Plastic Cooling Towers Cure Hospital's Maintenance, Energy Cost Symptoms

It’s no secret that hospitals contain some of the most diverse and demanding environments that require dependable performance of the HVAC system. Operating rooms, critical care facilities, data centers and imaging centers all are to some extent dependent on the reliable operation of the HVAC system, particularly in warm weather.

When cooling towers are sluggish or out ofservice for maintenance, added stress is placed on chillers, and in turn the performance of the HVAC system is often downgraded. This was the case with Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins, WV. A subsidiary of Davis Health System, the 160,000- sq-ft-hospital was founded in 1904, fully renovated in 1994, and is now undergoing an expansion of 72,000 sq ft.

To overcome recurring cooling tower-related HVAC performance problems, Davis Memorial purchased two new cooling towers to support its two 300-ton Carrier chillers. “I researched various cooling tower technologies on the internet and found a unique line of cooling towers that feature a seamless plastic shell,” said Steven Johnson, director of Davis Memorial Support Services. “The one that attracted my attention was a line that was made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) manufactured by Delta Cooling Towers. Of course, there were a lot of other models available, but most of them seemed to be the metal-clad design.” Johnson found the HDPE cooling tower shells appealing since they are virtually impermeable to corrosive elements, including water treatment chemicals such as chlorine, as well as to UV rays.

Johnson and engineers from Davis Memorial, along with some from Carrier, decided to visit Delta Cooling Tower manufacturing for a plant tour so that they could get a closer look at the design and building of the manufacturer’s product line. “We were all impressed with the plant tour,” Johnson says. “Not only was management helpful in explaining the features and benefits of various product models, but they also helped us confirm our preliminary specs for the cooling towers we had in mind. We were quite surprised to learn that this line of cooling towers was about 20% less expensive than many conventional designs.” The two towers selected by the Davis Memorial team included a 250-ton TM Series unit and a 180-ton Paragon Series tower.

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