What is a cooling tower?
Cooling towers are a special type of heat exchanger that allows water and air to come in contact with each other to lower the temperature of the hot water. During the cooling tower working process, small volumes of water evaporate, lowering the temperature of the water that’s being circulated throughout the cooling tower.
In a short summary, the purpose of a cooling tower is to cool down water that gets heated up by industrial equipment and processes. Water comes in the cooling tower hot (from industrial process) and goes out of the cooling tower cold (back into the industrial process). Here we discover cooling tower functions and inner working of cooling towers for different applications.
How Do Cooling Towers Work Explanation
Cooling towers are a special type of heat exchanger that allows water and air to come in contact with each other to lower the temperature of the hot water. During this process, small volumes of water evaporate, lowering the temperature of the water that’s being circulated throughout the cooling tower. In a short summary, a cooling tower cools down water that gets over heated by industrial equipment and processes.
The hot water is usually caused by air conditioning condensers or other industrial processes. That water is pumped through pipes directly into the cooling tower. Cooling tower nozzles are used to spray the water onto to the “fill media”, which slows the water flow down and exposes the maximum amount of water surface area possible for the best air-water contact. The water is exposed to air as it flows throughout the cooling tower. The air is being pulled by an motor-driven electric “cooling tower fan”.
When the air and water come together, a small volume of water evaporates, creating an action of cooling. The colder water gets pumped back to the process/equipment that absorbs heat or the condenser. It repeats the loop over and over again to constantly cool down the heated equipment or condensers.
Cooling Tower Working Priciple
There are many different types of cooling towers but the cooling tower working principles stay pretty much the same. Most cooling towers work based on the principle of “evaporative cooling“. Evaporative cooling is the process where warm water from an industrial process is pumped up to the top of the cooling tower where the water distribution system is. The water then gets distributed by cooling tower nozzles to the wet deck. At the same time, air is being drawn through the air-inlet louvers forcing water to evaporate. Evaporation causes the heat to be removed from the make up water. The hot air naturally rises out of the tire.
Types Of Cooling Tower Systems
Cooling towers are usually designed for specific purposes. Not all cooling towers work for all applications or industrial processes. Here we help you understand the various types of cooling towers, there advantages/disadvantages and determine which cooling tower type is right for your industrial process. Check out the cooling tower list and parts list that provides an overview of cooling tower types to help you figure out which tower is right for your industrial application and what replacement parts you might need.
- Crossflow Cooling Towers
- Counterflow Cooling Towers
- Forced Draft & Induced Draft Cooling Towers Process
- Natural Draft & Fan Assisted Natural Draft Cooling Towers
- Factory Assembled Cooling Towers (FAP) Factory Assembled Product
- Field-Erected-Towers (FEP) Field Erected Product
Crossflow Cooling Towers Flow Diagram
In crossflow cooling tower systems the water vertically flows through the fill media while the air horizontally flows across the falling water. That’s why they call it “crossflow” because the air and water cross paths or flows. Because of the crossing of flows, the air doesn’t need to pass through the distribution system. This permits the use of hot water flow via gravity and distribution basins on the top of the tower right above the fill media. The basins are a standard of crossflow cooling towers and are applied on all units.
Counterflow Cooling Tower Diagram
Difference between crossflow and counterflow cooling towers: In counterflow cooling tower system processes, the air vertically flows upwards, counter to the water flow in the fill media. Due to the air flowing vertically, it’s not possible to use the basin’s gravity-flow like in crossflow towers. As a substitute, these towers use pressurized spray systems, usually pipe-type, to spray the water on top of the fill media. The pipes and cooling tower nozzles are usually spread farther apart so they will not restrict any air flow.