The Micro-Electronics Facility Efficiency Workshop (1995) report on efficiency in microelectronics facilities suggests there are "benefits of operating chillers using variable speed drives," including "the ability to take full advantage of part-load conditions."
This could be especially important in a mild climate such as the Pacific Northwest [and Northern California] where the chillers may be operating at well below full capacity all but a few hours out of the year. ...it is important to know your chiller manufacturer and to test the chiller performance in the field. ...plots of data [can be] supplied by the manufacturer that a part load[ed chiller] actually ...[will get] less efficient as condensing water temperature [is] decreased. ...plots [were displayed] of actual installed chiller performance measurements for [a] project where the chiller never even came close to the rated efficiency at full or part load. ...detailed monitoring of chiller performance with written performance guarantees with cash penalties for non-performance from the manufacturer [is recommended].