Interested in knowing how a cooling tower works?
Sara Cooling Tower is here for you. As a matter of fact, most people do not understand how a cooling tower system works, which makes maintenance a big challenge.
We have made the principles of these often complex systems easier to understand below, so you do not have to be an experienced engineer.
Why a cooling tower?
You may be wondering the reason as to why most large industries are going for cooling towers, while there are so many ways in which cooling can be achieved.
The reasons for it are:
- Premium cooling capabilities – a cooling tower achieves cooling efficiently irrespective of the size of the industry.
- Saves you money – an industry is a business on its own and businesses are all about increasing profits. These systems are concealed profits for energy conservation.
How a cooling tower works
Essentially, this is a heat rejection system that reduces the temperature of water for industrial cooling.
With the increase in production in every industry, a cooling tower has become a critical priority as there is so much heat being produced as a by-product.
The working principle of a cooling tower
There are various types of cooling towers. However, all of them are based on the same principle, that being evaporation.
Basically, evaporation causes cooling. The system works by converting the heat produced into latent heat of vaporisation.
How a cooling tower works in 10 steps:
- Warm condenser water enters through the condenser water inlet. The inlet is strategically at the top of the cooling tower.
- The water passes through the nozzles which sprays it into droplets. This increases the surface area to volume ratio.
- The small droplets of water run on the fill packaging as a very thin film. This causes more evaporation which in turn causes cooling.
- For additional cooling, the fan, situated at the top of the cooling tower pulls air through the filter at the bottom. The air passes on the thin film of water on the fill packaging but moving on the opposite direction. As a result, it takes more heat with it.
- The water from the fill packaging leave through the bottom of the tower at very low temperatures. Cooling is achieved.
- The air passing on the thin film water carries some water along with the heat. This means that if it is released in the atmosphere, you end up losing a large amount of water at the end of the day.
- Water efficiency – right below the fan, the system is fitted with drift eliminators. The drift eliminators are designed with skill to change the direction of the air, thus trapping some water from the air through condensation.
- The recovered water runs on the fill packaging causing extra cooling. The cycle repeats.
- Eventually, all the water accumulates in the basin where it is picked up again for cooling.
- The filter at the outlet prevents entry of foreign objects which would come with adverse repercussions.
Maintaining your cooling tower
- Always ensure that the water level in the basin is maintained at its minimum. However, the water should be topped up once in a while to replace the little amount of water that is lost through evaporation.
- Always ensure that the sensors in the system are in good working condition. This will prevent accumulation of salts and impurities. Accumulation of impurities damages the system besides reducing its efficiency.
- In very cold regions, ensure that the basin is fitted with a heater which will prevent the water in the basin from freezing.
What do experts say?
- Have your heat extraction needs increased with growth in your industry? No need to worry. Cooling towers can be upgraded to suit your needs.
- Ensure that your cooling tower is installed and inspected by engineers with world class expertise in the field.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is the lifespan of a cooling tower?
The lifespan of a cooling tower largely depends on how it was installed and whether it is being maintained or not. However, for a standard cooling tower that is expertly installed and maintained, its life expectancy is around 19 years.
How much does a cooling tower cost?
The price of the cooling towers will vary across the globe. However, they cost $50 000 on average per unit (where a unit is 200 tons) and it is imperative that you consider the labor cost as you cannot install it yourself.
It is also quite expensive to transport and lift, thus this cost should be considered too.
Are there smaller cooling towers that can be used in smaller industries?
Yes, there are. Cooling towers vary greatly in size. They range from ones as high as roof tops to those that are over 200 metres tall. However, do not guess the size of the tower that you require. You can either use the provided sizing formula or simply contact an engineer to size get you the right size.
The most effective and cost friendly way of eliminating the high temperatures captivated in the system in an industry is using the cooling tower. Although this sturdy construction is very durable, it is delicate and can get damaged if it is not maintained.
This explains why the knowledge on how it works is paramount. With the above information from professionals, you have all it takes to do all that appertains the working principle of a cooling tower.
For more information, head to Sara Cooling Tower.[Image – Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash]