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All About Cooling Towers

12/31/2012 9:41:35 AM | by Anonymous

Cooling Towers

Cooling towers are devices that undergo a cooling system by removing heat and disposing them to the atmosphere. Unlike small office spaces that can use air conditioners, cooling towers are applied to respond on the cooling needs of industrial processes. Cooling towers come in different sizes depending on the process it cools for. The usual type of cooling tower is those found on the roof tops of building. Some can be seen on the grounds of nuclear power plant and can stand as high as a building. These towers are commonly mistaken as the plant itself for it is mostly the only visible structure on the area. Despite of the prominence of these towers, others installed are much smaller. Like other devices, they are susceptible to damage especially those built on the ground. It may collapse or get affected by heavy weather and strong wind. These towers do not provide a good view in office grounds so some companies tend to decorate them. Those found in plants are called field erected type. For industries that has low heat rejection requirement, package type is commonly used. Package types are way smaller than field erected towers so they can be easily transported on trucks. Facilities that make use of this type include hospitals, malls, textile plants and hotels which may be built near residential areas. The issue that one might encounter with this type is the sound it emits as it might cause disturbance to the surrounding area.


The heat removal system of cooling towers work in two ways called dry bulb air temperature and wet bulb air temperature. Dry bulb air temperature happens when the water that flows through the heat exchanger which cools down the hot condenser coil is exposed to air. Cooling down of water and allowing it to be reused in the air conditioning or industrial processes are considered economical as it will save energy, time and money. This is suitable for power plants, factories and refineries as they use and heat up enormous amount of water. Wet bulb air temperature, on the other hand, removes heat in the water when evaporation occurs. In order to make up for the lost liquid, the water has to be regularly replenished. Both processes are independent from each other that one can provide backup to the other in case one should fail. Whether to utilize dry or wet process would depend on the setting and the designer’s preferences.


To promote cooling, towers require a steady flow of air. For a draft, either a natural draft cooling tower or mechanical devices are used. Mechanical devices such as fans use power driven motors. They are suitable for small cooling tower as the other type of air source require certain height to work effectively. As for natural draft cooling tower, it is reliable at times when there is no electricity as it will start functioning automatically. Besides air, another factor responsible for the effectiveness of this process is the difference of temperatures between air and water. The greater the difference of their temperatures, the better the cooling effect will be. The cooling capacity of towers is also decreased when polluted. Regular maintenance of cooling towers should be done to avoid its impact on the industries production process. It will not only ensure good operation of the cooling tower but also save you from costly repairs and worse spending for a replacement.

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