Water cooling towers are a part of our lives virtually every day. Whenever you go to work or shop at a big box store you are likely to be the recipient of their efficiency, so much so that you likely do not even notice them.
A cooling tower is a heat exchanger. Inside the cooling tower system, heat is taken from the water by contact between the water and the air. This heat transfer will occur through the exchange of heat between the air and water through evaporation of a small part of the water that needs to be cooled. The water is cooled down to a temperature which is lower than the ambient temperature. If you see the chimneys of water cooler towers the mist coming from the chimney is not smoke. It is regular steam and has the same makeup as a regular cloud in the sky.
Cooling tower systems were first developed with the mission of recycling more than 98% of waste water. As a result of water cooling towers, water and energy use was dramatically reduced as more and more companies began employing the technology.
With the development of the technology used in water cooling towers over the years, we have also seen the development of various sizes and shapes of the towers. Large towers with the capability to services large plants are the most obvious as they can be seen working in factory and warehouse settings. The smallest water cooling towers are designed to handle water supplies by small pipes that give only streams of a few gallons of water. These small pipes are about the size you might see at a residence.
Saving water, energy, and also money is the name of the game and maintaining a water cooling tower can accomplish all three of those desires. A 1,000-ton cooling system that can achieve 5% efficiency improvements can save a great deal of energy. It can be expected that 90,000 kW-hrs and roughly $10,000 can be achieved with the right system.
If you have a poorly maintained cooling system that can no longer reach its cooling capacity, that can have a very negative effect on your production capability. Also, a decrease in cooling capacity can cause polluting in the cooling system itself.