How much does an MRI machine cost?
Big brands count on big money and ask high prices for their machines. They demand several hundred of thousands of Euros for a machine as a standard. Even prices of used equipment are still high. Although the amounts are much lower you will at least spend 30 to 100 thousand Euros on hardware.

How to buy?
When you purchase equipment for an MRI, you should first determine the priorities and examine your own ability to install and maintain the equipment. The most common medical systems with magnets have strong main fields. This is usually 1.5 Tesla, but there are also 0.5 T, 1 T, up to 3 T.

To maintain this field there is a constant running of cooling system needed, as well as liquid helium, which must be supplemented periodically. This generates fixed costs, since the fields of the magnets cannot be merged without impunity.

High fields give the possibility to obtain images with better resolution, although it is rather a merit of high-speed gradients and requires a stronger high-frequency transmitter. Both take considerable amounts of energy. These are the values of several kVA, with 3-phase power. Another solution is resistive electromagnets.

Main fields are also produced by the current flowing in the coil, but it does not conduct magnets, and therefore they have a weaker field. They consume a lot of power and require cooling, but not necessarily 24 hours a day.

Their advantage is the ability to disable after research. The least demanding in this aspect, are systems with permanent magnets. They often will minimize power consumption through the use of relatively free gradients. It does extend the time of a single test and can take up to 2 hours.

Therefore there is an ability to connect to almost any electrical installation. Systems with permanent magnets and electromagnets have usually open configuration, which is their big advantage, because it gives convenient access to the patient. The value of induction of their main field is usually in the limits of 0.2 – 0.35 T.

What is the best MRI chiller solution for my business application?
After a chiller has absorbed MRI excess heat, the hot water in the chiller unit must be eliminated. The most common method is to disperse the water into the air. This is known as an air-cooled chiller. It is a stand alone system that requires no other external equipment.

The alternative is to send the heated water to another water source, usually a cooling tower of some type. This is known as a water-cooled chiller.
In most cases, unless your building is equipped with a cooling tower, the air-cooled solution will be the most economical.

How do I specify a MRI chiller solution?
The first step is to your fluid cooling system requirements. The best place to find this information is in the manufacturer’s literature, and is commonly referred to as the “Site Preparation Manual” or “Site Prep Guide”. The information that will help you with specifying your MRI chiller includes:
How often the MRI is in use; for instance, is it occasional use, or 24×7?
The fluid cooling requirements of your equipment, including:
- the type of fluid the chiller will be circulating. Common cooling fluids are water, a glycol/water mix, or a glycol/distilled water mix.
- the required flow rate of the fluid.
- the entering fluid temperature for your equipment.
- the exiting fluid temperature.
- the system operating pressure.
The operating voltage for your facility. Typically this will be the same operating voltage as your process equipment. Inquire about electrical information with your company’s (present) Facilities Department or electrician. It would also be a good idea to determine what additional capacity you have available near the installation site of the chiller.

This information is essential in determining your total budget for your project.

Do you need an air-cooled or water-cooled chiller? Go to ‘What is the best MRI chiller solution for my business application?’

Finally, you need to know where the chiller will be mounted. The usual locations are on an outside pad or on the roof. Most importantly while specifying an MRI chiller solution, you need to purchase from a reputable source. See below, How do I choose between MRI chiller providers?

How do I choose between MRI chiller providers?
The following characteristics are important to research while looking for companies offering MRI chiller solutions: At a minimum, the company should offer: A chiller solution that is customized to fit the needs of your particular MRI application. They should not ask you to adapt your requirements to fit their solution!

A Single-source solution; the buyer should be able to pick up the phone once and have a full range of complementary cooling and conditioning products and services available. Non-OEM replacement parts. OEM parts are often difficult to locate and can take weeks to arrive. Can you afford that much downtime?
Prices that reflect savings via collective buying power, vs. higher prices as a result of a small or solo operation?
Web-enabled wireless monitoring; a must-have that can detect possible maintenance issues weeks or months before potential equipment failure. Experienced staff familiar with a variety of fluid cooling system solutions. Exceptional customer service, continually meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

The company must take the time to understand your needs and save time, money & frustration. Excellent after sales customer support. The company should have service and support field offices close to your site and offer up to 24×7 response time. Customer referrals. Ask for them and use them.

Where can I find more information?
For more Information, visit Solvemedical , one of the leading authorities /suppliers of air & water cooled refrigeration condensers. Solvemed Chillers offers general purpose and project specific chiller solutions for many applications such as:

Bio-medical: MRI, Laser, semi-conductor, for MRI, CT scan, PET scan, etc.
Semi-conductor: Thermal control of SOC test system and many other SEMI related production applications.
Fermentation: fermentation control and cold stabilization of premium wines.

Solvemedical also offers an online store for replacement parts, and an online quote wizard. With the fastest production lead-times, personal attention to your needs at all stages, and the largest network of engineering and field support professionals in the world, Solvemed Chillers looks forward to working with you on your next project.