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Things to consider to improve the energy efficiency of your cooling tower

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Cooling towers offer cooling for manufacturing processes, power generation or air conditioning by utilising water evaporation to transfer heat to the atmosphere. The towers consume significant amounts of energy within facilities, and that is why a majority of industries strive to make their cooling towers cool the most water while consuming the least amount of energy. Here are some best practices to increase the efficiency of your cooling tower performance.

Position blowdown on the warmer water side

Blowdown is that water intentionally drained to get rid of suspended or dissolved solids left behind after evaporation. It helps to prevent corrosion or scale issues in your cooling system. The cooling water that returns to the cooling tower from the process is warmer than the water distributed from the cooling water supply pipe or basin. Since the aim of your cooling tower is to transfer heat to the atmosphere, it, therefore, makes sense to get the blowdown water from the higher temperature source. Where your cooling tower discharges blowdown from the cooling water supply pipe or basin, simply change the piping so as to source the blowdown water from the cooling water piping that returns warmer water to the tower. This will bring about an improvement in energy efficiency in your cooling system.

Choose the best filtration system

The suspended or dissolved solids left behind after evaporation includes among others silica, chloride, magnesium and calcium. As time passes, the solids increase in concentration. If they are not well filtered, they will ultimately start wearing down your cooling tower system and thus reduce the efficiency of its performance. You can either hire a proficient water treatment company or think of a good filtration system, for example, a side stream sand filter, which is a less costly option.

Fix a variable frequency drive (VFD)

Your cooling tower is designed to meet cold water requirements during the hottest and most humid days. VFDs adjust the speed of the fan as conditions change while at the same time maintaining the exact flow needed. They increase the speed of the fan and offer additional cooling capacity for your cooling tower system when need arises. Fan motors in your cooling tower system consume lots of energy as a result of the high inrush needed to start the motor as it is cycled. Fixing a VFD eliminates this issue by acting as a soft starter, decreasing and increasing speed at a programmable rate. This further reduces mechanical wear as stress on the power train from the motor starting is reduced. You thus end up increasing system life and reducing maintenance costs.

For more information on cooling tower maintenance and repair, contact a contracting company like Marley Flow Control Pty Ltd.