Industrial cooling tower systems are used in various manufacturing and production facilities as a heat rejection device. Industrial cooling towers work by rejecting waste heat to the atmosphere through the cooling of a water stream to a lower temperature. Cooling tower manufactures may specialize in a specific type of cooling tower systems too.
There are two main types of cooling towers: closed circuit dry cooling towers and wet, or water cooling towers. These both have specific advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of industry that will be utilizing it. For example, 1,000-ton cooling tower systems that achieve 5% efficiency improvements can result in big savings. On average, over 90,000 kW-hrs and almost $10,000 annually.
Cooling towers are incredibly useful, but they aren’t without negatives of their own. Here are a couple things to look out for when dealing with cooling tower systems.
- General Maintenance: First and foremost is general maintenance. As with anything in life, if you don’t properly clean and maintain a cleaning tower you’re going to end up with problems. Even just simple accumulation of scale, biological growth, corrosion, and particulate deposits on a tower will inhibit the overall efficiency. A cooling tower affected by these sort of things can be 5% less efficient.
- Legionnaires’ disease: Due to the inherent environment of a cooling tower, one of the most serious conditions that can infiltrate is the deadly Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella bacteria can be found in cooling towers around the world. It’s important to keep these areas cleaned and consistently checked for this type of bacteria before someone working inside catches the disease.
- Potential Pollution: Although cooling towers don’t emit the type of gas smog that’s commonly associated with big industrial towers, they still can have adverse effects on their surrounding environment. Salt emission pollution is one common form of contamination that can be emitted from cooling towers.
Cooling towers can range in size from incredibly massive structures to very small towers that can only cool a few gallons of water per minute. These are typically used only for residences. While these towers can provide great benefits, it’s also important to consider these potential negatives that can occur and take the proper steps to preventing them from happening.