs efficiently. The MRI chiller provides the most efficient water cooling source for the magnet equipment.



The core of an MRI machine is its magnet, and these must be kept at around -450 degrees Fahrenheit. A faulty MRI chiller can cause temperatures to rise and ultimately cause helium loss, which can be very expensive. This is why staying up to date on maintenance on your MRI chiller system is highly recommended. If you’re in need of cryogenic maintenance and parts please give us a call at 855-463-3727 or send us an email at for availability and pricing.

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