Cooling towers are usually a system component of your building’s air conditioning process.Water consumption of cooling towers can be significantly reduced with regular maintenance and by adopting an effective cooling water treatment program.
As with all other water in your building that is pumped - every drop has an associated energy cost.
In the first instance you can check for wastage by looking for ‘overflow’ pipes coming out of the tower to drain, and seeing if there is any water flowing out of these. Some sites have ‘bleed water’ intermittently released through these pipes, but constant flow indicates a likely problem with the float valves' shut-off height.
If you have cooling towers installed close to boilers, you might consider installing a heat exchanger to use the heat from the condensers (going into the cooling towers) to pre-heat the water going into the hot water heaters. This has the added benefit of reducing the load on the both the boilers and cooling tower.
These publications provide a guide for minimising water consumption and maintaining your cooling tower:
- Fact sheet for saving water in cooling towers (Sydney Water)
- Best Practice Guidelines – Water conservation in cooling towers (Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating)
- Best practice guidelines for cooling towers in commercial buildings (Sydney Water)