Industrial cooling towers serve a pretty straightforward purpose: to remove the excess heat produced in industrial machinery operations so that the systems can continue functioning smoothly without overheating. The concept behind the process of average cooling towers is pretty simple too: by using direct contact with water and air, evaporation naturally removes waste heat from the system.
The actual process, however, is a little more complicated than that.
There are many types of cooling towers, although wet cooling towers are the most common type in factories, industrial buildings, and residential buildings. These cooling towers tend to be more efficient than dry cooling towers, which have a harder time removing heat without the use of water.
Wet cooling towers, which are also sometimes called evaporative cooling towers, can involve either open circuit systems or closed circuit systems. In both types of systems, the tower uses a stream of cool water that runs through the heated system, and this water instantly absorbs the heat produced by the machinery. Once the water is heated up, a stream of cool air comes through the cooling tower and comes into direct contact with the warm water. When the cool air and warm water come into contact with each other, microscopic water droplets (containing the waste heat) evaporate into the air, which blows through the tower and quickly removes the heat from the system. Once the water has cooled down again, it can be run through the same system and repeat the exact same process over again, thus keeping the machinery at a cool temperature for operation.
This evaporation technique used in wet cooling towers certainly isn’t a new technology, but when it’s used in an industrial setting, some minor adjustments naturally have to be made. For example, when the water cools down again, more water must be added to make up for the droplets that evaporated; additionally, because the evaporated droplets don’t contain any minerals that the liquid water holds, it’s imperative that a dissolving solution is added to the re-used water to ensure that the minerals don’t build up.
The process involved in wet cooling towers can definitely get a little complicated, but it’s absolutely essential for countless factories and businesses across the globe today.