Cooling towers have become an essential component in the manufacturing process of many items, such as beverages, pharmaceuticals, and petrochemicals. These towers are used in industrial processes to condense water vapor from the air or another hot gas source.
Before you install cooling towers to cool your hot gases, there are several things you need to do first to ensure that everything will work properly once the cooling tower is installed. The following article will guide you through cooling tower installation.
What Is a Cooling Tower?
A cooling tower is a heat rejection device that dissipates waste heat to the surrounding air through cold water streams to lessen its original temperature.
It either uses evaporating water streams to remove this process heat and produce an extremely cold working fluid nearing the wet-bulb air temperature. Or, in the case of closed-circuit dry cooling towers, relies only on cooled air streams which are allowed to cool its working fluid close to the dry-bulb air temperature.
The water side of a cooling tower isn’t so different – just some turbines, fans, and refrigeration units feeding off each other. While its intricate maze of wide sheets fits snuggly against whichever way it needs–towards suction plates or back towards the stacks with small holes penetrating from below at preset intervals. To redirect droplets up toward tiny exit points where they eventually reach thin cylindrical pipelines close enough for escape past gravity’s unyielding pull
What Is the Purpose of a Cooling Tower?
A cooling tower uses water to remove heat from a process or condenser. The water is cooled by evaporation, which removes heat and transfers it to the air. The cooled water is then recirculated back to the process or condenser.
Cooling towers can be used in various applications, including power plants, HVAC systems, refrigeration plants, and petrochemical plants.
How Does a Cooling Tower Work?
A cooling tower uses evaporation to remove process heat and cool water to a temperature lower than the wet-bulb air temperature. The type of cooling tower used depends on the application.
All cooling towers generally work by evaporatively cooling water from warm to cooler temperatures. The warm water is pumped to the top of the cooling tower, where it is sprayed over the fill material.
The fill material provides a large surface area for the water to come into contact with the air. The water is cooled by evaporation, and the evaporation of water cools the air. The cooled water is then collected at the bottom of the cooling tower and returned to the process.
Types of Cooling Towers
There are different types of cooling towers: natural draft, mechanical draft, and induced draft. Natural draft cooling towers are the most common type.
They use the natural convection of air to circulate the air inside the tower. Mechanical draft cooling towers use fans to circulate the air inside the tower. Induced draft cooling towers also use fans, but they are located at the top of the tower and draw air through the tower.
Crossflow Cooling Tower
A Crossflow Cooling Tower is a cooling tower that uses air to cool water. The water is pumped through the tower and sprayed over a fill material.
The air passes through the fill material and picks up the heat from the water. This cooled water is then returned to the system to be used again. Crossflow cooling towers are typically more efficient than counterflow cooling towers and can be used in various applications.
Counterflow Cooling Tower
A counterflow cooling tower is a type of cooling tower that uses the natural draft principle to induce airflow.
The counterflow cooling tower has two air inlets, one at the bottom and one at the top. The hot air enters the tower from the bottom and is forced to flow up through the fill material.
Contact between hot air and the fill material causes a portion of the heat to be transferred from air to water. As the hot water flows down through the fill material, it is cooled by the incoming air flowing through it. This process continues until the heat has been transferred from the water to the air. And then exit out of the top of the tower.
Induced Draft Cooling Tower
The induced draft cooling tower is the most popular type of cooling tower. It uses a fan to draw air through the fill material, which cools the water inside the tower. Induced draft towers are typically more efficient than forced draft towers and can be used in a variety of applications.
Mechanical Draft Cooling Tower
The mechanical draft cooling tower is one of the most common type of cooling towers. It uses fans to draw air through the fill material.
The fans can be located either at the top or bottom of the tower. Mechanical draft towers are typically more expensive than natural draft towers, but they are also more efficient.
Natural Draft Cooling Tower
A natural draft cooling tower is a heat removal device that uses ambient air to cool water. The water is cooled by evaporation, which removes heat and transfers it to the air.
How to Choose a Cooling Tower
When purchasing a cooling tower for your business, it is important to consider certain key factors. One of these includes the area’s climate; if you reside in an area with high humidity, you’ll want a cooling tower that has the ability to accommodate this.
The second consideration should be the size of your business; the larger your organization, the more cooling capacity you need. Other things to think about include cost of operation and what type of warranty or service agreement accompanies each product – one might offer better services than another based on its terms.
What to Consider When Choosing a Cooling Tower
- Identify what type of cooling tower best suits your needs
- Determine the size of the cooling tower you need based on the application and heat load.
- Calculate the airflow required for the cooling tower
- After that, consider the water quality and make sure that the cooling tower can provide the correct water treatment
- It is also essential to take into account the environment in which the cooling tower will operate
- Last but not least, you must choose a reputable cooling tower supplier with a good track record
How to Install a Cooling Tower
Begin by reading the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific cooling tower model. Next, you will need to excavate a hole for the cooling tower’s base.
The hole should be twice as wide as the base and about three feet deep. Once the hole is excavated, place the cooling tower’s base into it and backfill around it with concrete.
It is essential to level the cooling tower before proceeding with installation, so use a level to ensure it is even on all sides. The next step is to install the fill material into the cooling tower.
This can be done by pouring it in through the top or filling it from the bottom up using a hose.
Fill the cooling tower until water leaks at the base, indicating enough fill material. Now pour some water onto the fill material to test if it has adequate drainage; if it does not drain properly, add more until it does drain properly.
When installing piping inside the tower, ensure that they are routed away from moving parts such as rotating fans or pumps and that they are not subject to extreme heat (such as near a burner).
If you have hot and cold water coming into the system, try running them in separate loops (cold water through one pipe and hot water through another) because doing so will help prevent corrosion due to differential temperatures.
Ensure the pipes running outside the tower have a few inches of clearance between them and any other obstacles.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for proper safety precautions when operating equipment inside and outside of cooling towers.
Make sure to wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, hard hat, ear protection, etc., according to your location and what is required by law in order to avoid injury while installing a cooling tower
Factors to Consider When Installing a Cooling Tower
Here are some essential factors that should be considered when installing a cooling tower:
Climate – A cooling tower is an excellent option if you live in an area with hot summers and mild winters. However, if you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you may want to consider another option.
Size of the cooling tower – The larger the cooling tower, the more efficient it will be. However, you must also ensure that the cooling tower will fit in your available space.
Type of cooling tower – There are two types of cooling towers: air-cooled and water-cooled.
Cost – Air-cooled cooling towers are less expensive than water-cooled ones but require more maintenance. The average cost of an air-cooled cooling tower is $2,500, while water-cooled cooling towers start at $5,000. To learn more about each type of cooling tower and which one may be right for you, call Cooling Tower World today!
Cooling Tower Repairs and Maintenance
There are a number of potential problems that can come up with cooling towers. You’ll want to seek professional assistance if you notice any issue with your cooling tower. Superior Mechanicals is available for 24/7 emergency repairs for all of our clients. When problems arise from the cooling tower, it may need some work done immediately – this includes some of the following issues:
Corrosion and rust: can lead to Basin Failure or even result in premature failure of Heat Exchangers and Piping Systems.
Too much Vibration or Noise: excessive noise may be due to the blades inside the fan, which can break down if they are too old.
Sudden Drop in Cooling Capacity: a sudden drop in cooling capacity could mean that there is an issue with either the Motor itself or related to a bigger power problem.
Water Leaks: water leaks may happen if your basin overflows or there are Issues with Your End Caps; these two instances are common causes of water leakage that need immediate attention.
Ice Buildup: ice buildup might happen when there are Flow Rate Issues, Temperature Issues, OR Air Flow Issues, but it will usually only happen when all three factors are present simultaneously.
That said, keep in mind that maintaining a cooling tower regularly is critically important. Failure to do so could result in inefficient operation or even indoor air quality problems, risking potential health hazards.
Regular maintenance of a cooling tower will keep it in top-notch condition and ensure that your cooling towers operate at full capacity.
Good Practices Provided by a Cooling Tower Manufacturer
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing a cooling tower.
- Make sure the cooling tower is grounded correctly.
- Inspect the cooling tower and its components regularly.
- Do not make modifications to the cooling tower without the manufacturer’s approval.
- Do not operate the cooling tower in an environment outside the specified operating conditions.
- Ensure the cooling tower is properly maintained and serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Always contact the manufacturer if you have questions or concerns about your cooling tower or its operation.
- Keep the area around your cooling tower clean and free of debris.
- Check the water level in the basin regularly and top it off as needed.
- Periodically test the water for pH levels and adjust as necessary.
Final Thoughts on Cooling Tower Installation
A cooling tower is a heat exchanger that removes heat from water by evaporating a small portion of the water and exhausting the heated vapor. The cooled water is then recirculated back to the system to be used again.
Cooling towers are commonly used in HVAC systems, industrial process cooling, and power plants. A professional contractor should always do the installation of a cooling tower.
Read more about MWM’s expertise and services. We have a vetted group of sub-contractors and partnerships with various engineering and architectural firms for complete design-build applications.