Increasing Energy Efficiency of Your Cooling Towers
Cooling towers are heat exchange systems that allow water and air to come in contact and cause cooling. When water evaporates, it leaves with the latent heat of evaporation, and other sensible heat thereby causing cooling. By moving a draft of air across the surface of water, this evaporation-based cooling process is enhanced. Different industries use cooling towers to cool a huge load of water that is then re-circulated back to the cooling systems they run. The operating mechanisms of these towers differ, giving different cooling towers varying capabilities and suitability. But, whichever system you decide is best for your industry, there are several ways you can enhance the efficiency of the towers and ultimately lower your operation costs. Here are a couple of methods you can implement across a variety of cooling tower types.
The spray size greatly determines how efficient the entire system is. Whether your tower employs cross-flow or counter flow cooling techniques, you will need the proper nozzle sizes that spray water to the fill surface at the right rates. If the spray is too fine, too much water will be taken away by the air in vapor form. This is a common issue observed in cooling towers and is commonly referred to as the "drift". Too much drift means multiple refills and higher maintenance costs even with some drift eliminators in place. On the flip side, if your nozzles are too big, not enough water surfaces will be availed to come in contact with moving air. This means that your cooling towers will not be cooling with maximum efficiency. Once assembled, you can always have professionals observe your cooling towers and calculate the proper nozzle sizes that will work best with the entire system to achieve maximum efficiency.
This is an important feature that can be added to improve cooling towers' efficiency. Variable flow allows you to operate the towers at different times varyingly. By varying the flow in the towers, and hence the energy requirements, you can make considerable energy savings during cooling off-peak hours and such situations. Variable flow systems can be attached to various cooling towers by professionals in the industry.
HVAC free cooling
If you operate cooling towers in conjunction with HVAC equipment to cool vast indoor spaces, you can save a lot in energy costs if you could bypass the HVAC system every now and then but still achieve cooling. Fortunately, this is possible and a good way to lower your cooling costs during winter and cooler times of the day. In this scenario, the cooling towers are installed in a way that the cooled water can be directly circulated around the space without necessarily requiring the HVAC cooling components.