Keeping Your Cool: Tips for Maintaining Your Cooling Towers

Delta Cooling Towers was recently featured in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Online. To read the full article, go to:

The hot summer and fall months place inordinate demands on cooling systems, so if your cooling tower and related equipment are not in good physical shape, there could be a terrible price to pay in loss of process efficiency, damage to downstream equipment, and loss of production.Like overheating the engine in your car, the loss of cooling capability from industrial cooling towers during hot summer months can result in a number of serious consequential “systemic” problems, including paralyzing and pricey damage such as excessive downtime, destruction of equipment, and loss of product due to quality issues. Cooling towers play a critical role in cooling process equipment used in pulp & paper production, petrochemical processing, manufacture of plastics, metals and textiles, the processing and storage of food, beverage and pharmaceutical products, and many HVAC systems. If the cooling tower shell is in bad shape, or requires too much repetitive maintenance, then perhaps the system should be replaced with one of today’s more advanced models, such as seamless plastic cooling towers.

A High Price to Pay

The cost of overlooking the maintenance of a cooling tower can be heavy, almost regardless of application, Ryder warns. In the pulp & paper industry, for example, a process interruption for unscheduled service can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. The impact can be amplified in applications where there are cooling towers operating with sometimes dozens of devices daisy-chained off them. In the food industry, where a cooling tower supports critical food processing machinery, the HVAC system as well as refrigerators and freezers, the loss of even part of the cooling power can cause extensive losses of frozen products, produce, or other perishable products. 

Both Routine and Preventive

Fill material or wet decking should be serviced or replaced in cooling towers. Fouled fill material will not get sufficient air volume contacting the system’s water to dissipate heat efficiently. Therefore, it will make the fan(s) and motors work harder, adding significantly to energy costs, or worse make them unable to achieve required cooling temperatures.

Replace vs. Repair

Ryder says that sometimes preventive maintenance is not enough, or perhaps has been overlooked for too long, making the replacement of a cooling tower the most practical solution.

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