Cooling towers are ideal devices for use in diverse industrial and commercial cooling applications. These structures are primarily used in rejecting waste heat from industrial operations and machinery, but they are also popularly used in discharging heat from HVAC systems in large commercial buildings. In general, cooling towers are designed and built to withstand heavy usage. However, the durability of the structure will ultimately depend on the system design and maintenance practices. Here are crucial guidelines to help you promote long-term cooling tower performance.
Choose the Right Tower Size
The cooling tower system should be properly sized, depending on the potential application. This will help in promoting better performance during operation and prolonging the service life of the tower. Basically, the cooling tower functions using the principle of evaporative heat rejection. Therefore, an ideal tower should be able to provide a sufficient surface area for the heated water from the building and cooling air to interact.
Smaller cooling systems have to work harder and faster to achieve desired cooling temperature. This makes the tower more prone to premature wear and failure. On the other hand, a larger cooling tower presents unnecessary expenses. Moreover, it takes up more space and will demand more financial input in terms of installation and long-term maintenance. For ideal results, engage a cooling tower technician for proper tower sizing.
Consider the Construction Material
The construction material used in the creation of the cooling tower structure will affect the longevity of the system. Simply speaking, some materials are more prone to accelerated degradation, particularly in relation to the environment in which they are installed. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the conditions surrounding your cooling system before commissioning tower construction. Typically, the cooling tower is built using galvanised steel.
This material is favoured for the application because it is strong and durable, and it performs well in normal or average environmental conditions. However, if the material is exposed to saline environment or used in chemical plants, it will become corroded fast, shortening the service life. If you plan to set up your tower in such conditions, it is advisable to choose less corrosion susceptible materials such as stainless steel and fibre-reinforced plastic.
Perform Periodic Maintenance
Cooling towers are not labour-intensive in terms of long-term maintenance. However, periodic inspection and general upkeep practices can significantly prolong the structure's service life. You should ensure that the water quality is treated and maintained at the recommended level to prevent scaling, corrosion and contamination. Additionally, the moving components should be lubricated to prevent frictional degradation.