Energy Management

How to monitor day-to-day cooling tower performance

Maintain your cooling towers for improved energy efficiency.

By Riyaz Papar

By the time you read this article, I am sure we will be behind the dog days of summer and every one of us will have forgotten those hot and humid days when our process cooling tower temperature just wouldn’t budge even a degree, irrespective of what we tried. Cooling towers and fin fans are the main heat sinks at plants; any bottlenecks there cascade the problems upstream, impacting process throughput and yield. This article sheds some light on cooling towers; a future column will address fin fans and their efficiency points.

Cooling towers come in several different configurations. Although the principles of the heat rejection mechanism are the same, every cooling tower design and configuration is unique and specific. Hence, the first and foremost requirement before beginning any assessment is to review the cooling tower’s design documentation. The design should provide information on heat duty (cooling tower tons), water flow rate, temperature difference (between supply and return water temperature), air flow required and approach to wet-bulb temperature. Changing any one of these parameters can impact significantly the operating performance of the cooling tower and in most cases will degrade efficiency or the ability of the cooling tower to meet design requirements.

To learn more about cooling towers, read “Have you Visited your Cooling Towers Lately?” from Chemical Processing.

Free Subscriptions

Plant Services Digital Edition

Access the entire print issue on-line and be notified each month via e-mail when your new issue is ready for you. Subscribe Today.

plantservices.com E-Newsletters

Get Plant Services delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday! Sign up for Plant Services' complimentary Smart Minute e-newsletter to get maintenance and reliability know-how you can put to use today, plus the latest manufacturing news from around the Web, special reports, and more. Learn more and subscribe for free today.