What is a Cooling Tower?

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A cooling tower is a heat exchanger which, through evaporation, removes heat from the water and that rejected heat is transferred to the atmosphere. The cooling process occurs when the hot water contacts the air drawn through the cooling tower, this reduces the temperature of the hot water.  To improve upon the efficiency of the cooling process, the effective surface area of the water running through the cooling tower is often increased by spraying, splashing or filming of the water to expose more of the water surface area to the air. Evaporative cooling is commonly seen when one steps out of the shower, the water drops still on your body evaporate quickly, leaving one with a cooling sensation.  When a person sweats on a hot summer day, it is to help the body cool down. Sweat glands release sweat onto the skin, which then evaporates and helps reduce the body’s internal temperature.

How Do Cooling Towers Work?

Cooling towers hot water intakes spray hot water, usually pumped through FRP or PVC pipe headers, over PVC fill media. The fill acts as a heat transfer enhancer by providing the maximum amount of water surface area to transfer heat. The water and the air passing through come together, creating evaporative cooling. There is a small amount of water loss through evaporation, which is the result of cooling down the water. The remaining water falls into a water basin to be reused or pumped back into the cooling system. The cooling towers ICS builds are custom heat exchangers to meet industrial customer needs.

Where Are Cooling Towers Used?

Cooling towers are often used in commercial and industrial applications, but in this section, we will focus on industrial applications.

Power plants like biomass, gas – fired, nuclear, and geothermal power all use industrial cooling towers to cool-down processes. Additionally, petrochemicals, oil refineries, pulp and paper plants also use cooling towers to cool process water.

What Are The Different Types of Cooling Towers?

Natural Drafts or Atmospheric Cooling Towers: This type of cooling tower does not require mechanical components to operate, instead, the hot water is sprayed and the airflow through the tower is produced by the density difference between the less dense air inside the cooling tower stack and the more dense air outside the tower.
The natural draft cooling tower can be designed and erected as counterflow or crossflow as well.

Mechanical Draft: Mechanical draft cooling towers are categorized into an induced or forced draft type. These types of towers are usually driven by motors coupled to gear reducers connected to axial fans. It is common to see the cooling towers with a single fan but there are cases where the need of two fans per cell is required to meet the airflow volume.

Induced Draft: These types of cooling towers have axial fans on top of the cell. The fans move the air by suction instead of forcing (pushing) the airflow through the cooling tower. These types of cooling towers have air discharge velocity higher than the entrance velocity. Because of the high discharge velocity, the induced draft cooling towers are less probable to experience recirculation.

Forced Draft: These types are characterized by high airspeed at the air inlet (entrance) and low exit velocities. This makes them susceptible to recirculation and therefore are considered less efficient. Additionally, due to the location of the fans, these types are subject to developing severe icing during the winter months.

Induced and forced draft cooling towers can be built in counterflow or crossflow configurations.

Counterflow Cooling Towers: Air moves vertically upward, entering the cooling tower through the air inlets, then passing through the fill and counter to the down spray of the hot water. Due to the enclosed nature of these types of cooling towers, water is not exposed to the environment; thereby retarding the growth of algae.

Crossflow Cooling Towers: On this type of cooling towers, air moves through the fill positioned horizontally across the downward fall of water. The hot water is poured into hot water basins located at the top of the fill and it is distributed by gravity through nozzles on the floor of the hot water basins.

 

Whether you need to repair, upgrade or rebuild your tower, we customize solutions to restore your tower to its optimal condition and operational performance. Our innovative designs will increase tower efficiency, boost profitability, and ensure safety and longevity. Contact us today to request a quote!

 

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Comments (0) November 24, 2020 /

How To Inspect A Cooling Tower – Part 2

Cooling Tower Services

Hello, and welcome back to our blog here at Industrial Cooling Solutions. ICS is located in Lakewood, Colorado with offices around the world. Our highest priority is to provide our clients with innovative cooling solutions that are both environmentally sustainable and feasible for any business.

If you recall from last time, we talked about how to inspect a cooling tower. If you haven’t yet read our first blog on this subject, you can read it here. This time, we’re going to cover the rest of the procedure. If you’ve never done a cooling tower inspection before, you should know that there is no set-in-stone way of going about it. However, there are some general ideas that you should keep in mind as you do it. Once you’ve done your first inspection, you can develop a procedure that will work best for your company and the type of cooling tower you have.

Louvers

A louver is a component that allows air to pass through it while preventing water, dirt, and other debris from entering. If your Louver is removable, you should check for effectiveness and structural integrity.

Cold and Hot Water Basins

One of the most challenging aspects of maintaining a cooling tower is keeping the cold water basin clean and free of other debris like biological growth. Airborne debris may pass through the louvers and sit in the basin, exposed to sunlight. Once this happens, water treatment chemicals may be your only option to combat the biological growth. Take note of this as you perform your inspections. Hot water basins in crossflow towers may corrode and result in inadequate spray distribution over the fill material. You should check the basin for holes and a sagging fill caused by excessive water force on a specific area. The nozzles on the basin can also become clogged due to rusting sheet metal or piping. You may be able to replace your hot water basin with galvanized or stainless steel.

Mechanical Equipment

Like with all components, you’ll want to check for structural integrity, unusual noises, and vibration. If you’re able to, check the RPMs, airflow, and amperage. Any leaks should be noted and documented.

Water Treatment

Your water treatment methods and results should be well documented. It is best practice to manage these processes regularly and perform tests to ensure efficiency and safety.

Other inspections

If you can think of any other inspections that need to be done on your cooling tower, don’t hesitate to add them to your list. Depending on your system, you may need to check hardware, circulating water percentage, fire protection systems and more. Every company will have different needs so you should continue to refine your inspections as you see fit.

Contact Industrial Cooling Solutions

Industrial Cooling Solutions combines American-based engineering with localized engineering and field service to provide each client with world-class industrial cooling services at a competitive price. We provide solutions for Power Generation, Geothermal Power, Refining, Petrochemical, Chemical industries, and more. When you contact Industrial Cooling Solutions, we’ll work closely with you to determine what issue you’re having. We’ll help you decide whether you need cooling tower replacement components, upgrades, a complete system install, or a simple repair. No matter which services you trust us with, you’ll be guaranteed to see increased tower efficiency, improved profitability, safety, and longevity. Our dedicated staff has an immense amount of experience with applications in all industries. The quality of our products and services are unmatched by our competitors, so give us a call today or browse our site to learn more.

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Comments (0) March 10, 2018 /

How To Inspect A Cooling Tower

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Depending on what type of cooling tower you have, the way you inspect it can vary. Large, multi-cell industrial cooling towers tend to be much more difficult to inspect than small packaged units, and small units tend to be much quicker. Although there is no set-in-stone way of inspecting a cooling tower, there is still a basic set of things that should be taken into consideration. Once you’ve established a foundation for your inspection, you can start to adapt it to your business’ needs.

Inspect the Site

You should start every cooling tower inspection with a general inspection of the site. Is the area free of debris and other obstructions that may affect the way the way your cooling tower performs? Is there recirculation like discharge flume returning to the inlet? These are all questions you should ask yourself as you inspect the area. Make sure to take notes as you go so you know what you’ll need to work on. Another thing you should look for is environmental factors. Are there trees in the area releasing pollen or are there leaves all over on the ground? Is your cooling unit exposed to chemicals, dirt, sand, or anything else that may be destructive? Make note of it.

Inspect the Units

It never hurts to check the manufacturer, model number, and serial number of your unit if you don’t already have this information on record. If there is no branding on your unit or your company doesn’t have any record of it, you should take measurements that will help you better understand your cooling tower. Additionally, you should be taking pictures so that you can reference individual components without having to go back to the site. These measurements will be important when you need to make repairs or replacements.

Frame

As you go into a deeper inspection of your unit, you should take a look at the overall structure of it. Does it appear to be sturdy and not have any missing or loose components? If it’s exposed to extreme weather conditions, this will be an important step.

Pipes

Both pipes that are outside of the perimeter of the cooling tower and pipes that belong to the cooling tower should be inspected. You should check for structural soundness as well as proper installation.

Fill

The fill is an integral component in your cooling tower. It’s the medium used to increase the surface area of the tower, allowing for maximized air-water contact, thus resulting in greater evaporation rates and more cooling. When you inspect your fill, check its general physical condition, look for algae growth, fouling, and other deposits, or uneven water distribution.

Drift Eliminators

Drift eliminators are important for preventing water droplets and mist from leaving the cooling tower by causing water droplets to change direction. Check for areas of excessive drift as you inspect this component.



Industrial Cooling Solutions

Whether you’re looking for cooling tower repairs, replacement, upgrades, or a brand new installation, Industrial Cooling Solutions is your dependable outlet for all your needs. Our company was founded with the mission to create value for our customers by developing and implementing innovative cooling solutions that are financially and technically feasible, all the while, being environmentally sustainable.

Headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, we have placements in Japan, Thailand, as well as representatives located globally. Our professional staff come from various backgrounds in cooling tower, power generation, and other relevant fields. Each one of our employees is dedicated, hardworking, and committed to the success of our clients. Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about the cooling tower inspection process and contact us today.

Learn more here in part 2 of how to inspect a cooling tower.

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Comments (0) March 5, 2018 /

Cooling Towers In Cold Weather

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Depending on where you are in the world, there’s most likely a cold season that could present a potential change in the way you operate your cooling tower. If the temperature is cold and there’s snow, there are several things you should do to keep your rooftop unit chiller operating as efficiently as possible.
When it’s cold out you may notice that your cooling tower may fail to restart after turning off or operate inefficiently. Follow these tips to ensure that your cooling tower operates efficiently even during the coldest days and nights:

Remove Biological Contaminants

Preventing bacteria growth is important for making sure your cooling tower runs as efficiently as possible. Bacteria growth, scale and lime can all contribute to making a tower run poorly, so you should use the necessary chemicals to kill them. Bacteria can also increase corrosion rate which can negatively impact the rate of heat transfer. If it’s a closed system that has no water added, you should only need to do this when the system is installed.

Remove Ice and Snow

You should regularly inspect your unit and remove ice and snow from your condenser unit, coils and fan blades. This debris acts as a barrier when it comes to heat transfer.

Apply Antifreeze

Antifreeze in a cool tower will work similar to antifreeze in a car: it will reduce the temperature at which the water freezes. Even during the coldest nights your water will flow smoothly and without a hitch.

Keep The Heat

If your water pump is running continuously, the water that enters the tower will be warmer than the water that’s currently in the tower. Since cooling towers are designed to take heat from the building to the tower and pumps produce heat, you’ll be maintaining the heat in the tower.

Contact Industrial Cooling Solutions

Industrial Cooling Solutions is an American-based cooling tower company offering its clients cooling tower replacement, repair, upgrade, and installation services. Our experienced staff is experienced with servicing cooling towers for all applications and industries and are committed to the success of each company that reaches out to us. Our refined cooling tower services are designed to improve your tower’s efficiency, boost profitability, and ensure safety and longevity every time. If you would like to learn more about ICS, read through our website or contact us today to get started. We’d be glad to hear from you.

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Comments (0) February 23, 2018 /

Concrete Versus FRP Cooling Towers Pt. 2

Cooling Tower Services Industrial Cooling Tower

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Is an FRP Cooling Tower the Right Choice for Your Project?

Hello, dear reader, and welcome to part two of our blog series highlighting the advantages that FRP materials have over concrete in industrial cooling tower design. While we aren’t suggesting that certain applications won’t call for a concrete tower design, overall we are confident that FRP materials are a better choice in the majority of cases. In our last post, we listed a couple of advantages FRP has during the construction and design phase and, in today’s post, we are going to highlight some of the maintenance benefits associated with FRP cooling towers. We hope that by the end of this blog you feel more confident in your decision between these two materials.

Maintenance is a Necessary Part of Industrial Cooling Towers

All machines, no matter how well they are designed and manufactured, require maintenance. Industrial cooling towers are no exception to this rule and, often, maintenance costs over the life of the tower can become quite an expense. Below, we have listed a few ways that FRP cooling towers are easier to maintain than concrete cooling towers.

  • Cleaning: If you have spent time around an industrial cooling tower, you are well aware that they require routine, thorough cleaning. Scale buildup and biological growth can quickly inhibit the efficacy of a cooling tower and must be handled accordingly. FRP cooling towers allow for scale build-up and algae to be washed or brushed away with ease. Concrete cooling towers, on the other hand, are porous and tend to hold onto undesirable particles and growth that must be thoroughly scrubbed away. Not only do concrete cooling towers require more frequent cleanings, the amount of labor required to complete those cleanings is much more when compared to an FRP tower.Further, the closer spacing of the structure in the FRP cooling tower allows for easier cleaning without excessive scaffolding. Concrete towers have large spans in structure, thus requiring substantial pre-cleaning safety planning and large amounts of costly scaffolding to allow cleaning teams to safely access and clean the structure.
  • General Maintenance: Every industrial cooling tower requires maintenance at some point. FRP cooling towers are one of the easiest designs to maintain. If the tower structure becomes damaged in any way, the identified components can simply be removed and replaced and the tower is good as new. If a concrete cooling tower becomes damaged, however, things aren’t as easy. Concrete tends to crack and corrode over time and repairs can be costly, expensive, and time consuming. Especially in brackish or seawater conditions which can be very aggressive to concrete structures. Where FRP cooling towers can be repaired in a matter of hours, concrete cooling towers require substantial time for preparation, chipping, patching and time for the concrete to cure, a process which can take days.

We hope that this short blog series has done an adequate job in explaining the reasons we believe that FRP cooling towers are superior to concrete cooling towers for the majority of applications. FRP towers are much faster and easier to assemble, require less maintenance, and perform better than concrete cooling towers over their lifespan. If you would like to learn more about our FRP cooling tower options, please visit our website today. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. we are experts in the design, construction, and maintenance of FRP industrial cooling towers and we would love to leverage our experience to help you with your next cooling tower project.

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Comments (0) March 29, 2017 /

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