Industrial Cooling Tower Materials

Industrial Cooling Tower

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Industrial Cooling Towers are Made From Many Materials

Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have a wealth of experience in building industrial cooling towers. These towers are vital to a wide range of businesses including, but not limited to, power generation, chemical plants, metal processing plants, and fertilizer production. With such a wide range of businesses in need of industrial cooling solutions, options had to be made available to fit each application’s needs. A cooling tower that may be perfect for a geothermal power plant might not work as well for a plant the specializes in producing industrial chemicals. In today’s post, we are going to go over the different types of materials used in the construction of industrial cooling tower and the advantages and disadvantages that they offer.

Industry and Environment Greatly Affect Industrial Cooling Tower Design

When determining what materials to use in constructing our industrial cooling towers, we here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. consider a wide range of variables. To select the right materials, our team of engineers consider factors such as usage of the tower, the climate of the area the tower will be located, type of exposure to corrosive agents, imposed loads, cost, and the availability of materials in relation to the construction site. Once we have done this research, we determine what type of tower will best suit the needs and budget of our clients. Most commonly, we build towers out of three types of material.

  • Wood: Most early cooling towers were built out of wood. At the time, wood was cost-effective, resilient, and, most importantly, easier to work with. In the modern world of industrial cooling towers, wood towers are less common because they are susceptible to environmental factors and are less durable than other types of towers. Despite these drawbacks, wood towers can be desirable for certain projects because they can be constructed quickly and at a lower cost than other cooling tower types.
  • Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer: In recent years, fiberglass reinforced polymer, or FRP, has become an increasingly popular choice for industrial cooling tower construction. FRP is praised for its reliability and durability and is also highly cost effective. FRP towers are chemically resistant, lightweight, inorganic, and able to resist rot and decay. Additionally, FRP is sometimes desired in place of wood because it is naturally fire retardant, stronger than wood, and more flexible than wood. This flexibility is especially important in areas that experience heavy storms or an excessive amount of ice build up.
  • Concrete: Although concrete towers have many benefits, depending on the country, location of the construction site, and the availability of materials to both mix and reinforce the concrete, concrete may or may not be a cost-effective material choice. However, if concrete is deemed to be the best material to use on a project, it comes with a plethora of benefits. Concrete is long lasting, fireproof, requires very low maintenance, and is an ideal material to use in areas where the industrial cooling tower will be exposed to harsh elements. Though the initial cost may be higher than other materials, concrete is a great material to use if longevity and durability are a main focus in the tower’s design.

We hope that this blog has helped to shed a little more light on the materials used in industrial cooling tower construction projects, why certain materials are used over others, and the advantages that these materials offer to our clients. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we handle every project with a level of care and dedication that sets us apart from the competition. We have built a wide variety of industrial cooling towers in a wide range of conditions and environments, allowing us to gain experience that we can pass onto our clients. We complete our projects in a timely, safe, and efficient manner, helping your industry get back to business with as little interruption or downtime as possible.
When you are ready to plan your next industrial cooling tower construction project, contact the experts at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to deliver high-quality industrial cooling towers to a wide range of industries. Don’t settle for second best, contact us today and get your project rolling.

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Comments (0) January 31, 2017 /

Common Industrial Cooling Tower Issues

Industrial Cooling Tower Industrial Cooling Tower

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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.

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Comments (0) January 31, 2017 /

Choosing The Right Industrial Cooling Tower Contractor

Industrial Cooling Tower

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Industrial Cooling Towers are Only as Good as Their Contractors

Hello, and welcome back to our blog. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have a reputation for producing high-quality, durable, and efficient industrial cooling towers. For many industries, cooling towers can be a large expense. With this in mind, we feel it is important that our current and future clients understand what it takes to produce quality industrial cooling towers. In today’s post, we are going to go over some of the qualities that you will need to look for in your cooling tower contractor to ensure you are getting the best cooling tower for your money.

A Good Contractor Remains Updated and Connected

Like nearly every industry, industrial cooling towers are constantly changing and evolving. When choosing a contractor for your next job, it is important to choose one that keeps up with the latest trends and developments in the industrial cooling tower world. This means that they need to attend events and seminars relating to cooling towers in order for them to gauge the pulse of their customer base. By keeping up with what the customer wants, contractors are able to incorporate new elements or designs in their industrial cooling towers that may be preferable to their customer base.

Contractors Must Have Integrity

When choosing a contractor to construct your counterflow or crossflow cooling tower, it is important to find one that you feel produces quality work and has a reputation for integrity. Most industrial cooling tower jobs range in the millions of dollars, and it is important that you feel this money isn’t being wasted on frivolous materials or extra construction time. Additionally, being confident in the quality of your contractor’s work should be high on your list of priorities. Because of the investment required for an industrial cooling tower job, you don’t want to later find out that your contractor charged you for a quality product when in fact they delivered sub-par work.

Demand Reasonable Rates

While all industrial cooling tower jobs are different, you should expect a reasonable rate from your contractor. If you feel that they are charging you more than they should for the job you require, you are probably right in questioning their pricing. When determining if their estimate for your job is reasonable or not, be sure to consider the conditions that the tower will be constructed in, the climate, and how easy it is to bring in raw materials and workers to the job site. As an added measure of safety, we recommend that you get quotes from multiple contractors to ensure that you are receiving a rate that is pretty standard across the industry as a whole.
By following these simple safety steps, we here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., feel that you will have the resources necessary to make an informed decision when choosing your next industrial cooling tower contractor. On a final note, we recommend that you give us a call for your next industrial cooling tower job. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff have an excellent track record of producing high-quality cooling towers in a plethora of conditions and environments.

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Comments (0) January 9, 2017 /

Water Cooling For Power Plants

Industrial Cooling Tower

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At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we find all forms of industrial cooling interesting. While we mostly focus on our counterflow and crossflow cooling towers, today we wanted to talk about another form of industrial cooling. Water cooling is an important process for thousands of industrial plants across the nation, but are most important in their application of cooling industrial power plants. Generating power produces a lot of heat and that heat has to be mitigated in a safe, responsible, and cost-effective way. To learn more about how power plants use water cooling systems, continue reading below.

Thermoelectric Power Plants Require Industrial Cooling

In the United States, we get about 90 percent of our electricity from thermoelectric plants. Thermoelectric plants are plants that utilize coal, natural gas, oil, or nuclear rods to produce power. To create power, these plants use their respective energy sources to boil water and generate steam. This steam is then fed through turbines, generating electricity. Once the steam has passed through the turbines it must be cooled again so that it can be recycled back into the plant’s power generation system. To cool this rising steam, thermoelectric plants utilize three main methods.
Once-through: In this method of industrial cooling, systems use water from a nearby source and circulate it through pipes to absorb the steam’s heat in systems called condensers. Once the water has effectively cooled the steam, it is discharged back into a local water source where it will naturally cool. This method of industrial cooling was initially the most popular form of cooling available to plants, because of the simplicity of the system and the low cost to run it. While this type of industrial cooling is still widespread along the eastern United States, most new power plants do not use this system to cool steam. This shift away from once-through systems is due largely to the fact that these systems can cause some major disruptions to the local ecosystems around the plant. Siphoning water from local water sources and then reintroducing warm water into the same system can cause damage local rivers, lakes, and aquifers.
Closed-loop: Closed-loop systems are the main reason that cooling towers even exist. In this method of industrial cooling, heated water is run through a second cycle instead of being discharged back into the original water source. In most closed-loop systems, cooling towers are used to lower the temperature of the water by exposing it to the outside air. While some of the water does evaporate, the effective use of fill media allows most cooling towers to reclaim the vast majority of water that is funneled into them. While this type of industrial cooling system withdraws less water from local sources than once-through systems, it tends to have a considerably higher rate of water consumption.
Dry-Cooling: In this type of industrial cooling, air is used instead of water to cool the steam as it exits the turbine of a thermoelectric plant. This system dissipates heat by routing the steam towards an array of A-framed tubes while a fan blows the steam directly across the tubes. As the steam passes over the metal tubes it condenses, and the cooled water is collected to be reused. While dry-cooling systems use no water and can decrease a power plant’s water consumption by up to 90 percent, they require a higher initial cost, higher auxiliary operating power, and can result in overall lower plant performance and efficiency. Lower plant efficiency means that a plant must use more fuel to produce the same amount of electricity, and can lead to a greater impact on the environment. As a result, most dry-cooling systems are only used in small scale thermoelectric plants.
While we obviously have a preference for closed-loop cooling systems (because they require cooling towers), we can appreciate the other methods of effectively cooling steam as it exits thermoelectric power plants. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have a track record for fast, professional, and safe industrial cooling tower installations, conversions, and upgrades. To learn more about our industrial cooling tower services, visit our website or contact us today. Let us show you the wonders of industrial cooling towers.

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Comments (0) January 4, 2017 /

Environmental Concerns And Industrial Cooling Towers

Industrial Cooling Tower

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Cooling Towers Love The Environment Too

As you are probably already aware, we here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. are experts on industrial cooling towers. Our knowledge and experience has given us valuable insight into the world of cooling towers, and today we’re going to talk about a subject that many people find concerning: The environment. In a world that seems  to be going through some pretty heavy environmental changes, we want to help clear the air in regard to industrial cooling towers. While it may seem like these towers are releasing a lot of harmful stuff to the average person, cooling towers are actually designed to reduce pollution as much as possible. To learn more about the steps taken to reduce pollution in industrial cooling applications continue reading below.

Drift Is Bad, That’s Why We Eliminate It

As we discussed in our previous post, drift is an unavoidable side effect of industrial cooling tower performance. Drift occurs when water droplets that are caught in the rising steam escape the tower. Drift is an environmental concern, because it allows potentially harmful chemicals to unintentionally escape the cooling tower. While most chemicals are too heavy to be carried by steam alone, water droplets serve as a convenient vessel for these chemicals to latch onto. While this sounds like quite an environmental issue, drift can be effectively mitigated through the use of drift eliminators in cooling towers. By forcing the rising steam to pass through a drift eliminator, the water droplets in the steam collect along the surface, merge together, and fall back into the cooling tower’s water basin. So, the next time you see steam escaping a cooling tower, remember that steps have been taken to ensure that the steam is as clean as possible.

Blowdown is Necessary, But Not Necessarily Bad

Most industrial cooling towers these days use water to eliminate heat. As water naturally evaporates from the cooling process and escapes the tower, the remaining water becomes saturated with chemicals, dissolved minerals, and other undesirable elements. Over time, this dirty water must be flushed from the cooling tower to ensure proper performance is maintained. This process, known as blowdown, has raised concerns in the past from environmental groups because of the potential release of these chemicals into the surrounding environment. However, these concerns are largely unfounded. As any industry knows, running afoul of the Environmental Protection Agency is a sure fire way to gain negative publicity and potential fines. As a result, industries use water treatment and removal services that are well-versed in EPA regulations, and take the necessary steps to treat and dispose of the blowdown in a way that is not detrimental to the environment.

Eliminate Cross-Contamination With Proper Maintenance

One of the biggest environmental concerns in regard to industrial cooling towers is cross-contamination. Cross-contamination occurs when leaks from process equipment attached to a cooling tower introduce chemicals to the system that would otherwise not be present. In layman’s terms, cross-contamination happens when something leaks into a tower that shouldn’t. Most often, cross-contamination occurs when a faulty heat exchanger starts to leak chemicals into a tower, causing the water medium to become saturated with chemicals that it was never intended to handle. While this is always a concern, cross-contamination can be effectively eliminated by routinely checking tower components for faults or leaks. Again, because no industry wants to get on the EPA’s bad side, redundant maintenance checks are put in place to ensure that all components of the tower are doing their job without leaking unwanted substances into the tower itself.
We hope that this post has helped to alleviate any concerns you may have had in regard to industrial cooling towers. While no tower will be 100 percent environmentally friendly, multiple steps are taken to ensure that the least amount of pollution possible is released from these towers. The next time you see a cooling tower releasing steam, just remember that steam is almost 100 percent of what it is releasing. At Industrial Cooling Solutions In., we are dedicated to responsible environmental maintenance, and we take every step necessary in our cooling tower production to ensure that pollution is reduced. Contact us today or visit our website, and see why Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. is a trusted provider of cooling tower solutions around the world.

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Comments (0) November 30, 2016 /

Variable Frequency Drives Save Money

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Hello, and welcome back to our blog! In our previous posts, we laid down a few basics about industrial cooling towers, such as why they are important and which type works best for a specific industry. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we understand that not everybody is as well-versed in the systems and parts that make an industrial cooling tower work. In today’s post, we are going to cover one common component of cooling towers: Variable frequency drives.

What is a Variable Frequency Drive?

Variable Frequency Drives, or VFDs for short, are computer controlled, electric motors that are connected to fans located in many industrial cooling towers. The VFDs’ job is to correctly identify the motor rotation of the fan and ensure that it is spinning in the correct direction at all times. To do this, the VFD is started, slows the fan down to zero rotations, and restarts the fan in the correct rotation. The VFD is also responsible for ensuring that the fan is rotating at an optimal speed while in use, and it can be used in emergencies to completely shut down a fan.

Why are VFDs Beneficial?

VFDs have many benefits when it comes to ensuring that cooling towers perform at their maximum efficiency. VFDs are beneficial for cooling towers that are located in cold climates, because they can run the fan at a slower speed than normal. By rotating the fan at a slower speed, the cooling tower’s temperature is raised and ice is prevented from forming on the tower. Conversely, during warmer months, a VFD can automatically run the fan at a higher speed (but still within acceptable safety ranges) to increase cooling efficiency. By doing these things, a VFD helps to reduce energy consumption from the fan, reduces maintenance issues, and helps to keep the cooling tower running as smoothly as possible.

VFDs Sound Cool, But Can’t A Person Do The Same Thing?

While the VFDs’ main function may sound simple (simply controlling the speed of a fan), it is a little more complex than that. While fans can be manually regulated by a worker, a VFD provides a level of control and accuracy that just cannot be replicated by a human. The VFD is always watching, always adjusting, and never gets tired. Additionally, variable frequency drives help to eliminate the need for other cooling tower controls such as electrical brakes, time delay relays, and anti-ratcheting devices. Coupling a VFD with a vibration switch, which identifies any mechanical resonance that occurs at high rotation speeds, can effectively eliminate any issues associated with vibrations caused by the fan. The VFD can achieve this because these vibration speeds can be relayed to the VFD, at which point it will adjust the fan speed to compensate for any unwanted mechanical vibrations.
At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have the experience, resources, and qualified professionals to handle any industrial cooling tower job. Our past projects speak for themselves, and our footprint can be seen on a global scale. Contact us today to discuss your next cooling tower job, and learn why Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. is a trusted name in the cooling tower industry.

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Comments (0) November 22, 2016 /

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