Cooling Towers

When a cooling tower supporting the HVAC system at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln was nearing its expected end of life, the management of the 362-bed hospital in the South Bronx saw an opportunity. The year before, the neighboring community had experienced outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, and even though the hospital’s cooling towers played no role in those outbreaks, the chance to increase protections against possible future exposures of the bacteria that cause the disease was an important consideration.

For decades, evaporative cooling has been the principal means to regulate the temperature of buildings. And with more than 50% of total building water usage dedicated to heat transfer, there are major opportunities for water savings.
Cooling towers can use several power transmission technologies, including a gear drive, belt drive, direct drive, and electronically commutated (EC) drive. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The proper selection strikes an appropriate balance of initial cost versus operating costs.
How often do you think about your cooling tower or the fill that provides the cooling engine for your process? Unfortunately, if you’re like many plant operators, your cooling tower is but one piece of equipment in your large facility, and its ranking on your priority list is probably lower than many other expensive and more intricate pieces of equipment in your plant.
The demand for advanced computing power rises year after year, but the more powerful the system, the more heat it generates. As data centers grow, they place higher demands on cooling equipment. Packing as much kilowatt and computer usage into as small a space as possible is key to reducing the cost and size of the facility. In doing this, data centers increase the power density of their systems, drawing more power, and generating more heat per unit area.
If you enjoy the occasional beverage from an aluminum can, there’s a decent chance the can was made by Ball Corporation, a container manufacturing giant with facilities across the world. The company’s facility in Saratoga Springs, New York, services beverage companies throughout the northeastern United States. The plant operates four production lines producing millions of aluminum cans per day.
The number of data centers in the United States continues to grow in response to the enormous amount of digital information stored and streamed. The massive computer power within these data centers generates heat, making efficient cooling a key building system requirement. Evaporative cooling towers are an integral part of many data center cooling systems.
Recent developments in factory-assembled cooling tower technology can increase cooling capacity per cell by up to 50%, expanding the applications for so called “package” towers supporting HVAC and industrial processes. Although field-erected towers have long been the preferred product for process cooling in power plants and heavy industry, new robust designs and materials coupled with cost-saving building techniques now make a new generation of modular products logical alternatives for a broader range of applications.  
Anecdotal reports from users of Tower Tech cooling towers across the U.S. have indicated the Tower Tech design provides substantial savings to the customer both in terms of lower chemical treatment requirements and substantial water savings. There are a number of mechanisms by which the Tower Tech design facilitates efficient, lower cost water treatment and usage. A few are described in this article.
The use of an industrial inhibited glycol and water mixture is recommended in most water chiller systems. Ethylene and Propylene are the two standard types of inhibited glycols commonly used. The main job of glycol is to prevent freezing of the process fluid and ensure consistent flow at the operating temperature. Inhibited glycols will also prevent formation of scale and corrosion while protecting metals such as brass, copper, steel, cast iron and aluminum. Water systems treated with an inhibited glycol will also be protected from algae and bacteria that can grow and degrade the fluid system performance. This brief provides ten basic tips for glycol users in water chilling operations.
Air compressors are very effective heaters. Over eighty percent of the energy input from the motor is converted into compression heat. That heat must be rejected from the compressor package in a way that maintains a variety of temperatures in a reliable manner. The laws of physics demand that the air temperatures go up with compression.