A critical component of responsible water management is to understand when and where all the water in a building is getting wasted. That’s why building managers need to look deeper into the ubiquitous cooling towers for achieving water sustainability in commercial facilities. While plumbing and irrigation systems are some of the main culprits, cooling towers are the ones who might need it the most.
The reason is that cooling towers are specially designed to transfer heat from a system using the power of evaporation. Given that their purpose is to dissipate heat from recirculating water, they have to use a lot of water. All this evaporation, however, is wasteful and results in extreme water loss and raised costs.
However, all of this can be avoided. With the proper management of cooling towers, you can improve the efficiency of the cooling tower. Here are some basic measures that you can take to lower water wastage while increasing their efficiency.
Increase CoC: For heat transfer, fresh makeup water is used in the cooling towers, which is only usable before the dissolved minerals build up to an extent where they drop out of the solution. CoC is the number of times a cooling tower recycles water before the blow down.
Typically, a CoC of three is considered best for optimal efficiency. However, the water quality and the water treatment determine the number of cycles a cooling tower system can endure. To increase the cycle, you can minimize chemical use or invest in a non-chemical water treatment system. It can reduce the potential for corrosion, scaling and biological growth, which allow the towers to operate safely at higher concentration ratios.
Scaling: It occurs within a cooling tower when the concentration of dissolved solids becomes greater than their solubility in the water. Calcium sulfate, calcium phosphate and other calcium salts commonly cause scale which impacts the heat transfer surfaces in your tower and lower your cooling efficiencies. Scale Remover STSR is a cooling tower descaler chemical that has been used for cooling tower cleaning and cooling tower maintenance. Without cleaning and maintenance, equipment may need costly repairs, shutdowns or even replacing.
Reduce blow down: With no treatment in place to prevent scaling and biological growth, many cooling tower operators increase blow down. This strategy, however, can also increase corrosion by lowering the pH and water loss.
Instead, you can try careful monitoring, establishing and adhering to set points and installing a conductivity meter to reduce water wastage. You not only save lots of water but also reduce sewage, another potentially significant cost savings.
Monitor water levels and install flow meters: When the water level is too high, it can lead to water loss. It can cause strong airflow in the sump that tends to leak and set off water overflow. That’s why you must replace the ballcock-style fill valves with more reliable fill valves. Also, keep checking the water level to ensure that it is adequately below the overflow outlet.
For effective water management, It is essential to keep track of makeup and blow down quantities. That’s why you must install flow meters on both makeup and blow down water lines. They will help you check the ratio between blow down water and makeup water. The proportions have to match the target cycles of concentration. If it isn’t matching then, it will help you catch the performance degradation timely.
Invest in a water treatment system: While a water treatment reduces the cost to treat makeup water, it will also maintain an optimal recommended system water cycle of concentration.
That’s why it’s vital to achieve water efficiency in industrial cooling towers. At CET-Enviro, we offer SBR, a non-chemical automatic water treatment that continuously cleans the cooling tower water and augments the cooling performance.
These are some of the basic measures to reduce water loss from your industrial cooling tower system. To start saving, implement them and invest in systems that efficiently minimize water wastage.