Industrial cooling towers are an effective way to remove unwanted heat from one place to another using water as the transport media. Cooling towers are an extremely cost effective solution for process cooling when the temperature required is near 85°F or above. Water-cooled chiller condensers also typically required 85°F inlet water, so a cooling tower system is perfect for a water-cooled chiller system.
While there are a number of different manufacturers using various designs, all cooling towers operate using the same principle of evaporative cooling. A cooling tower removes heat from a process and rejects it to the atmosphere through the process of evaporation. The state change from liquid to gas absorbs large amounts of energy. Cooling towers are constructed of three major components: fan, fill, and shell. In a typical application, water is pumped through a process or process machinery where it removes heat. The warm water is pumped outside to the cooling tower where it is disturbed over the fill (a PVC structure design to increase available surface area) inside the cooling tower. An electrically powered fan moves air through the tower and causes a small portion of the water to evaporate which cools the rest of the water left in the cooling tower. This process operates more efficiently and provides much cooler water temperatures than simple fan-cooled air coils.
Adiabatic Fluid Coolers
Adiabatic fluid coolers are a combination of a traditional dry fluid cooler, like a radiator with a fan bank, and a cooling tower. The fluid cooler uses forced air to cool a liquid through a heat exchanger coil to maintain a closed loop system. This ensures the process fluid is clean from any contaminants the air could introduce into the system. It not only eliminates dirt and debris but also protects against scale buildup and biological growth.
The adiabatic system uses evaporation (similar to a cooling tower) to effectively pre-cool the air before it is forced across the air-to-water heat exchanger coil. A dry fluid cooler’s performance is dependent upon the ambient air temperature, but with the use of an adiabatic system, the fluid cooler has the ability to achieve outlet fluid temperatures that are lower than ambient temperatures. Adiabatic fluid coolers are energy efficient and green solutions. The adiabatic system, that consumes water, is only required during the warmest times of the year. This significantly reduces the amount of water the system uses. During the cooler periods of the year, the fluid cooler will operate as a dry unit and only use the ambient air for cooling. As the temperature decreases, the amount of energy required to run the fans is reduced.