We, in our everyday life, are surrounded by the advanced machinery and technology which we do not have even a slightest clue what they are for and how can they make our lives easier. One of such device is a cooling tower. It is used for, as the name says, cooling. It is an essential part of the systems that run power plants, manufacturers and factories or commercial HVAC systems to cool office buildings, hospitals, and schools.
**What is a cooling tower?
It is basically a heat exchanger which brings the water and air in contact with each other and are used to dispose of waste heat from manufacturing or other industrial processes. Other than preventing from overheating and explosion, it also cut costs by extending the life of the device.
How does it work?
In cooling towers, the most important part is the “fill media”. Hot water is pumped into the cooling tower and sprayed over the fill media which dissipate the heat quickly. The cooler water is collected at the bottom in the cold water basin and is pumped back into the facility to absorb the heat and cool down the equipment again.
The cooler tower fill media increases the surface area between the air and the water flow. It is a collection of slats/boards/PVC inside the tower that distribute the water evenly, quickly and as widely as possible. That is why fill selection is a crucial part.
Selecting the right kind of fill can change the whole game of filler cooling tower. There are different types of fill media such as
- Splash Fill – it interrupts the water flow and causes a splash. The modern splash fills possess an offset flute geometry and are more fouling resistant.
- Film Fill – Pieces of fill are out together to create sheets of various thickness and heights depending upon the cooling tower you are going to use. The water travels across it.
- Vertical film fill – They have an amazing fouling resistance and provides a straight path for water and airflow but its thermal performance is not that great as compared to others.
- Bar type fill – the fill takes the form of splash bars throughout the tower allowing much more water to be passed. It is good to process dirty water and is easy to clean but it is the least effective fill.
The patterns in the fill are called flutes and are generally ridges or wrinkles. They make the water flow through the longest route possible.
• Smaller flutes have more capacity per cubic foot and are more expensive
• Larger flutes they are good for dirty water application because they get less clogged due to the excess space. Although they are not that efficient.
##Cleaning of the fills
Dirty cooling tower fills can lead to the production of bacteria, build ground for algae and other such things. There are variety of methods by which you can clean the fills i.e.
• Manually cleaning the tower then
• Wash with high pressure water filler repeatedly.
• If the filler is collapsing and producing various bacteria then it is better to replace the fill and sterilize the tower.
• Rinse the fill and the tower from inside and outside with water.
• For large cooling systems, fill can be cleaned by reducing the pH of concentration and the water
will become under saturated of calcite. Dissolve calcium carbonate in it which will bind with calcite and will work effectively.
Every possible effort should be made to clean the tower otherwise it will not work properly and can cause damage which will cost way too much.
Other than cooling down the facility and preventing it from exploding or fire, cooling tower fill media controls pollution as well. Here’s how
• Although the evaporating water droplets have certain harmful chemicals that can be bad for the environment but cooling towers have a thing called ‘drift eliminators’ in them. They prevent the water droplets from going into the environment by changing their direction and velocity and then recycle the water for heat absorption again.
• They are UV protected.
• Cooling towers can be installed quickly and easily.
• They are highly efficient.