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Cooling towers: how to get peak efficiency.

Cooling towers take hot (Condenser) water and mix it with cold air to get colder water which returns to the Chiller, picks up more heat and starts the cycle again.

There are two types of Cooling towers used to cool water in commercial properties. The types are Cross Flow and Counter Flow. In the Cross Flow Tower, water flows by gravity through honey-combed Fill. Air flows perpendicular to the water, hence the name Cross Flow. Counter Flow Tower, the air moves upward through the fill as the water fall gravity, hence the name Counter Flow.

Condenser water is pumped to the top of the tower, distributed of the tower and piped back to the chiller. Fans move the air through the tower fill and out of the tower.

Some components of the Cooling Tower are:

* Fill - Spreads the water into a very thin layer and allows the air to contact the water for as long as possible

* Drift Eliminators - Material configured to make air pass through changing direction enough times to remove the water picked up in the fill

* Distribution System - The condenser water is distributed throughout the tower and broken up into small droplets

* Fans - Must move air through the tower to achieve the correct change in the condenser water temperature

Cooling Towers produce the desired results if air water produce the required heat transfer. This happens when the following are present: 1. Air

a. Velocity through the Fill and

Drift Eliminators must be slow

as possible to keep the air in

contact with the water for the

greatest cooling.

b. Fans in Cooling Towers are

either centrifugal or propeller

type 2. Water

a. Flow to the tower should match

the towers' capability. Too

much does not allow the tower

to cool it; too little does not

allow for even distribution

b. Distribution in the tower allows

the water to be broken up into

very small droplets so the air

can mix and cool it.

To increase the amount of heat transfer a Cooling, a process of Evaporative Cooling, a process where some condenser liquid is changed to a vapor. To make this happen, it is necessary to add heat. The heat comes from the remaining liquid which is in turn cooled.

Some ways to improve Cooling Tower Performance: 1. Distribute water and air over the complete heat transfer surface - check for blockages 2. Keep fans running rated conditions

a. Adjust pitch of fan blades

b. See that gear boxes or belt

drives are in top condition 3. Keep pumps operating at peak efficiency 4. Chemically treat condenser water 5. Keep Cooling Tower clean 6. Add filtration system to cut down on blockage in piping condenser and chiller

Remember that a Cooling Tower is a very good filter and it picks up and retains any of the dust in the air or the system.

A recent concern associated with Cooling Towers is the amount of asbestos which was previously used in Towers. If these items are moved, extreme caution and qualified, experienced personnel should be used.

To conclude, it is very important for money saving reason to have the Cooling Tower operate at its peal efficiency If problems are encountered, corrections should be performed by qualified people.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Hagedorn Publication
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Review and Forecast, Section II
Author:Hinkley, Paul K.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 24, 1992
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