Cooling towers are effective devices for heat rejection in the commercial and industrial environment. These structures will complement the HVAC system and machinery cooling systems, promoting fast and efficient evaporative cooling. On the other hand, you should note that the performance of the cooling tower will depend significantly on the water quality. In simple terms, this system uses water to collect heat before dissipation using evaporation. If the water quality is not exceptional, the efficiency and health of the setup will be compromised. If you are planning on building a cooling tower or have recently installed one, consider using the below-outlined guidelines for dealing with water quality in the structure.
Treat Water Hardness
Water hardness can cause unexpected scaling on the cooling tower internal surfaces. The coatings formed by the scale will decrease the system's capacity to dissipate heat with speed and efficiency. In general, hard water is created because of the dissolution of minerals in the water supply. These minerals, usually calcium and magnesium carbonates, remain unseen in water. However, when the water is exposed to heat, they are removed from the water and stick to the tower surfaces. If the water supply in your region or commercial property is known for hardness, you will need to perform treatment before use in the system. You can soften the water using ion-exchange resin devices, lime softeners and reverse osmosis.
Prevent Biological Growths
The cooling tower is warm and wet, and this environment can promote the growth of microbiological organisms. These microbes will lower the water quality in your system. Moreover, a biofilm or a layer of microbial organisms in a colony can form on the cooling water. This will reduce the speed of heat dissipation in the tower. Therefore, you should take action to prevent the occurrence of detrimental biological growths, including algae, bacteria and fungi. Treat the cooling tower with biocides and algaecides which could prevent the efficient flow of cooling water. Chlorine or other disinfection agents can be used for bacterial growth prevention.
Avoid Structural Corrosion
Finally, you should prevent the corrosion of the metallic structures which come in contact with your cooling water. Unmitigated corrosion will weaken the cooling tower and shorten its lifespan. The main contributors of this form of degradation are acidic cleaners and treatment agents. Therefore, you should use products which are designed for safe use in cooling towers to minimise the risk of accelerated deterioration.
If you are uncertain about the right strategy to promote high water quality, consult your cooling tower contractor.