The advancements in manufacturing and design of cooling tower systems have a lot to do with materials. Engineered plastic is the new gold standard. In the past, traditional metal towers only lasted a few years and came with unwelcome environmental and economic side effects, like increased chemical use, higher maintenance costs, replacement costs, and disposal requirements.
However, engineered plastic cooling tower systems are a valuable tool for productivity and cost savings for businesses. Factory-assembled cooling towers made with engineered molded plastics continue to gain popularity over galvanized sheet metal models that once dominated the cooling tower industry. There are several reasons why you might want to considered an engineered plastic cooling tower system to reduce costs and better meet your process needs:
Standard metal cooling towers have casings with thin sheets of galvanized steel. These sheets usually have welded seams that can deteriorate within a year and will require re-welding, patching, or coating to prevent leakage. Additionally, the cooling tower water treatment, which contains chemical compounds, tends to attack the galvanized metal, wearing it out in an extraordinarily short time. Also, environmental conditions such as sunlight, pollution, salt air, and harsh process chemicals contribute to galvanized steel’s early demise. Plus, ambient air pollution can affect galvanized steel, leading to premature failure. Since metal expands and contracts depending on temperature, repeated cycling causes stress that can also accelerate corrosion, rust, and leakage. Even low-grade stainless shell options, like series 300 stainless steel that’s designed to resist corrosion, wears out from cooling tower chemical water treatment chemicals and environmental factors.
In the past, plastic cooling tower systems were too small for many industrial processes. For that reason, galvanized metal cooling towers were traditionally used for most applications above 250 tons. But those days are over. Delta has introduced its TM Series® of modular, factory-assembled, plastic towers that can be combined to provide up to 2,500 cooling tons in a single unit. These modular cooling tower systems also facilitate the use of an extra margin of cooling capacity, making it easier to manage operational heat load or outflow changes or upgrade systems to meet future cooling requirements.
Engineered plastic can also reduce the expected and inconvenient consequences of operating a cooling tower, which include electric power usage, water-treatment chemicals, labor and materials for maintenance, and unscheduled process downtime for cooling tower repairs. Maintenance and repairs usually mean process interruptions, the costliest of all problems related to cooling towers.
The basic design advantages of the latest plastic cooling tower systems also include easier installation, especially on rooftops, because a lightweight plastic shell weighs up to 40 percent less than a steel tower, while being 5-10 times thicker. Bonus: Installation is often faster and easier when modular cooling towers are combined in a cluster.
It’s possible for businesses to meet green standards and reduce the costs associated with being more environmentally conscious. How? A systematic approach to cooling tower greenness will help increase energy efficiency, improve water conservation, and create a smaller carbon footprint, compared to conventional cooling towers, often constructed with sheet metal cladding. The alternative of using cooling towers with molded seamless plastic is immediately beneficial to both the environment and bottom line. In addition, engineered HDPE plastic design cooling towers are designed for the most aggressive water treatment options available, allowing higher cycles of concentration and saving tens of thousands of gallons of makeup water per year. These substantial water and chemical savings can help solve water issues as well as save on operating costs. Plus, the counterflow design of Delta cooling towers also keeps water totally enclosed and free from sunlight, lessening biological growth, making it less likely that you’ll need harsh cooling tower water treatment.
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