Cooling Towers


Conservation suggestions

  • Increase cycles of concentration.
  • Use air cooling.
  • Improve system maintenance.
  • Use variable speed motors.
  • Reuse blowdown.

Questions to ask during an evaluation

  • What types of cooling systems are used; closed loop, open loop, evaporative, ammonia chillers?
  • Who maintains cooling towers?
  • Amount of water into cooling towers?
  • Amount of water for blowdown?
  • How are blowdown rate and frequency established?
  • What is the conductivity set point if one is used to trigger blowdown?
  • How often is the cooling tower reservoir dumped? How is frequency determined?
  • Is a sand filter used to remove sediment? If so, what determines start and stop of backwashing? How much water is used in backwashing?
  • Variability of heating load?
  • Size of cooling towers in tons?
  • Are different cooling towers used to adjust to varying load?
  • Could the heating load be handled by air cooling?
  • Can blowdown be reused within the facility?
  • Is it appropriate to decrease cycles of concentration during the winter months or low heat load periods?

Data to collect

  • Measure incoming and outgoing conductivity to check cycles of concentration.
  • Measure incoming and outgoing flows if facility doesn’t have that data. Check for stuck valves.
  • Visually inspect for leaks or excessive losses from the air inlet and outlet.
  • Get cost estimate for variable speed drives on cooling tower fans.


Conservation suggestions

  • Use more accurate chemical dosing.
  • Use alternative water treatment technologies.
  • Use less toxic chemicals.
  • Use single pass cooling during winter months.

Questions to ask during an evaluation

  • Final discharge location, WWTP or other?
  • Chemicals used?
  • How do you decide dose frequency and dosage?
  • Set point for chemical addition?
  • Does set point change over time?
  • Have alternative water treatment technologies been considered?
  • Is it feasible to use single pass cooling during periods of low heat load?

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