Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Cooling Towers

Gearboxes are used as speed reducers to slow the rotational speed from the incoming motor to the outgoing fan of a cooling tower. Companies operating high-capacity production plants, such as those in the chemical process and power industries, require cooling towers with large amounts of heat rejection capacity. Without gearbox technology, cooling tower motors would be massive to directly handle the torque required by the fan. Something so large and heavy would be too expensive and impractical.
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.
The 2017 AHR EXPO was held January 30 to February 1 in Las Vegas. The 2017 AHR Expo set several records, including attendance of more than 68,000 registered visitors and exhibitor personnel, as well as 500,159 square feet sold.  The Show was by far the largest and best attended Expo in the Western states, with some 1,968 exhibiting companies.
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 2016 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., welcomed 60,926 registered attendees. Thousands of contractors and engineers, OEMs, distributors and plant managers, from all facets of the global HVACR industry, converged at AHR Expo making it the world’s largest HVACR marketplace. In total 469,540 square feet, of exhibit space, was occupied by 2,063 exhibitors.  This year’s 18,254 exhibitor personnel addressed 42,672 visitors, based on a preliminary attendance count by the show’s management company, International Exposition Company
The first and most important process unit in petrochemical processing is ethylene. It is the starting point for the vast majority of other petrochemical processes that derive their feedstocks from ethylene. If this unit is forced to reduce its throughput due to an equipment-related issue, it could spell economic disaster for a plant. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to a Gulf Coast petrochemical processor’s primary facility. It experienced a collapse in the cooling tower that supported the ethylene unit, which compromised the structural integrity of the equipment. Worse yet, it was estimated that it would take one month to repair the two damaged cells. The affected facility would need to reduce the feedstock to its downstream units by 20 to 40 percent to compensate for the lost cooling capacity. The economic impact of the cooling tower failure was estimated at $5,000,000 per day.
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.
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.