During Winter operation, a cooling tower brings as much low temperature air into contact with the flowing water as the tower fan(s) will permit. The greater the flow of cold air, the colder the water temperature will become. Fortunately, when under design process heat loads, the temperature gradients that naturally occur in counterflow cooling towers (All Delta designs) prevent the mass flow of water from reaching 32 F.
Cooling tower water will freeze very reluctantly and usually with advance warning. In reality, the opportunity for destructive ice is remote. It is only when droplets or minor streams of water escape the mainstream that they are subject to the full effect of the cold air and can become a steadily building mound of ice.
Here are some basic operating rules that should be followed for cooling tower operation in cold weather:
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