Cooling towers are the essential mechanism that reject heat generated from industrial processes. These systems are important for many businesses to continue efficient operations. Regular maintenance of cooling towers can increase operational efficiency while reducing costs. It is crucial to understand the different types of cooling towers, how to clean them, and how maintenance saves you money on operating costs.
There are two general types of cooling towers known as natural draft and mechanical draft. Natural draft towers utilize the natural convection of the air to facilitate flow. On the other hand, mechanical draft towers generate airflow through the use of fans. Natural draft cooling towers are larger and are cheaper to operate, while mechanical draft towers are smaller but cost more to run. The towers possess more moving parts, which means more areas to breakdown.
Cleaning Cooling Towers
Regardless of the tower your industry utilizes, it is critical that you keep it clean. Fill media is placed inside the tower to increase surface area contact between the water and air which facilitates the cooling process. The 2 types of fill media are called film and splash. Film media spreads the water out on a thin film, while splash media breaks the water into small droplets to mix with the air. Both processes are dependent on clean water and having little to no debris.
Unfortunately, calcium buildup is inevitable. This issue requires you to check the fill media constantly to ensure that there are no obstructions. This type of maintenance is important for keeping your cooling towers in peak operating condition.
Regular maintenance of your cooling towers will save you money in operations and energy usage. For instance, the less clean your tower is, the longer and harder it needs to work to achieve the same cooling goals. This problem increases stress on your system of chillers and exchangers because the system must operate at higher condensing pressures to satisfy the load. These increased stress reduces the life of your tower and increases maintenance requirements, in turn causing you to spend more money.
Cooling towers, while strong machines, require detailed inspections to ensure that they are operating at peak efficiency.