Drift Eliminators Keep Water in its Place

Hello, and welcome back to Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc.’s blog! Our last few posts have been focused on specific components that make industrial cooling towers work, and today’s post is going to follow in that same vein. As we are all aware by this point in our blog series, the vast majority of cooling towers used in industrial applications rely on water to dissipate excess heat. Drift eliminators, the subject of today’s post, come into play when excess moisture tries to escape from a tower. Continue reading below to learn more.

What Exactly is a Drift Eliminator?

A drift eliminator, like the fill material we discussed in our previous post, is used to manipulate the water within the cooling tower. All industrial cooling towers that use water experience loss of that water in the form of evaporation. This water loss is acceptable and expected; however,  issues can arise in the form of drift. As the evaporated water rises towards the top of the tower, larger droplets of water will get caught up in the mist and escape through the top of the tower. Not only does this drift cause more water to escape than is necessary, it can also allow harmful chemicals to escape from the cooling tower. To prevent these drops of water from escaping, the rising vapor is forced through a drift eliminator. The drift eliminator is typically made of polyurethane and is comprised of many tightly packed rows molded into the shape of an “S”. When the evaporated water enters the bottom of the “S” it must pass around two curves before exiting through the top. By forcing the vapor to go through these two sharp bends, any water droplets that have been caught by the rising vapor will collect along the drift eliminator and eventually fall back to the bottom of the cooling tower.

Why is Drift Bad?

Now that you know what drift is, you’re probably wondering why it’s a bad thing. As we stated previously, a drift allows excess water to leave the cooling tower due to evaporation. While the amount of water droplets that get carried away by the rising vapor may seem minuscule, every drop of water that escapes reduces the efficiency of the cooling tower. For many industries, their cooling towers run almost constantly and even a small drop in efficiency can lead to wasted  energy and money. Additionally, a drift can allow harmful chemicals to be released into the atmosphere. Most chemicals present in the water of industrial cooling towers are too heavy to rise with the evaporated water, but if too much drift occurs they can escape from their intended space. By using a drift eliminator, industries can better control the amount of chemicals they release into the atmosphere, and ensure that they are operating within state and federal environmental guidelines.
We hope that this post has helped to shed some light on drift eliminators and why they are important for proper industrial cooling tower operation. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have the knowledge and skills to handle any construction or repair project you may have. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and discover why Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. is trusted around the world to deliver professional results in a timely and cost effective manner.