Many building or facility managers are unaware of the importance of cooling towers in buildings. Usually cooling tower efficiency is completely neglected once it has been installed. Over time cooling towers lose their efficiency and it can result in a wide range of problems, costing you not only high energy costs but also downtime. As a building manager, you might think that it is best to replace the old cooling tower with a new one without going into the hassle of refurbishing it. However, although sometimes replacement of cooling towers is the only viable option, rebuilding it can also be done which can make the cooling tower function just as new. In this article let’s take a look at the reasons to rebuild cooling tower and why it can be a better option for you rather than replacing it. Before that let’s get into what the cooling tower is and what are its applications.
COOLING TOWER AND ITS USES
A cooling tower is basically a heat rejecting device or heat exchanger. It functions by bringing air and water into direct contact with each other in order to reduce the water’s temperature. Upon contact, water is evaporated, thereby reducing the temperature of the water that is being circulated through the tower. The cooled water is then propelled back into the condenser or process equipment where it absorbs the heat and the cycle is repeated.
Cooling towers are mainly used to facilitate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as in industrial processes. It offers a relatively cost-effective and energy efficient operation of systems that require cooling down temperatures. It is estimated that over 1,500 industrial facilities use large quantities of water to cool their plants. In addition it is used for HVAC systems that are found in large commercial buildings, offices, schools, hospitals and so on. Industrial cooling towers are also employed to remove the heat for several industrial processes in power plants, natural gas processing plants, food processing plants, petroleum refineries, besides other industrial facilities
REASONS TO REBUILD COOLING TOWER
Although there may be instances where you have no alternative but to replace the cooling tower, rebuilding it has several advantages including:
Cost effective– Cooling towers even with proper, regular maintenance and services have an approximate shelf life of 15-20 years. Some of the common problems developed by cooling towers over time include corrosion, scaling and fouling all of which results in loss of efficiency. If you try to replace the cooling tower without considering a rebuild, it can prove to be a costly endeavour for you. For example, rebuilding cooling towers can provide you with up to 20% cost savings as well as saving in labour cost and installation.
Increased lifespan – Instead of replacing your cooling towers, when you decide to rebuild cooling tower, you can save thousands of dollars while increasing the lifespan of the cooling tower by an additional 15-20 years.
Increased efficiency – Rebuilding your cooling towers from qualified professionals will also restore your cooling tower to brand new condition with 100% efficiency, thereby making your building energy saving.
HOW DOES COOLING TOWER REBUILDING WORK?
Cooling tower rebuilding primarily focuses on fixing the structural integrity of the cooling tower. However, before proceeding on rebuilding your cooling tower, an analysis needs to be carried out to determine if the cooling tower is safe to rebuild and what kind of work needs to be done to increase the efficiency. Some common things to look for during this analysis include checking the structural integrity of the cooling tower, checking for signs of corrosion and signs of wear and tear, checking pipes, nozzles, the overall water distribution system, mechanical components as well as the condition of the fill media.
Once you have decided to rebuild and refurbish your cooling tower, you can think of some cooling tower upgrades that enhance its efficiency and increase the lifespan. For example, one of the common cooling tower upgrades is replacing wood components tower with fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) which are much more long lasting. In addition, there are also thermal upgrades available for cooling towers that are worth the bucks as they significantly increase efficiency and prolong lifespan of the cooling tower.
A-TECH Engineering – a leading energy company based in Toronto offers professional and reliable cooling tower services as well as HVAC controls and contracting services for your commercial building that can save you thousands of dollars. To learn more about rebuilding cooling tower or to request an estimate for cooling tower rebuilding, connect with an A-TECH team member today.