Boosting the price/performance ratio

When evaluating the purchase of most types of capital equipment, the obvious factor to consider is price/performance. Yet, an important factor that most people would agree should not be overlooked is value add, amenity or service - such as warranty or engineering assistance to improve ROI. Value add is certainly realized for Delta Cooling Towers, which feature a shell composed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) known as ‘engineered plastic’. One of the major problems that plague conventional cooling towers' performance, is corrosion that is imposed by the environment (e.g., salt air, industrial pollutants) or cooling system waters and their required chemical water treatment. With a shell of galvanized sheet metal, the conventional models are maintenance intensive and destined to a relatively brief service life, often seven years or less. The maintenance factor is not only expensive in terms of downtime, but also laborious to clean or coat away corroded shell panels and weld or gasket patches. Plus, the amount of chemicals required to inhibit corrosion is also costly. Conversely, HDPE-engineered plastic cooling towers are impermeable to corrosion. Therefore, they require far less maintenance and downtime, and normally require relatively inexpensive chemicals used to retard biological growth. Pioneered by Delta Cooling Towers, the HDPE models are available in single and modular configurations from 10 to 2,400 cooling tonnes.  They are in wide use for HVAC and heat exchanger applications throughout commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. When Joe Matthews, vice president of construction at Vista Air Services, was considering a self-contained, water-cooled HVAC system, he was initially focused on system efficiencies. However, since a cooling tower would be essential to the system, he was also concerned about the salt air and corrosive emissions from several surrounding chemical plants. These would corrode a conventional, metal-clad cooling tower shell, making frequent maintenance and replacement necessary over the years. “Considering the potential operating savings, I was surprised to learn that the initial purchase price was also substantially lower than many conventional models,” he adds. The water-cooled system that Vista selected was a space-saving design that would economise on plant space compared with an air-cooled system, which would entail massive package units. “We installed four 40-tonne air handlers mounted to the exterior walls, plus four 20-tonne air handlers inside,” Matthews explains. “With a typical 40-tonne air-cooled package, you’ll have a 450 square feet. footprint. With our water-cooled system, we are only taking up less than 30 square feet.” A deciding factor among most Delta cooling tower customers is the 20-year warranty on the shell plus the manufacturer can accommodate customers on cooling tower color. For more information, email or visit the web site

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