In every industry, there are heating and ventilation systems that use cooling towers to remove heat from an industrial process or for cooling large buildings. However, some common issues can occur in cooling towers regularly. Therefore, it’s important to know what to look out for in advance, which can help you save time and resources down the line.

The laws and regulations to improve water efficiency and the need to reduce costs means that cooling towers need to be running as efficiently as possible. In order to keep your cooling system at optimum performance, there are a few things that should look out for. This will help you understand common cooling tower problems & solutions so you can optimize your cooling tower water treatment for more efficiency.

In this blog, we’ve listed down some of the most common problems with cooling tower water and how to solve them.

Problem: High amount of blowdown

Cooling towers remove excess heat by evaporation, and in turn use lots of water to make up the difference. Due to the makeup water being added into the cooling tower, solid deposits can remain in the cooling tower. This increases the need for a “blowdown” which removes solid waste and dissolved solids buildup to prevent scaling or corrosion in the equipment. When blowdown occurs, a huge amount of circulation water is also lost along with the solid waste, so it’s important to monitor this closely.
Solutions: If your cooling towers require a higher-than-normal amount of blowdown, you need to invest in an efficient water treatment solution for your cooling towers. Depending on the issue, some other solutions to prevent excess cooling tower blowdown include:

  • Water filtration
  • Side-stream filtration
  • Increased cycle of concentration
  • Maintain quality of makeup water by removing scale forming and corrosion causing impurities.

Problem: Low Cycle of Concentration

In cooling towers, CoC helps measure how much concentrated buildup is in the cooling tower water compared to the ratio of makeup water. The higher cycle of concentration means the lesser need for makeup water and blowdown, thus saving water and cost. The ideal ratio is at least three to six cycles of concentration which is 3 to 6 times the concentration of deposits in the water cycle than the makeup water. In systems operating at a low cycle of concentration, water consumption can increase rapidly, causing excess costs.
Solutions: In many water treatment systems, the quality of the water cycle, makeup water, and type of cooling tower being used will dictate the necessary treatments to achieve the best cycle of concentration for your facility. However, some solutions that can help in increasing your cycles of concentration are:

  • Better cooling tower control by a water treatment system
  • Minimizing blowdown monitoring conductivity
  • pH/alkalinity control to minimize scale formation
  • Decreasing feed hardness, iron, and silica
  • Managing microbial growth

Problem: Noise emissions from cooling towers

Cooling towers can produce high levels of noise, which might be problematic in certain applications that produce huge out loads where sound reduction is imperative, such as hospitals, residential areas, hotels and commercial buildings. There are also stringent noise regulations and laws in place to prevent unnecessary noise pollution. Therefore, cooling towers have to abide by these rules and make sure the noise they produce is in check.
Solutions: The primary sources of noise from cooling towers are fans, fan motors, and the airflow. There are some noise control solutions that can be implemented in cooling towers. With a proper aerodynamic design and using optimised blade profiles and inserts, you can reduce the noise in cooling tower fans where it is generated, without reducing the efficiency of the fan.

Conclusion:

Every good business stands on an efficient operation that includes keeping the overhead down. Being aware of any potential problems in cooling towers and knowing how to solve them is essential to the success and efficiency of your process.

To ensure that the cooling towers work without any error, they have to be maintained regularly and operated with care. Even with the cooling tower water treatment, you need to take care of it in a proper manner. This will not only increase the lifespan of the equipment, but it will reduce expenses and also prevent any serious issues in your cooling system.