The first time we needed to have cooling towers was during the industrial revolution. New machines that created immense heat were being developed and used in the industrial processes. This is what prompted early cooling tower design. The difference between how those early industrial pioneers understood cooling tower technology and how we understand it today is drastically different.
Cooling tower technology has come a long way since its inception. Things that have changed are the overall environmental impact, energy efficiency, water conservation technology, more environmentally friendly reduced emissions, and the actual look of the devices. The basics principles however are quite similar to what they were using 100 years ago. Many of today’s brochures prove the point with their various emphasizes. These elements include:
Access Panels – The systems of today aren’t much different than those of yesteryear. They still have a tendency to get clogged and still require regular maintenance. This requires maintenance personnel to actually enter the unit. This is why louvers many times are hinged or other areas of the cooling tower are designed for easy access.
Corrosive Resistant Fans – These fans are large and typically top mounted. They operate in the stream of air exiting the cooling tower. Because part of the process is evaporation there is a lot of humidity in the air stream. This presents a hot, humid environment that requires a fan system that is constructed to exist in these environments.
Drift Eliminators – Part of the job of the drift eliminator is to simply keep the water in the system. With a cooling tower that has greater than .002% steps need to be taken to prevent chemically treated waster loss. It is expensive to continue treating the water and it can harm the environment, or land on cars, people, or equipment.
Cooling Tower Safety – With OSHA really growing and spreading its wings since the industrial revolution the work place has got increasingly safer. That might seem counterproductive, but safety is first as personal might be replaceable, but people aren’t. You’ll see that cooling tower manufacturers boast their ladders that help technicians safely climb up and do maintenance.
Water Conservation – In the early years steps weren’t taken to protect the cooling towers basins from direct sunlight. In today’s cooling towers the basins are covered from that light for a couple of reasons. Firstly sunlight causes evaporation. Secondly it is unsightly to see inside the basins, so it’s an aesthetic improvement. Having louvers and covers also helps cooling towers avoid Legionnaires ‘disease. Legionnaires’ disease in a cooling tower requires deep cleaning and water cleaning treatments. Avoiding this preserves water and cuts down on the amount of chemicals needed to operate the cooling tower. This means it runs cheaper and is kinder to the environment.
Designed Durability In Cooling Towers
As a facility owner or operator you might be tasked with deciding which cooling tower you need to install. Many manufacturers offer certain solutions to common problems. When you have a cooling tower where stagnant water might be a problem manufacturers offer basin sweepers. When there is a chance of having drift issues with top mounted fans a lot of companies offer forced draft designs. Some industries have especially corrosive elements in their water and FRP or stainless steel parts are offered.
When discussing your cooling tower design with the company building it you might be tempted to have the lowest cost cooling tower put together. This can mean that the cooling tower you get will have varied materials and technology that still allow many of the easily avoidable issues from 100 years ago. Consider what materials are use, avoiding galvanized steel and opting for stainless to keep the water cleaner. Make the decision to choose better materials for fans so they can perform for years in their given environment.
The more consideration you use in the design phase will ensure less maintenance cost, less parts having to be replaced, and a lower long term cost for the company. It also means less downtime for maintenance and repairs.
Cooling Tower Maintenance & Repair
If it’s need your cooling tower maintained, or you want to upgrade some of your parts give your Phoenix cooling tower experts a call.