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 /

Vibrations Are Bad For Business

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Vibrations Can turn Cooling Towers Into Cooling Nightmares

 
Hello once again, and welcome back to Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc.’s blog. In our last post we covered variable frequency drives and listed some of the benefits that these devices have for applications in the cooling tower industry. While the benefits of VFDs are pretty straightforward, we thought we would talk about a component of cooling towers that many people outside of the industry never think about: The vibration switch. This tiny little device keeps the whole operation running smoothly, and today it will get the recognition it deserves. We hope that after reading this blog post you will come away with a more confident understand of why vibration switches are so very important.

Feel the Vibrations

To talk about vibration in an industrial setting, we must first define a few terms. Vibration, in the mechanical sense, is the mechanical motion of a machine or machine part away from its equilibrium point. To put it in simpler terms, vibration happens when a part moves back and forth from its intended point of stability. While all machines experience some level of vibration, this motion becomes an issue when it exceeds the allowable safety standards of the given machine. To use an example that most people are familiar with, think of your car’s engine. When you start your car a noticeable vibration is experienced and is totally normal. However, have you ever started your car and noticed too much vibration? If you have then you probably had to get your engine serviced, because an excessive amount of vibration is indicative of engine problems. This same concept applies to any mechanical device, and is especially true in the industrial cooling tower industry.

Cooling Towers are Only as Effective as Their Fans

The Majority of industrial cooling towers use a large fan to circulate air. Whether this fan is placed at the top or the bottom of the tower doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is how efficiently the fan rotates. If a cooling towers fan isn’t rotating at an optimal rate, the tower is not doing the most effective job it can at dissipating heat. Cooling tower fans have rotation issues for multiple reasons, but one of the most common causes of fan failure is excessive vibration. Because these fans rotate at high speeds for extended periods of time, they can run afoul of simple physics. Centrifugal force, the same force that keeps you secured in a rollercoaster when it’s going through a loop, acts upon the fan as it rotates. These fans are designed to handle this force, but even the most well designed mechanical device will experience some issues at one time or another. Over the life of the fan’s operation, centrifugal force slowly but surely warps the equilibrium point of the fan, which in turn causes the fan to vibrate. To mitigate this effect, a vibration switch is installed to monitor the fan at all times.

Vibration Switches are Always Watching

The function of the vibration switch is to monitor the rotation of the fan, and make sure that it is running within the acceptable vibration level specified by the manufacturer. If the vibration switch detects too much vibration, it can be programmed to either slow down the fan’s rotation speed, or halt the fan’s rotation all together. By doing this, the vibration switch prevents the fan from becoming too wobbly and causing potential damage (or complete failure) to the cooling tower. If the vibration levels are considered too severe, maintenance workers can recalibrate the fan and avoid potential issues in the future. With such an important job, the vibration switch is one of the unsung heroes of the cooling tower industry.
If you want to learn more about vibration switches, or are simply interested in cooling towers, give us a visit today at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. Our cooling tower experts have the knowledge and skills needed to construct high-quality cooling towers for the industrial sector. With projects spanning multiple countries, no job is too big. We have proven ourselves to be able to handle jobs from simple applications all the way to complex industrial systems. Contact us today to learn more!

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Comments (0) November 30, 2016 /

Cooling Tower Components: Drift Eliminators

Industrial Cooling Tower

Drift Eliminators Keep Water in its Place

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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.

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Comments (0) November 22, 2016 /

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