A system that provides cool water to a controlled environment using the convective nature of water to remove heat from the air is call a cooling tower. Cooling towers are also called heat rejection devices. The cooling tower is made up of a water tower and a unique water reservoir pumping system. This pump moves the water into a chamber where it is evaporated.
Cooling towers are typically used to cool down water or other fluids that have been heated during an industrial manufacturing process or some similar process. In some systems, the heated water is sprayed into the tower onto a wet deck surface. Air then flows by the water, absorbing the heat that comes off of it.
The cooled water can then be released back into the facility. The airflow can be created by draft towers which guide the warm air upwards because it is less dense. Some cooling towers have induced draft towers that create a vacuum on one end of the tower to cause the air to move.
The appropriate cooling tower for an application can be determined only after considering several factors. Things like space, water sources, electrical supply, materials, and structural capacity must all be taken into consideration. Read More…
The main types of cooling towers are: open loop towers, closed loop towers, counter-flow systems, and cross flow systems. In large buildings, HVAC cooling towers are usually used to keep the interior temperature at a comfortable level. Evaporative and water cooling towers rely on evaporation to release heat into the atmosphere.
They also require a local water source to remain efficient. Rivers, wells, seas, and lakes are all acceptable sources of cool water for cooling towers. A chiller cooling tower has added refrigerant parts to cool fluid to an even lower temperature. In a closed loop cooling system, the purpose is to prevent contact between the cooling agent and the liquid being cooled.
This means the liquid can be recirculated without being contaminated. It also means that the coolant and the material don’t need to be compatible with each other since they never make contact.
Water is the liquid of choice for industrial cooling because of its chemical properties. Water actually has a high heat capacity and more thermal conductivity than most liquids. Releasing water back into the atmosphere results in it eventually being absorbed into the water cycle once again.
Oil refineries, dry cleaners, nuclear power plants, and petrochemical facilities all use variations of cooling tower systems. Each of these plants or facilities gives off a volume of waste heat that makes a cooling tower necessary, however large or small it may be. Cooling towers can be as small as a roof-top unit to as large as a 400-foot structure, depending on the application. An industrial cooling tower is much more durable than an HVAC unit because it has to operate year-round and cool much larger volumes of liquid.
The design of a cooling tower plays an important part in its cost and efficiency during operation. Before installation, the environment that the tower will be operating in should be evaluated for effects that could hamper performance such as piping, electrical sources, capacity, etc.
Cooling towers are built using a variety of materials; from fiberglass to stainless steel to aluminum. For outdoor applications, fiberglass is ideal because of its durability in harsh weather. It is both lightweight and resistant to corrosion. Custom cooling towers can be designed by manufacturers to meet particular volume specifications and account for the environment in which the tower will be used.