Innovations that Improve the Efficiency of Water Usage in Cooling Towers

The plumes coming out of water towers are a silent indication of the vast amounts of water that is used in cooling industrial facilities. As the water cools industrial systems, the resulting vapour is sprayed on the surface of open cooling towers thereby leading to condensation and lowering of temperatures.

Nonetheless, since some of the water escapes as plumes, industrial facilities must replace it with more water to keep industrial processes running at optimal temperatures. That said, heat management through cooling towers is becoming less sustainable especially because water is becoming a scarce resource. Therefore, industrial cooling contractors must look at different technologies that will transform cooling towers into efficient cooling systems. This write-up highlights the emerging industrial cooling technologies.

Hybrid Cooling System -- One of the primary objectives of a hybrid cooling system is to reduce temperatures while lowering operating costs. When used together with cooling towers, the technology applies dry cooling where the refrigerant circulates the cooling system without the help of pumps or compressors. However, the main advantage of the hybrid system is its ability to leverage on existing cooling system technologies. Through web-connected controls, the hybrid system can alternate between dry and wet cooling processes based on prevailing weather conditions as well as thermal loads on the network.

For instance, when the climatic temperature or thermal load is high, the hybrid cooling system uses wet cooling process. If, on the other hand, the thermal load on the system and the environmental temperature is cold then the system uses dry cooling. Additionally, the technology reduces biological growth on the walls of cooling towers thereby increasing efficiency and reducing maintenance costs.

Self-Healing Concrete -- The conditions in which cooling towers function offer the perfect environment for concrete deterioration. Prolonged exposure to warm water, steam, chlorides and chemical maintenance products such as biocides facilitate the expansion of concrete joints. Cracks and gaps on the surface of cooling tower walls shorten the lifespan of towers in addition to promoting operational inefficiencies as a result of leaks.

Self-healing concrete can help industrial facilities to lower repair costs and increase the efficiency of cooling towers. As the concrete begins to develop cracks, a particular bacteria in the concrete uses the moisture that escapes the cooling towers to produce limestone which repairs the cracks. Therefore, as long as the cooling towers remain moist, then the probability of deterioration through cracks is eliminated.

Ultra-Sonic Water Treatment -- The quality of water that is used in cooling systems determines the efficiency of the system. For instance, if dissolved ferrous ions circulate through the cooling system unnoticed, then corrosion will occur and affect the effectiveness of the system. Facility managers use reverse osmosis to ensure that quality water is used in such cases.

However, since the open tops of cooling towers allow sunlight in, algae should be monitored, and this adds to the expense of watching the quality of water circulating the cooling system. Ultra-sonic water treatment eliminates algae that cause efficiency issues in cooling towers. Once the sonic devices are placed in the water, facility managers don't have to use chemicals or reverse osmosis to improve water quality. The technology lowers operational costs and reduces water wastage.

For more information, contact a company like Marley Flow Control Pty Ltd today.