Cooling Towers

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.

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Overflowing Cooling Tower

Constant water from the drain of an overflowing cooling tower

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Overflowing Cooling Tower

Inside an overflowing cooling tower

 

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:

 

Acknowledgements: 
We'd like to thank Adam Jones from BMT WBM for sharing his knowledge, and some photos, for this topic.
Last Updated: 
Mon 07/11/2011

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