The Environmental Advantage of Cooling Towers vs Once-Through Cooling Systems

Industrial Cooling Tower


Did you know that before industrial cooling towers existed, there was a more archaic system called once-through cooling (OTC)? The old system, while functional, wreaked much more havoc on the environment, paving the way for innovative solutions to take their place.
Unfortunately, even though new factories and plants aren’t built with OTC systems, there is still a large percentage of older installations (particularly along the east coast) that haven’t been upgraded. To understand how important industrial cooling towers are, it’s necessary to understand why they were so needed in the first place. In this post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why cooling towers are a far better solution than OTC systems.

How it Works

Industrial cooling towers and OTC mechanisms both serve the same purpose — they’re both water cooling systems that are utilized in factories and plants. The functionality of a water cooling system is relatively simple; machines get hot, and water is used to cool them down.
In a once-through system, the factory withdraws a large amount of water from a local water source, runs it through their system, and then dumps it all out back into where it came from. Meanwhile, a system that uses cooling towers recycles the water, cooling it down so it can be reused for its original purposes. Once-through is a “one and done” system, while recirculating systems operate in a way that’s more economical and efficient

Why OTC Is Harmful to the Environment

Tainted Water Kills the Wildlife

In an OTC system, a large amount of water is sucked into the factory or plant, and circulated through its entire system, cooling the various machines and technology that run too hot. Once the water has done its job, it’s dumped back into the source.
The water that returns isn’t the same water that went in — technically it is, but the returning water is usually scathing hot, and tainted with residue from the metals that make up the factory. The temperature change and chemicals kill a fair share of local wildlife.
The Cooling Tower Advantage: With cooling towers, water isn’t returned to the source at all. Instead, it’s withdrawn into the factory and recirculated. Evaporating techniques remove the heat out of it, so it can go multiple rounds. Tainted water can’t kill fish when it never gets back into the source to begin with.


Excessive Water Consumption

One major problem with OTC systems is that they withdraw massive amounts of water for every single cooling cycle. Even though the water is eventually returned, it’s tainted, and some of it is lost every time. In an area with a limited water supply, an OTC plant can suck the area dry over time.
This also spells disaster for local water life; depleting habitats predictably wreak havoc on animal populations, and even land animals can start to suffer when their supply gets too low.
The Cooling Tower Advantage: Industrial Cooling Towers solve this problem because they’re much more generous in the way they withdraw water. Essentially, once it’s pulled in enough water to cool its systems, the water is recirculated and cooled by the towers. The heat is evaporated out of the supply, so a small amount of water is lost, but most of it remains, ready for the next cycle.
The next time the system withdraws water, it will only pull in the amount that was lost, which is negligible compared to an OTC plant.
It might seem like this would lead to long-term water loss; the factory never returns water and keeps drawing more, so it would deplete in the long-term, right? While the logic is sound, in reality, most water sources are able to replenish at an equal rate through natural means, such as rivers or rainfall. OTC systems pull out quantities that are too big too often, preventing the source from being able to keep the pace when it replenishes itself.

Industrial Cooling Towers – An Elegant Solution

Now more than ever, it’s important for us to be good stewards over the environment that we’re a part of, and this couldn’t be more true than with factory and plant owners, who have the potential to inflict enormous damage on surrounding ecosystems if they’re not careful.
Fortunately, industrial cooling towers have solved many of the problems that OTC plants cause. We’re moving in a positive direction, and at Industrial Cooling Solutions, we’re happy to supply companies with high quality industrial cooling towers that are not only more efficient than the old system, but more environmentally conscious as well. Do you have a need for cooling solutions? Contact us today for a free quote!

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) March 28, 2018 /

Why FRP is Superior to Wood, Aluminum, Steel, and Concrete

Industrial Cooling Tower


While the type of materials that make up industrial cooling towers probably isn’t something that you find yourself pondering in your spare time, it’s nonetheless something that you’ll have to be aware of when it comes to getting a new cooling tower. Whether you’re installing a new system entirely or replacing some of your older industrial cooling towers, investing in the right material will go a long way.
At Industrial Cooling Solutions, it’s no secret that we believe FRP (fiberglass reinforced polymer) is the best choice for your cooling towers. Wood, steel, concrete, and aluminum are all materials that cooling towers can be made with, but we believe that FRP is far and away the best choice, for several reasons.

Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion, in the context of cooling towers, is the gradual decay or deterioration of its material due to the surrounding environment. Since industrial cooling towers spend 100 percent of their time exposed to the elements, it’s important to consider a material that will hold up well.
Wood: Wood can warp, rot, or decay from exposure to water and other elements. It is also susceptible to insect damage (such as termites). Due to these weaknesses, it’s customary to apply preservative coatings over the tower, which, unfortunately, aren’t very environmentally friendly.
Steel and Aluminum: Both of these are metals, making them susceptible to oxidation and corrosion via rust. These require painting, galvanizing, or anodizing.
Concrete: Concrete doesn’t naturally decay very easily, but it is porous, making it an easy target for dirt and bioforms to accumulate, which requires copious amounts of cleaning and maintenance in the future.
FRP: FRP is completely resistant to water and moisture, and has strong resistance to a wide variety of chemicals. Being a synthetic material, it holds its own against the elements much more efficiently than the other materials do.




Strength and Flexibility

Strength and flexibility are important when it comes to cooling towers, especially when it regards their longevity. They need to be able to take an appropriate amount of stress, and weather attacks from mother nature, such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
Wood: Wood is weaker than FRP in just about every measurable aspect. FRP is stronger, and has higher flexural strength. Overall, wood doesn’t have a strong argument here.
Steel: Steel is, unsurprisingly, extremely heavy, weighing 75 percent more than FRP. It carries so much weight that heavy listing equipment is often needed just to be able to move it around. Furthermore, steel is flexible under heavy pressure, and it doesn’t like to bend back to its original shape once it has been transformed.
Aluminum: Aluminum is appealing due to its famously light weight. But guess what? FRP is still lighter, clocking in at about 75 percent of aluminum’s weight. While aluminum is technically stronger than FRP in sheer numbers, FRP is overall stronger when you consider it on a pound-for-pound basis.
Concrete: The yield strength of concrete is absurdly high, but concrete also suffers from having no flexibility, making it rather brittle in the face of damage. Earthquakes are a dangerous threat for concrete towers; even the smallest one can cause a concrete tower to break into pieces.
FRP: FRP is highly elastic but engineered in such a way to where it doesn’t permanently deform. It’s also extremely lightweight, making it the easiest material to handle and install. When it comes to weight to strength ratio, it’s the strongest of them all.

Electrical Conductivity

Although most cooling towers are engineered to withstand the effects of errant electricity, it’s nonetheless important to keep them protected from it to the best of your ability. Cooling towers are closely tied with your water flow, and given the conductivity of water, it’s generally good advice to just protect your towers from lightning as much as possible.
Wood, Steel, and Aluminum: All three of these materials are conductive, particularly the latter two, though those have potential for grounding. Wood is most conductive when it’s wet, but in the case of a lightning strike, this is highly likely due to the presence of rain.
Concrete: Concrete isn’t conductive, putting it on equal ground with FRP in this category, but it is still more susceptible to environmental damages as a whole.
FRP: FRP is completely non-conductive, and has high dielectric capability. There’s not much more to say here — it doesn’t conduct electricity at all, so that’s a problem you’ll never have to worry yourself about.




Cost

An important factor for any business owner is cost — of course superior options always exist, but are they worth the extra price? Fortunately, an FRP industrial cooling tower is quite affordable.
Wood: Wood has a lower initial cost than FRP, but almost always requires long-term maintenance and a shorter product life. Wood gradually corrodes and is susceptible to insect damage. While the upfront cost is cheaper, you save more in the long-run with FRP by avoiding the repeat costs that wood incurs.
Concrete: Concrete is much costlier in the long-term, especially since they’re particularly vulnerable to cracking. Installation costs more with concrete industrial towers, due to the process of engineering, casting, and drying that’s tailor made for your business. Concrete takes a long time to set, which also lengthens the installation process significantly.
Steel: Steel has a lower cost for the initial materials, but the installation is significantly more expensive, and like the other materials, is subject to much more long-term maintenance costs than FRP.
Aluminum: Aluminum is the one material that slightly edges out FRP in the cost department. FRP tooling costs and price per lineal foot are marginally higher.
FRP: FRP edges out all of the other materials save for aluminum in cost. And, despite aluminum’s cheaper price tag, it could be argued that FRP is still a better deal due to the various other advantages that it has.

Conclusion

Overall, when you look at the big picture, FRP edges out all of the other materials when it comes to high-quality industrial cooling towers. It lasts longer, it’s stronger and yet more elastic, it’s cheaper, safer, and it’s easier to maintain and install. It’s hard to argue that FRP isn’t the best solution by far, and that’s why, at Industrial Cooling Solutions, we offer FRP in spades.
Whether you’re repairing an FRP tower and needs parts, installing a new tower entirely, or replacing an older obsolete one, you can’t really go wrong with FRP industrial cooling towers.
Having a functioning cooling system in your plant and factory is supremely important, and we want to make sure everybody has a functional and reliable solution. We will happily provide you with industrial cooling tower solutions, or provide you with the parts you need to make repairs on our own. Whatever your need is, we can cover it, so if you’re in the need for Industrial Cooling Solutions, contact us today for a free quote!

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) March 19, 2018 /

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. Visit us online to learn more about our products and services.
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 visit us online to learn more.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) March 10, 2018 /

How To Inspect A Cooling Tower

Cooling Tower Services

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.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) March 5, 2018 /

Counterflow Vs. Crossflow

Industrial Cooling Tower

Cooling towers are manufactured in many different configurations and sizes to match a wide range of applications across many different industries. Understanding that different configurations may have different advantages and disadvantages is important for you to be able to decide which one will be most efficient and cost-effective for your company. In this blog, we’re going to discuss the difference between a crossflow and a counterflow cooling tower.

What is a cooling tower?

A cooling tower’s main purpose is to remove heat from whatever it is that needs to be cooled. This is done through the process of evaporation which occurs when air and water are brought together inside of a cooling tower. A cooling tower is needed in many cases because it maximizes the surface area of the water, resulting in more evaporation. There are two configuration designs of cooling towers: counterflow and crossflow towers.

Crossflow cooling towers

With a crossflow tower, hot water flows downward from a distribution basin while air flows horizontally. They are filled with splash type fillings and can be applied when water has higher suspended particles. At Industrial Cooling Solutions, we offer crossflow towers in induced draft, forced draft, concrete, FRP, and wood structure as well as splash fill, film fill and low fouling fill materials. ICS cooling towers are built to withstand the most demanding of situations and provide the most cost-effective solution for you.
Benefits:

  • High Performance
  • Low Maintenance
  • Low Noise
  • Optimized Power Consumption

Counterflow cooling towers

A counterflow mechanism is one where air flows vertically through the fillings or packing at the top while water flows downward. In a counterflow cooling tower, there is an induced draught fan that is attached to the motor. This fan pulls in air to draft it upward resulting in air that is exhausted faster than it is pulled in. In turn, you’ll see lower pressure and circulation.
Benefits:

  • Low Power Consumption
  • Low Fouling Film or Splash fills
  • Plume Abated Systems
  • Low Pumphead
  • High Performance with Minimal Maintenance
  • Optimized Footprint
  • FRP Wood or Concrete Structures

Which one should you choose?  

The type of cooling tower you choose will depend entirely on the industry and the application. What works for one company may not be effective for another. Another factor that is taken into consideration is the typical climate on your site.

Contact us to learn more about which type of cooling tower is right for your company, 

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) February 28, 2018 /

Cooling Towers In Cold Weather

Cooling Tower Services

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, visit us online or contact us today to get started. We’d be glad to hear from you.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) February 23, 2018 /

5 Steps To A More Energy Efficient Cooling Tower

Industrial Cooling Tower

We live in a world that is constantly in need of more and more energy in order to meet consumer demands or government regulations. So it’s not surprising that people are looking for a way to make industrial cooling systems more advanced and energy efficient, not only for the sake of the environment but in order to be able to satisfy everyone’s demands. Additionally, more efficiency means more money that your company will be saving.
 
Many industrial environments need cooling systems to custom fit their size and design, so it’s important to consider your situation in order to determine what will be most important. The electronic and chemical industries are some that may need precision control of heat and humidity in order to avoid bad chemical reactions or bacterial growth. This can damage items and lead to inefficient business practices, so it’s important to have the right cooling solutions to avoid the chance of damage. For many corporations, this can result in cooling systems running all the time, eating away at the company’s budget, and harming the environment.
 
In this blog, we’re going to talk about how you can make your cooling towers more efficient so that you don’t have to worry about if you’re saving enough money or not. Here are several ways to save money with your industrial cooling tower.
 

Having the right filtration system

Like a standard in-home HVAC system, industrial cooling towers require a good filtration system in order to be energy efficient. Once water is evaporated in a cooling tower, dissolved solids are left behind. These solids include magnesium, calcium, silica, and more. If these aren’t removed properly or avoided with a good filtration system, they can start to take a toll on your cooling tower efficiency and even damage it. In the long run, this could result in thousands of dollars worth of damages. In addition to taking a look at your water treatment company to see if they’re providing you with an adequate water supply, you should consider an alternate filtration system like a side stream sand filter.
 

Consider all the cooling tower options available

You always want to choose a cooling tower that meets ASHRAE 90.1 standards. This standard provides the minimum energy-efficiency requirements for whatever building you’re trying to cool. Not only should you be complying with the regulations, but it can help you run a more efficient cooling tower if that’s ever a concern to you. If you have any questions about this process, you should contact Industrial Cooling Solutions. We offer complete evaporative cooling tower services ranging from cooling tower engineering to tower repair that is custom fit to each customer’s needs. Contact us today to learn more and start saving money for your company.
 

Variable frequency drives

Variable frequency drives are another great way to save money with a cooling tower. On humid days, cooling towers rarely need to be running at full horsepower, a variable frequency drive (VFD) will help you save money by optimizing the process and reduce fan energy.
If you have any questions about how to save money and increase efficiency with your cooling tower, don’t hesitate to contact Industrial Cooling Solutions today. We specialize in providing engineering, construction, thermal upgrades, and replacement parts for your cooling towers, worldwide. There are a lot of different types of towers that could prove to be more of an asset to certain industries than others. When you choose a cooling tower or need replacement parts, it’s important to know exactly what you need. We have wood, fiberglass and concrete cooling towers in addition to counterflow and crossflow towers, so contact us today for a consultation.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) January 9, 2018 /

The Benefits Of FRP Fan Blades

Cooling Tower Fans

FRP Fan BladesWhy are FRP Fan Blades Better?

In the world of industrial cooling towers, great pains have been taken to make sure that efficiency is increased as much as possible. While the average person may not think about cooling towers too often, without these amalgamations of metal, plastic, and concrete, most of the industries that we have come to rely on to make the goods that we use would cease to exist. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc., we have been in the business of constructing, maintaining, and repairing cooling towers for decades. In this time, we have seen the industry change quite a bit through the introduction of new technology, better processes, and better building materials. Of all these advancements, however, FRP composite materials have been the one thing that we feel has the greatest impact on cooling towers as a whole. In today’s post, so that all of our readers understand just how important FRP has been to this industry, we are going to go over some of the benefits that this amazing material has had on the design and function of the fan blades that are used in a large amount of towers scattered across the world. Continue reading below to learn more.

Fibre-reinforced Plastics

FRP, or fibre-reinforced plastic as it is also referred to, has been a blessing to multiple industries. Developed in the early 1900s and used mostly for military applications in the early stages, this material was quickly adapted to industrial processes that required a material that not only had a great strength to weight ratio, but one that was also resistant to many of the corrosive elements that are present in the production and transportation of chemicals and other corrosive materials. While industrial cooling towers are not exactly known for a huge presence of caustic chemicals, there is still enough of a presence to necessitate a substance that could resist these elements and continue to function in harsh conditions. The component that has benefited the most from FRP materials, without a doubt, has been the fan that is present in many of the cooling towers that are used today. Below, we have listed a few reasons that FRP fan blades have become an industry standard and why more and more cooling tower manufacturers are recommending these fan blades over their aluminum counterparts.

  • Shape: When designing a cooling tower to meet a specific industrial need, two things must be taken into account. First, the designers must make sure that enough water is pumped into the system to effectively mitigate the heat that is produced by the specific industrial process. Second, they must make sure that an appropriate amount of airflow is forced through the tower in order to make sure that the water is properly cooled along the fill material. FRP fan blades are ideal for this application because they allow designers a greater degree of control over the shape of the fan blades and mold them into the best shape possible to achieve the airflow that must be achieved. Traditional aluminum blades could only be shaped to a certain degree before the structure of the blades themselves was compromised. Additionally, metal fan blades must be attached to an axis at multiple points, greatly increasing the chances that a connector will fail or the balance of the fan will be thrown off. Because FRP fan blades are molded into a single piece, there are far fewer points on the entire fan assembly that can fail. Even better, these fan blades can be shaped to the most optimal angle possible, meaning that they are able to circulate air more efficiently than an aluminum fan blade could ever hope to accomplish.
  • Resistance to Corrosion: As we stated previously, most cooling towers are not exactly teeming with caustic chemicals, however, this does not mean that corrosive elements are not present within the system. Given enough time, water is one of the most corrosive elements in the known universe. This seemingly innocent substance has shaped the surface of our planet, digging canyons and valleys out of solid rock. While aluminum is excellent at resisting the corrosive properties of water, it is still only a metal and, as we all know, metal and water don’t exactly get along. Over time, an aluminum fan blade will always succumb to the effects of water, requiring a replacement lest the fan blade break and cause damage to the internal components of the tower. FRP fan blades, on the other hand, do not suffer from this same defect. These fan blades are highly resistant to any and all corrosive elements and are able to stand the test of time in a way that is vastly superior to any other substance used in the construction of fan blades.
  • Weight: Because cooling tower fans tend to run at thousands of RPMs, it is necessary to construct fan blades out of a material that is not only strong enough to stand up to the rotational forces that are placed on it but a material that is also light enough to place unneeded stress on the motor of the fan assembly. Before the introduction of FRP materials, aluminum was the best option for fan blade design because of its excellent strength to weight ratio. FRP fan blades, however, are even better than aluminum at providing a fan blade that is both strong and light.

At Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best cooling tower services possible and we believe, quite strongly, the FRP fan blades are the best option for nearly every application that our customers may have.

Contact us to learn more about the types of FRP fan blades that we offer.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) October 23, 2017 /

The History of FRP Pt. 1

Cooling Tower Fans

FRP Has Changed the Industrial Cooling Tower Game

Every once in awhile, a technological advancement comes along that helps to boost the efficiency of an industry. These technological advancements work together with existing processes and components to bring a new element to an industry, greatly affecting the way the industry standards are set and, in some cases, causing people to question how the industry got by for so long without this amazing new advancement. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc., we have been involved in the industrial cooling tower business for quite a while. In that time, we have seen advancements in the industry that have increased efficiency and lowered costs in ways that seemed impossible. In today’s post, we are going to cover the history of Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP), a material that has been quickly adopted in the cooling tower industry to create fan blades that are more balanced and efficient than any other type of fan blade before them. Continue reading below to learn more.

FRP Technology is Relatively New

The incorporation of FRP technology into industrial processes is less than a century old. As most people know, plastic is a relatively modern invention, with the development of most modern plastics happening in the early 1900s. Plastics came about from the efforts of chemists and scientists who were looking to develop synthetic materials that were able to mimic similar substances found in nature while simultaneously performing better than said substances. The first known product made from FRP was an experimental boat hull developed in the mid-1930s. This hull was initially developed as an experiment looking to study the effectiveness of combining fiberglass fabric with polyester resin. Somewhat surprisingly, the combination of these two materials resulted in an amazingly strong yet light hull, and laid the foundation for the use of FRP technology in a wide range of industries including aerospace, marine, and electrical applications.
Like most new forms of technology, FRP was of particular interest to the defense industry. The US Airforce and Navy quickly began to experiment with FRP composites because of its impressive strength-to-weight ratios and its ability to resist the corrosive effects of salt water. By 1945, just a few short years after the introduction of FRP composites, 7 million pounds of FRP materials were being shipped, with the bulk of the product going to the military. While the military’s early investments into FRP technology cannot be overlooked, it wasn’t long before other industries began to notice the potential benefits of FRP materials.

The Industrial Adoption of FRP

After the military experimented with FRP composites, the public sector caught wind of the many benefits that this new material offered, especially in relation to its ability to resist corrosion. In 1948, the first pipes made from FRP were introduced and, quite quickly, the oil industry saw just how amazing this new technology was. FRP composites proved to be a viable alternative to traditional corrosive resistant materials, even in the high-pressure, large diameter situations of chemical processing. In addition to its vastly superior corrosion resistance, FRP pipe offered durability and strength that helped to eliminate the need for interior linings, exterior coatings, and cathodic protection on pipes used to transport corrosive substances. These benefits helped industries save money and, more importantly, incorporate a superior material into their processes.

Why is FRP Important to the Cooling Tower Industry?

Industrial cooling towers, historically, have had issues with corrosion. Not only do a large amount of cooling towers utilize water, a natural corrosive force in nature, to mitigate heat, many cooling towers also have to deal with chemical elements that are presented into the system due to industrial processes. Before the introduction of FRP materials, fan blades were almost exclusively made from aluminum due to its relatively light weight and durability. Unfortunately, aluminum is still a metal, meaning that over time, it will succumb to the effects of corrosion if exposed on a regular basis. Fan blades made from FRP composites, however, are able to resist the corrosive environment of the interior of a cooling tower, delivering unparalleled efficiency and durability. In addition to the corrosion resistance offered by these fan blades, FRP can be molded into nearly any shape. This means that cooling tower fan blades can be molded into the most optimal shape possible to push the large amounts of air that are needed for a cooling tower to run efficiently and, because the fan blades are molded into a single structure, the chance of the fan coming apart are reduced greatly.
If you would like to learn more about the FRP fan blade options that we have available here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., please visit our website today and browse our selection. We have been leaders in the industrial cooling tower sector for years and we are dedicated to providing the best materials possible in order to make sure that all of our clients are able to make sure that their cooling towers are performing as efficiently as possible.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) October 16, 2017 /

A Look At Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency Pt. 3

Cooling Tower Fans

Efficiency Factors to Consider in Cooling Tower Fan System Design

Hello, constant reader, and welcome to part three of our multi part blog series on the factors that inhibit the efficiency of cooling tower fan systems. As this is part three of our series, we encourage you to read our previous two posts. Each post builds upon the last and, as a result, you may find yourself quite lost if you are not familiar with the context of this series. In today’s post, we are going to pick up where we left off last time and delve deeper into the second main factor that can affect the efficiency of a fan system: The fan housing. Like most components in a large machine assembly, the fan housing plays a role that, if not properly optimized, can have a larger negative impact on the overall efficiency of the system than one would first suspect. Even a small decrease in efficiency can be enough to throw off an entire cooling tower system, which is why it is so important for engineers to make sure that their initial system is as optimal as possible before construction.

Don’t Take Your Fan Housing For Granted

In our previous post, we discussed the impact that system design can have on the overall efficiency of a cooling tower fan system. If inefficiencies are built into the system from the start, such as insufficient blade design and positioning, the system is never going to be able to perform at its peak. While these two factors account for a lot of the inefficiency found in fan systems, the housing of the fan assembly can also cause issues with overall efficiency. In the world of industrial cooling towers, one of the most important factors of system loss revolves around the air leakage around the tips of the fan blades. This loss is directly influenced by the tip clearance of the fan blades and the velocity pressure at the operating point and is caused by the tendency of high-pressure exit air to circulate around the fan blade tips into the low-pressure air in the inlet of the tower. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the inlet conditions of a cooling tower are as optimal as possible.

Pay Attention to the Inlet Conditions

In relation to wet cooling towers, a velocity recovery stack is a common means by which engineers can improve inlet conditions and conserve horsepower. To perform this function, velocity recovery stacks most often incorporate a slightly tapered exit cone in conjunction with a well-rounded inlet bell. This results in a significantly reduced velocity pressure at the exit of the inlet compared to the plane of the fan. Because the quantity of air on both planes is the same, however, the recovery of velocity pressure is converted into static regain, lowering the total pressure requirements of the fan. This results in less horsepower being needed to produce the required rotational velocity of the fan. Additionally, the entrance into the velocity recovery stack through the fan deck should not be neglected because, often, this entrance can create turbulence and losses in the fan system. Although most stack designs tend to incorporate a large inlet radius, heavy structural members beneath the stack or a sharp corner through the fan deck ca negate the smooth air flow condition in the stack itself. It is important to note that these issues are not under the control of the end user, meaning that the design of the cooling tower itself should try to limit these negative variables.
Thank you for taking the time to read our third entry into our blog series on cooling tower fan efficiency. Join us again next time as we conclude our series by discussing the recirculation of hot air how this factor can contribute to decreased efficiency in a cooling tower fan system. As always, if you would like to learn more about the cooling tower fan options that we offer here at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc., please visit our website today.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) October 11, 2017 /

A Look At Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency Pt. 2

Cooling Tower Fans

Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency Requires Careful Analysis

Hello, and welcome back to the Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc. blog! If you are just now joining us, we are in the middle of a multi-part blog series that is dedicated to detailing the factors that influence the efficiency levels of industrial cooling tower fans. If you have not read our previous post, we highly suggest that you go do so now. While you may find the information in this second post useful, it is build upon important ideas that are presented in the first post and, as such, will make more sense if you read the posts in sequential order. Now that we have that small disclaimer out of the way, we are going to use today’s post to continue where we left off last time and discuss some of the factors that influence the overall efficiency of a cooling tower fan system. While each factor may seem small when isolated, together they can greatly decrease the efficiency of a cooling tower, effectively rendering the tower useless for its intended application. Keep reading below to learn more.

Potential Losses in System Efficiency Can Occur in Several Separate Areas

When it comes to overall system efficiency in cooling tower fan assemblies, there are three main areas that need to be considered by researchers and engineers alike.

  1. Losses caused by the system design of the fan rather than by variable physical properties.
  2. Losses caused by variable environmental properties.
  3. Performance losses caused by the recirculation of hot air.

Of these three main areas of potential loss, only the second category is easily fixable. Below, we have listed out the details surrounding the first category that affects the efficiency of a cooling tower fan system.

Losses Caused by System Designs

While the variables that might potentially decrease the efficiency of a cooling tower fan system are sometimes easy to identify, most of the time they are not. One factor that can greatly affect the overall efficiency of the system is the design of the fan blade. For the most part, modern axial fans found in industrial cooling towers are made from either FRP materials or aluminum. Aluminum fan blades, by their very nature, are always of a uniform design, whereas FRP fan blades can be molded into pretty much any shape that an engineer may want. No matter which type of fan blade material is used, the main purpose of the fan assembly is to produce uniform airflow over the entire plane of the fan. Uniform airflow ensures that the optimal amount of force is produced to adequately dissipate the heat that is introduced into the cooling tower. To determine that a fan blade design is able to produce the amount of airflow that is needed, the work done at any radius along the fan blade is a function of blade width (angle of attack and tangential velocity squared).

The Shape of Fan Blades Plays an Important Role in Efficiency

With the above information in mind, it can be concluded that as a point on the fan blade decreases from the tip toward the hub of the fan assembly, the tangential velocity decreases sharply. To compensate for this and produce uniform airflow, the twist of the blade along with its width must also increase. This becomes an issue when dealing with aluminum fan blades because if the blade width cannot be increased, the twist of the blade must be increased to compensate. Due to the elasticity limits of aluminum, this twist can only be taken to a certain level before the fan blades break. Luckily, FRP fan blades have no such limitation because they are molded into a single piece, allowing the most ideal shape to be more closely achieved.
Another factor that is affected by the design, shape, and twist of the fan blade is the fan operating point, or the point where the system resistance line meets the fan performance line. In laymen’s terms. The operating point is the blade pitch angle that produces the necessary air flow against the required system resistance of the cooling tower. Depending upon the fan speed, only a single pitch angle will be able to satisfy the system design operating condition. To put all of this together, within certain limits, the speed of a cooling tower fan can be adjusted so that the most optimal pitch angle can be selected that will satisfy the required system resistance.

Faulty Design Leads to Faulty Performance

When considering the above two points, it is easy to see how poor fan blade design, as well as a poor selection in the operating point of the fan system, can contribute to a loss in efficiency of a particular cooling tower fan system. Once in place, these two factors are not always the easiest things to fix, meaning that it is always in the best interest of the engineer and designer to make sure that their initial system design is as efficient as possible. If these considerations are not taken into account, valuable time, energy, and money will have to be spent rectifying the issue.
Thank your for reading part two of our blog series on the factors that should be taken into consideration in relation to cooling tower fan efficiency. If you would like to learn more about our selection of FRP fan blade designs and the applications in which they can be used, please contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc. We have completed dozens of cooling tower projects around the world and we are certain that we can handle any and all needs you may have when it comes to optimizing your fan system.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) October 4, 2017 /

A Look At Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency

Cooling Tower Fans

Is Your Cooling Tower Fan as Efficient as Possible?

In the world of industrial cooling towers, many tower components are necessary to ensure that the tower is mitigating heat as efficiently as possible. Proper water flow is important in making sure that the fill material is properly saturated and is able to impede the rising heat, clean surfaces are necessary to ensure that scaling does not affect the evaporation rate of the water, and proper airflow is needed to make sure that the heat does not stagnate in the body of the cooling tower. While all of these components play a part in the overall efficiency of the cooling tower, the fan assembly, if not properly optimized, can negate the positive components by greatly diminishing the amount of heat that is able to be exchanged. In the first of a multi part blog series, we here at Industrial Cooling Solutions wanted to take a look at the efficiency of cooling tower fans in relation to both dry cooling towers and wet cooling towers. While different in the way that they exchange heat, both cooling towers have some commonalities that make them worthy of assessment. Continue reading below to learn more.

Fan System Efficiency is of the Utmost Importance

Although dry cooling towers and wet cooling towers are different in the ways that they provide heat mitigation, they also have a few things in common. Both industrial cooling tower types contain an axial fan to move the air inside of the tower, both have a shroud or other covering to simultaneously contain the fan and funnel air into the fan, and both have plenums that direct air so that heat can be transferred by direct or indirect contact. When designing fan systems for these types of cooling towers, the first step is to develop a fan performance curve. Using this curve, engineers can determine an operating point at which the fan performance exactly matches the system requirements of the cooling tower itself. Typically, performance curves as they relate to cooling tower fans are obtained under ideal, reproducible conditions. They are obtained this way so that engineers can be certain that they will be able to reproduce the efficiency levels in the real world, not just in the research lab. To illustrate this point, consider the following example: Test conditions for cooling tower fans usually require a blade tip clearance on a five foot fan blade of about 0.040 inches with a large inlet bell. Under these ideal conditions, total fan efficiency is typically in the 75 percent to 85 percent range. However, as most people who have experience with cooling towers know, in most full-scale fan tests, “real life” performance tends to fall in the 55 percent to 75 percent range. What happened to the efficiency level? The answer, quite simply, is that while the fan efficiency is exactly the same (75 to 85 percent efficient) the system efficiency is much, much lower.

How can a Fan be Efficient While the System isn’t?

Answering this question, once again, requires an example. Let’s assume that we have to design a forced draft air cooled exchanger whose function is to make sure that a factory is able to properly eliminate heat. The tower has been designed to move 200,000 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) of air while operating against a system static pressure of 0.42 inches of water. The initial fan performance curve showed that a cooling tower fan with a diameter of 14 feet coupled with a 21 horsepower motor would be sufficient for the job. Using a little math, the engineers find that the Total Fan Efficiency at this operating point is 87 percent, a number that falls well within the acceptable range. Unfortunately, when the system is activated, it is found that it is insufficient in cooling and unable to meet the 87 percent efficiency benchmark that the math showed it was capable of. When trying to determine what caused the sharp decrease in efficiency, it was found that recirculation loss, top losses, and reverse flow at the hub all lead to a decrease in system efficiency.
All of these losses, when combined, reduced the efficiency of the fan system by 20 percent, meaning that the real fan efficiency was closer to 67 percent. Additionally, some simple math shows that the design should have called for a motor closer to 27 horsepower in strength instead of the 21 horsepower unit called for by the initial ideal fan curve. As you can see, not taking the entirety of the fan system into consideration when trying to determine efficiency levels can be frustrating when the end result is less than nominal.
Join us again next time as we further expound upon the topic of cooling tower fan efficiencies and go over some of the small factors that can increase efficiency in these systems. Additionally, if you are in need of cooling tower construction services, cooling tower replacement parts, or simply want someone to talk to about your cooling tower, contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) September 27, 2017 /

When To Replace Your Cooling Tower Fan

Cooling Tower Fans

Replace Industrial Cooling Tower Fan
Is Your Cooling Tower Fan Alright?

Sometimes, the machines that we use on a daily basis need a little TLC, and we aren’t talking about the classic 90s R&B group. When you think about it, you cooling tower deserves all of the tender love and care that you can manage to spare. Without your tower, whatever industry you work in would not be possible. While the industrialization of our nation was a good thing overall, it also presented us with a new problem in the form of excess heat. Heat, for the most part, is not something that most people think about in a given day; however, for those individuals who are involved in industrial related fields, heat can be a highly destructive force. Traditionally, heavy machinery does not like heat. That isn’t to say that these machines cannot operate under conditions that, to a human, would seem excessively hot, it simply means that they do not like having to deal with any more heat than is absolutely necessary. In today’s post, we here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. wanted to go over a subject that we feel is important—when it is time to replace the fan blades in your industrial cooling tower. These fans play a major role in eliminating heat and it is important that you, as the operator, know when it is time to retire one fan and replace it with another. Keep reading below to learn more.

Are You a Fan of Your Fan?

When it comes to industrial cooling towers, there are many pieces that must work together in order to make sure that the tower is effectively doing its job. The water pump must be in proper working order to make sure that the necessary amount of liquid is pumped into the system of the tower, the fill media must be properly placed and cleaned to reduce the amount of water that is lost, and the entire tower itself must be free from scale build up in order to make sure that the maximum amount of heat is being mitigated as possible. While all of these details must be taken care of to ensure that the tower is performing as optimally as possible, it is especially important to make sure that the fan inside of the cooling tower is in the best working condition possible. Without the fan, it doesn’t matter if all of the other components of the tower are perfect, the water will not be cooled properly and, as a result, the tower will not be able to perform its job. However, how is a person supposed to know when it is necessary to replace a failing cooling tower fan? Below, we have listed a few things to consider when you are trying to decide whether or not it is time to replace your cooling tower fan.

  • Age: The first thing you need to consider when deciding whether or not to replace the fan in you industrial cooling tower is how old the fan is. Was it installed recently, say two or three years ago, or, is it the fan that came with the tower when it was installed over a decade ago? Cooling tower fans are designed to last for a long time; however, like any component of a machine, they are not designed to last indefinitely. If your cooling tower fan is over five years old, we suggest that you inspect it carefully to make sure that it is still up to the task it was built for.
  • Damage: Piggybacking off of the first point, it is important to inspect the blades and body of your fan on a regular basis to make sure that they have not been structurally compromised. When inspecting the fan look for any cracks, dents, chips, or other forms of structural damage. While a small crack or chip might not seem like that big of a deal in the scheme of things, any compromises in the structural integrity of your systems fan can result in the fan ripping itself apart at an inconvenient time. If you notice that your fan has damage near the center (the area where the blades of the fan meet) it is especially important that you replace your fan. The rotational speeds at which these fans operate could cause the fan’s blades to come off, damaging fill material or, in more extreme cases, causing damage to the walls of the tower.
  • Type of Fan: This tip is more a matter of opinion but, considering we are experts in the field of industrial cooling towers, we feel that our opinions are pretty valid. Traditionally, cooling tower fans were made from aluminum. These aluminum fans were lightweight, durable, and, for the most part, were the best option for their intended application. Unfortunately, these aluminum fans had a few weaknesses. The most glaring weakness was the fact that the fan’s blades had to be attached to a central hub. Where the blades were attached to the central hub became a major weak spot for the fans and resulted in stress fractures that could cause the blades to rip off at high speeds. Luckily, this issue has largely been resolved with the introduction of FRP fans blades. These fans are molded into a single piece and are made from a hard, durable plastic that is much less likely to break apart than traditional aluminum blades. If your cooling tower does not make use of FRP fan blades, we highly recommend that you consider making the switch. Not only are FRP fan blades more efficient at what they do, they have a much longer lifespan as well.

Contact us to learn more about when you should consider replacing the fan in your industrial cooling tower. We will answer any and all questions that you may have and help you choose the fan that is perfect for your application. 

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) September 20, 2017 /

Why Axial Fans Are Better

Cooling Tower Fans

Axial Fans Should be the Obvious Choice

Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we want all of our customers to have a solid understanding of the different components and assemblies of their cooling tower. In our previous post, we briefly explained the difference between axial fans and centrifugal fans as they relate to industrial cooling towers. In today’s post we are going to continue with this subject, however, we are going to delve a little further into the benefits that axial fans offer for industrial cooling applications. We hope that by the end of this blog you have a better understanding of why axial fans are the best choice in terms of efficiency and productivity. Continue reading below to learn more.

Save Money and Increase Productivity

When it comes to industrial cooling processes, efficiency is key. The effective mitigation of heat in industrial processes accounts for a large percentage of the energy that many facilities consume. As a result, it is in the best interest of these facilities to make sure that their industrial cooling systems are functioning as well as they possible can. Axial fans help to increase this productivity in multiple ways and below we have listed just a few.

  • Airflow: One of the most important variables of an industrial cooling tower is the efficiency of its airflow. Without airflow, cooling towers are unable to dissipate heat as effectively as they are designed to. Proper airflow ensures that the fill material and water system are vented properly, reducing the amount of heat within the entire system. Axial fans help to increase the level of airflow by putting out a large volume of air at a consistent pace. While not as forceful as centrifugal fans, axial fans circulate the air efficiently enough to get the job done.
  • Easier Maintenance: While airflow is an important component of a fan system, maintenance is a component that cannot be ignored. Maintenance costs are something that cannot be ignored when it comes to industrial cooling towers. Of the two fan types, axial fans are much easier to maintain because they are not part of a closed system like centrifugal fans. If an axial fan becomes damaged or needs a routine maintenance check they can be quickly analyzed and repaired. Not only does this save money in relation to repair costs, it saves the maintenance worker time as well.
  • Variable Speed: One of the greatest advantages of axial fans is the fact that they can be adjusted based on the output needs of the tower. While centrifugal fans can have their speed adjusted, it greatly decreases the amount of airflow that is produced. Axial fans, on the other hand, can be run at a lower speed without having a huge effect on the amount of air that is produced.

If you would like to learn more about our fans please visit our website today or give us a call. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best in industrial cooling solutions and we are certain that we can handle any need that you may have.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) September 19, 2017 /

Preparing Your Cooling Tower For Winter Operation

Cooling Tower Fans


Is Your Cooling Tower Ready For Winter?

As summer fades into fall, thousands of businesses across the United States are preparing their cooling towers for the lower temperatures that are about to descend upon the land. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a state that experiences mild winters in comparison to the rest of the country, chances are that you can expect the next few months to get increasingly colder until, quite suddenly, the winter months are fully upon you. While humans have found many ways to deal with the lower temperatures, special attention needs to be paid to the machinery that makes our modern lives possible. In today’s post, we here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. wanted to go over some tips that are designed to make sure you have taken the necessary steps to ensure that your industrial cooling tower is ready for winter and will not fail you during an inconvenient time. Continue reading below to learn more.

Don’t Let the Cold Weather Get Your Cooling Tower Down

When it comes to proper cooling tower operation in cold weather temperatures, certain steps must be taken to ensure that the tower not only does its job effectively but does it in a way that does not cause unneeded damage to the cooling tower itself. Cooling towers, by their very nature, are supposed to be able to operate in a wide range of temperatures. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that they don’t struggle to be effective when certain ambient temperatures are thrust upon them. Below, we have listed a few steps you need to take to make sure that your cooling tower does its job properly all winter long without worrying about damage occurring to the tower or any of its components.

  • Remove Scale: If you have read any of our previous blogs, you are already well aware of the fact that reducing the amount of scale buildup and biological contaminants present within the cooling tower is one of the best ways to make sure that your tower is operating as efficiently as possible. When there is a lot of buildup on the inside of a cooling tower, the heat mitigation abilities of the tower are reduced to less than optimal levels. While this little maintenance tip is most commonly talked about during the summer months, it is still an important thing to remember during colder months. Reducing the amount of scale buildup present in the tower lowers the likelihood of corrosion, a condition that can negatively affect the rate of heat transfer.
  • Remove Snow and Ice Buildup: This tip is really only pertinent if you live in an area that experiences snow and freezing temperatures, however, because many areas of the country have to deal with these two factors, we felt that it was important to include it in this list. When it comes to your cooling tower, you want to make sure that the fan blade is free from any ice or debris that may have gathered along the blades. Industrial cooling tower fan blades rotate at extremely fast speeds, meaning that even a small imbalance caused by excessive snow or ice buildup can be enough to reduce the efficiency of the fan or, in a worst case scenario, cause the fan to break from unbalanced rotational forces. While it is true that newer FRP fan blades are less likely to experience damage in this way, we feel that it is still important to make sure that your fan is free from anything that could potentially cause issues.
  • Antifreeze: Depending upon the ambient air temperature, cooling towers should have a certain amount of glycol present in their systems. Glycol works much like the antifreeze in a vehicle, reducing the temperature at which liquid produces ice crystals. By reducing the temperature at which the liquid in your cooling tower freezes, you can make sure that any spray nozzles and fill material that are constantly exposed to water or less likely to freeze over. While fill material can be unfrozen relatively easily, a frozen spray nozzle can easily lead to a busted spray nozzle.
  • Keep Your Tower Warm: One of the best ways to make sure that your cooling tower is not negatively affected by low ambient air temperatures is to keep it as warm as possible for as long as possible. Maintaining heat in the tower, coupled with the antifreeze that should be present in the liquid, will make it difficult for ice crystals to develop even if the outside air temperature is well below freezing. To accomplish this, we suggest that you set your water pump to run continuously. As the water pump draws heat from the building it is connected to, the water entering the tower will be warmer than the water that is already present in the tower. Additionally, the pump itself will produce heat, further reducing the chances that something freezes that isn’t supposed to.

If you are in need of industrial cooling tower services, please contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. We provide cooling tower construction, maintenance, and repair services and can provide you with any and all parts that your tower may need including fan motors, fan blades, and fill materials. Don’t settle for second best when it comes to your cooling tower needs, contact us today and let us show you why we have become a trusted name in the industry.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) September 13, 2017 /

Operating Cooling Towers In Cold Weather Conditions

Cooling Tower Fans

Cold Weather Presents Unique Issues For Cooling Towers

Hello, and welcome back to the Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc. blog. With summer coming to an end and autumn just quickly approaching, cooling towers across the country are going to face an interesting issue. During the spring and summer months, cooling towers have the benefit of natural, ambient heat to ensure that all liquid is kept in, well, a liquid state. As we all know (at least we assume you know if you are reading this blog), cooling towers are responsible for the mitigation of heat in industrial applications and, for the most part, tend to do their jobs well. As heat escapes from cooling towers and is mixed with water falling through specially designed fill materials, the majority of the heat is removed from the system and the industrial processes can continue without interruption. However, what happens when the temperatures outside begin to drop? What happens if, all of a sudden, spray nozzles located within a cooling tower are unable to properly spray water because they have become frozen shut. In today’s post, we are going to proper cold weather operation guidelines as they relate to cooling towers and what you, as a cooling tower enthusiast, can do in order to make sure that your towers are operating as optimally as possible when the temperature decides to drop. Continue reading below to learn more.

Cold Weather Brings With It Special Circumstances

For the most part, cold weather tends to interrupt a lot of processes that, during warmer times, function perfectly fine. For the purposes of this blog post, we feel that we first need to define what we mean by “cold weather” as it relates to the operation of cooling towers. For our purposes, sustained freezing conditions occur when more than 24 hours go by without wet bulb temperatures going above 32°F. This is considered a sustained freeze because, unfortunately, during weather conditions such as this there is no point where the ambient temperature reaches a high enough level for a freeze-thaw cycle to occur. When this occurs, certain principles must be followed in order to ensure that the cooling tower is able to properly perform its intended function. Below, we have listed these basic principles.

  • When operating a cooling tower in cold weather conditions, do not operate the tower without a heat load and, most importantly, do not allow the cooling tower to remain in unattended operation for multi-day periods experiencing subfreezing temperatures.
  • Always maintain the design minimum or greater amount of water flow rate over the cooling tower heat exchange media, also known as the fill, at all times. This ensures that water is flowing over the fill media at all times and reduces the instances of water freezing to the fill material.
  • Maintain the proper airflow by ensuring that the cooling tower fan is in proper, working order. This works to maintain above freezing water temperatures in all section of the fill media, further ensuring that the fill media will not become frozen after repeated exposure to subfreezing temperatures.
  • If the desired system condenser water flow is reduced below the minimum, the number of cooling tower cells must be reduced at the same time. This works to make sure that the water flow is greater than or equal to the minimum flow per cell.
  • Certain manufacturers of cooling towers may be able to extend the flow percentage minimum to a lower value by using certain design provisions of internal cell water distribution that can accommodate low flow by reducing active plan area while keeping the industrial cooling tower interior heated and moist.

These principles will work to ensure that the industrial cooling tower is able to operate as it should no matter the conditions of the outside atmosphere.
Thank You for taking the time to read our short blog series on the steps to take to make sure that your industry’s cooling tower is able to perform optimally during cold weather conditions. If you would like to learn more about the best ways to make sure that your cooling tower is able to perform during cold weather conditions, please contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc. We have a track record of providing the best in cooling tower installation, cooling tower parts, such as cooling tower fan blades, drive shafts, and motors, and consultation services. Visit our website today and see why we are a trusted name in the industrial cooling tower industry.  

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) August 19, 2017 /

The Importance Of A Stable Fan

Cooling Tower Fans

A Wobbly Fan is Bad for Business

 
Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have a lot of experience when it comes to cooling tower fans. For the vast majority of industrial cooling towers, fans are used as a way to ensure that as much heat as possible is mitigated while also helping to reduce the rate of evaporation present within the tower itself. Unfortunately, because these fans are in a near constant state of rotation, issues can pop up. Although the average person doesn’t put too much thought into it, circular rotation is not as easy to accomplish as one might think. Centrifugal force can place a large amount of stress on these fan assemblies and, if left to their own devices, these fans can and will spin themselves into oblivion. In today’s post, we are going to go over some of the ways that you can make sure that your cooling towers fan is set up for success and ways you can reduce the amount of wobble present in your fan assembly. Continue reading below to learn more.
 

Why Does the Wobble Matter?

 
First things first, we think it is important to explain exactly what we mean when we use the term “wobble.” If you have every had an unbalanced ceiling fan, you probably already realize how bad a fan can start to wobble when it is not setup correctly or it is damaged. This same idea can be applied to fans in industrial cooling towers, however, with these particular types of fans, we aren’t so much worried about the wobbling so much as we are worried about the vibrations that cause the fan to wobble. Vibrations, even small ones, can cause fans in industrial cooling towers to perform poorly and, in some extreme cases, they can even cause damage to additional components within the tower. So, what should you do to help mitigate vibrations and ensure that your fan is working as well as possible? Read below to find out.
 

  • Balance: Like The Force, fans in industrial cooling towers are all about balance. These fans rotate at such high speeds that even a slight variation in the balancing of the fan blades can have tremendous effects on the fan assembly as a whole. If one fan blade is unbalanced, it will place stress on the other fan blades through vibrational forces which, over time, can compromise the entire system including the motor that drives the fan and the drive shaft that transforms mechanical energy into rotational force. If you’ve noticed that a fan in one of your cooling towers is underperforming, take the time to make sure that the blades are balanced. A small adjustment now could save a lot of time and energy in the future.  
  • Damage: In industrial cooling tower applications, fans are used to push large quantities of air through the top of the tower or, in some cases, are used to pull large amounts of air into the tower. If a fan blade becomes damaged, it can affect the way that the air flows over the entire fan assembly and, if not caught quickly, can lead to quite a bit of damage. Even a small knick in a single fan blade can be enough to disrupt the airflow to the point that it starts to cause vibrations to occur. As we stated earlier, vibrations are never a good thing when it comes to fan assemblies. To help reduce the chances that this will happen, we suggest that you inspect the blades of your cooling towers fans on a regular basis to ensure that they have not become damaged in some way.

 
We hope that this blog has been informative and that you have gained a little more knowledge about the importance of a stable fan in your industrial cooling tower. If one of your fans has become damaged beyond repair or you would simply like the advice of some experts, contact us at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. today. We have years of experience dealing with cooling tower fans and we feel that our past projects give us the knowledge, tools, and experience needed to handle any issues that you may have in relation to your tower.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) July 6, 2017 /

The Importance Of Fan Blade Maintenance

Cooling Tower Fans

Fan Blades are Essential in Industrial Cooling Towers

 
Hello, and welcome back to the Industrial Cooling Solutions blog. With summer in full swing, cooling towers across the world are working overtime to ensure that they are doing their job properly. As we all know, heat has an effect on the evaporation rates of water and, unfortunately, this simple fact holds true for the efficiency of cooling towers. The sole purpose of a cooling tower is to make sure that industries, factories, and large buildings are able to properly mitigate the heat that they produce on a daily basis and, in some cases, making sure that harmful pollutants do not enter the atmosphere. While there are many components to an industrial cooling tower, few are as important, and finicky, as the fan blade. Traditionally, fan blades in cooling towers have been one of the components that needs the most attention. Rotating thousands of time per minute, these fan blades put up with a lot of stress, meaning that they were much more prone to breaking than other components of the tower. While recent advancements in fan blade construction have made them more durable and better able to withstand the rigors of daily use, they are still a mechanical component. In today’s post, we are going to go over some of the reasons that it is important to make sure that your cooling tower fan blade is in good, working condition. Continue reading below to learn more.
 

It’s All About Efficiency

 
For the most part, industries want to be as efficient as possible. Efficiency cuts down on the amount of time and money that industries must spend in order to properly function and is one of the key components to turning a profit. Below, we have listed a few ways that making sure your cooling tower fan blade is as healthy as possible can increase efficiency.
 

  • Energy: While the average person may feel that their home’s electricity bill can get pretty high during the summer months, it is nothing compared to the amount of energy that it takes to run a factory or assembly plant. These plants can go through tens of thousands of dollars worth of electricity each month just to function. Because of this, these industries are always looking for ways to cut down on their energy consumption and decrease the amount of money that they are paying out each month. If a cooling tower fan has become compromised, that cooling tower is going to require more energy to function. Over time, this increase in energy consumption, however small, can have a drastic effect on the amount of power consumed on a monthly basis. Making sure that the fan assembly and blade are in good condition helps to ensure that the tower is running as efficiently as possible and is using as little energy as possible.
  • Cost: So far, humans have yet to create a machine that doesn’t need maintenance. Mechanical processes often require many moving parts working in conjunction with each other and, if one component of the machine fails, the entire system could cease to work or become damaged. Fan blades in cooling towers present a unique danger because they rotate at such a high speed on a constant basis, meaning that if a blade becomes compromised, it could cause some serious damage to the rest of the tower. While maintenance costs are never fun, most industries have realized that spending a little money on preventative maintenance is much more desirable than having to replace thousands of dollars of fill material that was ripped to shreds by a rogue fan blade.

 
We hope that this blog has helped to shed some light on why it is so important for industries to make sure that the fan blades in their cooling towers are well maintained. If you’ve noticed that the fan on your cooling tower could need a little help, contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. We have thousands of hours of cooling tower maintenance under our belts and we are certain that our knowledgeable staff can help you with any needs that you may have. Additionally, if you need to purchase new fan blades for your cooling tower, we offer FRP fan blades that have been proven to work better than their traditional aluminum blade brethren.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) June 27, 2017 /

Axial Fans: The Basics

Cooling Tower Fans

Do You Know Your Cooling Tower Fans?

Heat is an interesting thing. On the one hand, heat can be a great thing. It keeps us warm when it is cold, has allowed us to industrialize more than our ancestors could have ever imagined, and is generally the hallmark of an advanced society. On the other hand, heat can be rather detrimental to certain processes. For many industrial applications, heat can not only cause a decrease in productivity but, if left unaddressed, can actually cause major issues. Luckily, we as a society have developed effective means to get rid of unwanted heat and, in today’s post, we are going to go over one of the components that is essential for the mitigation of heat in industrial applications: axial fans. Continue reading below to learn more.

The Axial Fan is Important

To talk about axial fans, it is important to first understand exactly what an axial fan is. In the simplest of terms, an axial fan moves air parallel to its axis of rotation. This makes axial fans ideal for low-resistance, high-flow applications such as those needed in industrial cooling applications. Additionally, axial fans are able to have a wide range of operating characteristics depending upon the shape and width of the individual fan blades. In addition to these factors, other variables can affect the effectiveness of fan blade efficiency. Below, we have listed a few more of these variables.

  • Tip Clearance: Although the average person is not really aware of this fact, the amount of tip clearance that a fan blade has in a cooling tower housing can have a huge effect on the efficiency of the entire tower. The amount of clearance has such an effect because it affects the amount of air loss or leakage around the tip, known as the tip vortex. As the air exits the cooling tower, it will be at a higher pressure than the incoming air due to the work exerted by the fan blades. The less clearance there is around the tip of the fan blades, the less likely it is that the air within the cooling tower will be able to slip around the fan.
  • Inlet Conditions: When considering the effectiveness of the axial fan within a cooling tower, it is important to consider the effect of airflow as it enters the tower. In the area around the fan blade, known as the fan ring, air must be collected from all directions and equally accelerated to the velocity at the plane of the fan. If a smooth transition is not achieved, the inability of the airflow vectors to make the appropriate, rapid changes in directions will cause a “Vena Contracta” at the blade tip. Basically, this area of the fan blade will become starved for air, rendering the area near the tip of the blade ineffective. Considering the majority of the work is done on the outer portion of the fan blade, if this issue is not addressed, there can be a loss of efficiency as high as 15 to 20 percent.
  • Air Density: A factor that many people fail to consider in relation to the efficiency of their cooling tower fans is the effect of air density within a given environment. The density of air is affected by air temperature and altitude at the plane of the fan and can, if not accounted for, can have a serious impact on the effectiveness of a cooling tower. Look at it this way, a cooling tower at sea level is going to have to exert a lot more force than a cooling tower at 5,000 feet above sea level because the air density at sea level is much higher. To account for this difference in air density, it is important to adjust the rotational speed of a fan to make sure that the proper volume of air is being pushed through the tower.

We hope that this short blog has helped you gain a better understanding of the variables that can impact the effectiveness of cooling tower fan performance. If you would like to learn more about the cooling tower fan options that we offer or you would like to schedule a maintenance check with one of our cooling tower technicians, contact us today and set up an appointment. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best in industrial cooling tower solutions, and we are certain that we can help you with any need that you may have. Contact us today and let’s get started!

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) June 8, 2017 /

The Benfits Of FRP Fan Blades

Cooling Tower Parts

FRP Fan Blades are Here to Stay

Like any industry, industrial cooling towers have experienced quite a bit of innovation over the last few decades. As construction techniques and materials advanced, cooling towers became more efficient, lasted longer, and were more durable against natural corrosion. One of the biggest breakthroughs in the cooling tower industry revolves around the use of FRP in the design and construction of cooling tower components. FRP has allowed cooling towers to become more durable while at the same time reducing the amount of time it takes to construct a cooling tower and decreasing the costs associated with upkeep. One component, in particular, that saw a marked increase in efficiency and durability is the fan blade contained in the majority of cooling towers. In today’s post, we are going to go over some of the reasons that FRP fan blades are superior to their aluminum cousins and why they are quickly becoming the industry standard.
FRP Fan Blades do Everything Better
If you’re anything like the average person, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about fan blades. A fan blade is one of those objects that we don’t really consider until it has a problem. In the world of industrial cooling towers, however, we spend a lot of time thinking about fan blades. Fans are such an important component of industrial cooling towers that without them, the cooling tower ceases to operate. Because cooling tower fans are so important, millions of dollars have been spent over the decades in trying to come up with a fan design that is both efficient, durable, and light. The culmination of this research has resulted in the FRP fan blade, successor to the industry standard aluminum blades that dominated for decades. Below, we have listed a few of the reasons that FRP fan blades have become the preferred fan blade for the majority of cooling tower applications.

  • Lightweight: One of the biggest advantages that FRP fan blades offer is the fact that they are extremely lightweight. In the realm of industrial machinery, weight is always an important factor. This factor becomes doubly important when the machine in question must rotate thousands of times per day. The lightweight design of FRP fan blades helps to reduce the amount of stress placed upon the gearbox and driveshaft that control the fan assembly. Additionally, the lightweight design means that less energy is required to rotate the blades, increasing efficiency and reducing the amount of money that needs to be spent in relation to energy consumption.
  • Moldable: While aluminum fan blades were used for decades in the design of cooling towers, they had some issues. Aluminum blades are made up of multiple pieces that must then be bolted or riveted to a mounting rod and attached to a rotation plate. Multiple connection points increase the amount of weak points within the assembly and greatly increases that rate at which failure occurs. FRP fan blades, however, greatly reduce the amount of inherent weak points because they can be molded and manufactured as a single piece. Reducing the blade to a single piece of molded plastic provides uniform stress loading characteristics which tends to result in a much longer service life with reduced instances of failure.
  • Durable: Aluminum was used originally in the design of industrial cooling tower fan blades because it was both lightweight and durable. These two factors are key in the design of fan blades and for decades aluminum was the best option. Unfortunately, at the speeds fan blades rotate, even aluminum can become damaged. Aluminum fan blades were prone to dents and warping from collisions with debris in the tower. Even a small variation in the shape of the blade is enough to affect the balance of the entire fan system and potentially cause damage. FRP fan blades come with the same lightweight design of aluminum blades but are also much tougher. The durable plastic resists dents and warping better than aluminum, increasing the longevity of the blades and reducing the amount of money spent replacing them.

If you would like to learn more about FRP fan blades or you would like to see our selection of FRP fan blades, please visit our website today. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best services and parts as they relate to the industrial cooling tower industry and we would love to help you with your next project.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) May 30, 2017 /

Cooling Tower Fan Maintenance

Cooling Tower Parts

Your Cooling Tower Fan is Important, Treat it Right

With summer fast approaching, it is essential that you make sure your cooling tower is ready to handle the heat. While there are a wide variety of maintenance checks that will need to be completed to make sure that your tower is running as efficiently as possible, checking the fan in your cooling tower is one of the most important components to check. The fan inside of your cooling tower does a lot of work. Without this fan, your cooling tower is unable to function so it is in your best interest to make sure that it is in good shape. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we want all of our readers to be as informed as possible when it comes to topics relating to cooling towers and, in today’s post, we are going to cover a few essential maintenance tips that need to be performed to ensure that the fan blade in your cooling tower is working as efficiently as possible. Continue reading below to learn more.

Fans Need Maintenance as Much as the Cooling Tower

When it comes to cooling tower maintenance, there are a wide range of issues that need to be checked in order to be sure that the tower is performing as optimally as possible. From spray nozzles to fill material, a cooling tower is composed of many parts that need to work in conjunction with each other to make sure the tower is doing its job properly. Below, we have listed a few maintenance tips in relation to the tower’s fan blade system.

  • Check Blades: One of the first things to check when performing routine maintenance on a tower’s fan system is to check the fan itself. Cooling tower fans rotate at thousands of RPM and during that fast rotation even the smallest bits of debris can cause damage if they come in contact with the blades of the fan. Check the blades for any dings or cracks that may have formed and also use this time to clean the blades of any dirt that may have accumulated on them. It is important to keep the blades of the fan in good repair because even the smallest ding can develop into a crack. If one of the blades cracks while the fan is spinning, the results could not only result in damage to the cooling tower but could be potentially harmful to workers in the areas surrounding the tower.
  • Check Alignment and Balance: After you have checked the blades of the fan to make sure that they are in good repair, it is important to make sure that the fan is properly aligned and balanced. As we mentioned briefly in the previous bullet, industrial cooling tower fans rotate thousands of times every minute. As a result of this near constant rotation, the fan can sometimes become unbalanced. Like an unbalanced ceiling fan, the cooling tower fan will start to wobble as a result of its unbalanced state and create vibrations. Anyone who has at least a basic understanding of cooling tower fans knows that vibrations are never a good thing and should be avoided at all cost.
  • Check for Wear: As with any cooling tower component, it is essential to check for wear on any and all components relating to the fan. This includes the drive shaft, motor, and couplings that keep the fan physically attached to the rotator plate. Check these areas for rust or any other signs of degradation. While rust shouldn’t be an issue if the fan assembly has been properly maintained if you come across any make sure to address the situation. Rust can be handled if it is caught early, however, if it is left to grow it can cause major damage to the fan assembly and potentially cause the fan to break down.

If you would like to learn more about industrial cooling tower fan maintenance, or you would like to schedule an appointment to have us come out and inspect your cooling tower, please visit our website today or contact us at (303) 462-2000 . At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have years of experience in the cooling tower industry and we are confident that we can handle whatever job you may need to be done. Contact us today and let’s get started.

Read more

Written by:

Comments (0) May 25, 2017 /

Translate »