Industrial Cooling Towers, Like All Things, Experience Issues
As anyone will tell you who has purchased any type of machinery, issues crop up. While machines are designed to be as durable and efficient as possible, they all inevitably need maintenance. Nothing performs perfectly forever and this is especially true for industrial grade machinery. Industrial machines have to deal with a workload that is near constant and, as a result, need much more maintenance than a lawnmower or car engine. Although industrial cooling towers are designed to be as efficient and maintenance-free as possible, they too occasionally need a little tender love and care. In today’s post, we here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. are going to go over some common issues that can industrial cooling towers develop and how to properly maintain them.
Water is Both the Best and Worst Thing for Industrial Cooling Towers
Although some industrial cooling tower designs do not make use of water, the vast majority do. Water is, so far, the best options for eliminating heat from industrial processes because it is efficient and cost effective. However, anyone who has dealt with a machine that must deal with water knows that water can cause some pretty nasty issues. This is compounded with industrial cooling towers because often times the water picks up contaminants from the heat that it is trying to mitigate. Below, we have listed the most common issues that arise in industrial cooling towers due to water.
- Scale Buildup: The buildup of scale is one of the most common issues in the world of industrial cooling. Scale if most often formed by the build up of inorganic mineral compounds present in the water such as calcium phosphate, iron oxide, and magnesium silicate. As scale buildup coats the inside of an industrial cooling tower the heat transfer efficiency is reduced. If the scale buildup is left unattended, it can lead to higher energy costs to run the cooling tower and may even require the entire cooling system to be shut down and serviced. The best way to prevent scale buildup is to routinely clean towers and reduce the amount of mineral buildup.
- Corrosion: While it is true that over time water will corrode just about any substance known to man, water is not the main culprit when it comes to corrosion in industrial cooling towers. While it is true that water is the vehicle that provides the corrosive elements to travel, the elements themselves are more harmful than the water could every be. Many industrial cooling towers are exposed to harsh industrial chemicals during their lifespans. Corrosion can become a major issue because it can decrease cooling efficiency, increase energy costs, and in extreme cases cause damage or destruction to equipment within the tower. Again, the best way to mitigate corrosion is to routinely clean towers. Additionally, choosing tower materials that are naturally resistant to corrosion, such as FRP, is a great way to eliminate the problem of corrosion.
- Fouling: Fouling simply refers to the process by which the water in an industrial cooling tower becomes soiled. Because so many industrial cooling towers scrub dirt, dust, and chemical components out of the air that they are cooling, the water can quickly become contaminated. If left untreated, this soiled water can clog up the water nozzles in the tower, reducing efficiency and increasing energy consumption. To help reduce the amount of fouling that occurs, it is important to have a well-maintained filtration system as well as a chemical treatment to break down the contaminants in the water.
- Microorganisms: While the previous issues were mostly the fault of chemicals found in the water of industrial cooling towers, microorganisms can be blamed entirely on the water itself. Everyone knows that if air and water mix for a long enough period of time in a closed environment, things are going to begin to grow. Algae, bacteria, and fungi can all form in industrial cooling towers and can have some serious effects on the health of those that are around the cooling tower on a daily basis. Additionally, the buildup of algae and fungi can reduce the efficiency of heat transfer, compromise the integrity of the tower, and increase energy loss. To prevent the development of microorganisms in an industrial cooling tower, it is important to clean the tower routinely with an anti-microbial cleaner.
When you are in need of industrial cooling tower maintenance, contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solution Inc. We will ensure that your industrial cooling tower(s) is running as efficiently as possible and perform any maintenance to improve performance. Don’t let your tower degrade, contact us today.