With efficient heat exchange an important requirement in the design of an HVAC system, the type of cooling tower you specify to support your project’s unique cooling goals requires careful consideration. After determining the process parameters required for your application – tonnage, range, and approach – cooling tower capabilities can be analyzed.

For the Production Support team at the expansive Quad printing plant in Sussex, Wis., there isn’t one way to manage the operation’s complex and elaborate process cooling system. Rather, the formula for success involves a three-pronged approach that includes carefully measuring and monitoring system performance, diligently and proactively maintaining equipment to ensure peak efficiencies, and investing in updated equipment based on sound decision making. 

In 2010, an 800-ton water-cooled chiller was installed at the SFP plant to provide process chilled water to support the active diffusion process in the plant.  The 800-ton chiller was connected to a common header with a 600-ton and a 1,000-ton chiller in a closed-loop system supporting the production process.  The chillers run year-round to create a constant 40°F water temperature for production equipment in the plant.

This article discusses using devices known as “waterside economizers” and “dry coolers” as means to achieve “free-cooling”. Free cooling (sometimes referred to as a “free cooling system”) can reduce energy consumption and operating costs by using cold ambient air in lieu of running chiller compressors for cooling loads.