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The natural draft cooling tower is the right choice for large power plants.
It offers the following advantages :

power saving (no power consumption to induce air flow- no fan)
environmentally friendly
no mechanical noise (no fan)
safety of operation
no recirculation as the plume is rejected at high level
limited plot area
limited maintenance
high longevity (generally more than plant life expectancy)
Payback period between 8 and 16 years depending on several factors
Hamon has built more than 300 natural draft cooling towers worldwide in various climate and geographical conditions.

HVACR Cooling Towers and Their Types
written by: Lakshmi Narasimhan • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 5/24/2011
This article provides information about the two types of cooling towers most commonly found- namely
natural draft and mechanical draft. Find out how they work.

Cooling Towers for Refrigeration
An important device used in any refrigeration or air conditioning system is a condenser. A condenser is
used in the high pressure side of a refrigeration or air conditioning system to convert the high-pressure
vapour refrigerant from the compressor into liquid refrigerant. The medium used in a condenser may be
water or air, depending upon the application. In the case of water cooled condensers, the warm water
being pumped by the condenser should be cooled with the help of cooling towers so that the same water
may be re-circulated to the condenser.

Principle of Operation for Cooling Towers
The principle of operation of cooling towers is very similar to that of the evaporative type of condensers,
in which the warm water gets cooled by means of evaporation. Water evaporates as a result of the hot
water droplet coming in contact with the air (which is being pumped out by means of a fan). This
evaporating water also absorbs the latent heat from the water surrounding it. By losing latent heat, the
water is cooled.

Types of cooling towers
According to the method adopted to circulate the air, cooling towers may be classified as:


Natural draft cooling towers
Mechanical draft cooling towers.

Natural Draft Cooling Tower
As the name indicates, the air is circulated inside the cooling tower by natural convection. The natural
draft cooling towers are further classified as:

Cooling towers are designed and manufactured in several types:

















The atmospheric cooling towers utilize no mechanical fan to create air flow through the tower, its air is
derived from a natural induction flow provided by a pressure spray.
We can see it in the following picture:



Mechanical draft towers uses fans (one or more) to move large quantities of air through the tower. They
are two different classes:

Forced draft cooling towers

Induced draft cooling towers

The air flow in either class may be crossflow or counterflow with respect to the falling water. Crossflow
indicates that the airflow is horizontal in the filled portion of the tower while counterflow means the air
flow is in the opposite direction of the falling water.
The counterflow tower occupies less floor space than a crossflow tower but is taller for a given capacity.
The principle advantages of the crossflow tower are the low pressure drop in relation to its capacity and
lower fan power requirement leading to lower energy costs.
All mechanical towers must be located so that the discharge air diffuses freely without recirculation
through the tower, and so that air intakes are not restricted. Cooling towers should be located as near as

possible to the refrigeration systems they serve, but should never be located below them so as to allow
the condenser water to drain out of the system through the tower basin when the system is shut down.
The forced draft tower, shown in the picture, has the fan, basin, and piping located within the tower
structure. In this model, the fan is located at the base. There are no louvered exterior walls. Instead, the
structural steel or wood framing is covered with paneling made of aluminum, galvanized steel, or
asbestos cement boards.

During operation, the fan forces air at a low velocity horizontally through the packing and then vertically
against the downward flow of the water that occurs on either side of the fan. The drift eliminators located
at the top of the tower remove water entrained in the air. Vibration and noise are minimal since the
rotating equipment is built on a solid foundation. The fans handle mostly dry air, greatly reducing erosion
and water condensation problems.
The induced draft tower show in the following picture has one or more fans, located at the top of the
tower, that draw air upwards against the downward flow of water passing around the wooden decking or
packing. Since the airflow is counter to the water flow, the coolest water at the bottom is in contact with
the driest air while the warmest water at the top is in contact with the moist air, resulting in increased
heat transfer efficiency.

3. Properly desogned the fans may need to be operated only during pereiods ao high ambientsand peak loads. the air moves vertically upward through the fill. The intent of their desing is to minimize the horsepower required for the air movement. or even reverse. and utilize more fan power than their cross flow counterparts. but to do so with the least possible stack cost impact. require more pump head. Consequenly. counter to the downward fall of water. plus the availability of generous intake areas and plenum spaces for the air management. The enclosed nature of a counterflow tower also restricts exposure of the water to direct sunlight. is tending to equalize. In a larger counter flow towers. some of the smaller counter flow towers are physically higher. and the typically higher air pressure losses. the use of high pressure spray systems. this situation. Because of the need for extended intake and discharge plenums. . thereby retarding the growth of the algae. however. 4. they are also referred to us fan-assisted natural draft towers. the us of low pressure grativity-related distribution systems. CHARACTERIZATION BY AIR FLOW The cooling towers by the relative flow are divided in several groups : COUNTERFLOW: IN the counterflow towers. HYBRID DRAFT Tgey are equiped with mechanical draft fans to augment airflow.

Water to be cooled is delivered to hot water inlet basins located atop the fill areas. . across the downward fall of water.CROSSFLOW: The crossflow towers have a fill configuration throught. and is distributed to the fill by gravity throught metering orifices in the floor of those basins. which the air flows horizontally. The crossflow towers can be divided in: DOUBLE-FLOW: In this kind of towers the fan is inducting air through two inlets and across two banks of fill.

depending only upon the water break-up af-forded by the distribution system to promote maximum water-to-air characterization by construction we can see two different kinds of cooling towers by construction: . the remaining three sides of the towers being cased.SINGLE-FLOW: This kind of towers only has one air inlet and one fill bank. 5. Single-flow towers are customarily used in locations where are unrestricted air path to the tower is available from only one direction. SPRAY – FILLED This kind of towers has not a heat transfer surface.

whereupon there are shipped to the site in as a few sections as mode of transportation will permit. FACTORY-ASSEMBLED: The factory-assembled cooling towers undergo virtually complete assembly at their point of manufacture. 6. and many of the smaller towers. All large towers. are prefabricated. . piece-market and shipped to the site for the cooling towers manufacturer usually provides final assembly.o Field-erected o Factory-assembled Field-erected: The field-erected cooling towers are those on which the primary construction activity takes place at the site of ultimate use. with fans clustered as close practicable around the center point of the tower. such as the octagonal mechanical draft (OMD) also fall in the general classification of “round” towers. ROUND MECHANICAL DRAFT: Are towers as the name implies. increasing linearly to the length and numbers of cells necessary to accomplish a special thermal performance. Multi-faceted towers. are essentially round in plan configuration. TYPED BY SHAPE There are two different types: RECTILINEAR: These towers are constructed in cellular fashion.

fr/produits/cooling-tower-information. Cooling mostly results from water evaporation. system efficiency is linked to the design and maintenance of the air cooling tower as well as atmospheric conditions (temperature and moisture). The air circulates through the streaming system and is discharged into the atmosphere. where by full utilization of dry surface coil The hot water is sprayed onto the upper part of the air cooling tower and streams onto the heat exchange body. Hence sensible heat transfer cools the water totally. IN between these extremes are the plume abatement and water conservation towers. We have more information about the effects of thermal pollution Read more: http://www. wherein progressively greater portions of dry surface coil sections are introduced into the overall heat transfer system to alleviate specific problems or to accomplish specific requirements.htm Air cooling towers 2What is an air cooling tower?2 A wet air cooling tower is an “air/water” heat exchanger in which the water to be cooled is in direct contact with ambient air. no direct contact (and no evaporation) occurs between air and water. At the other end os the spectrum is the Dry tower. .7. TYPED BY METHOD OF HEAT TRANSFER All of the cooling towers described here are evaporative type towers.lenntech.lenntech.htm#ixzz3Ty3MqMpj http://www. in that they derive their primary cooling effect from the evaporation that takes place when air and water are brought into the direct contact.

a device through which the heat is transferred between air and water. It varies according to the heat removed. can operate this type of air cooling tower. residential building etc. These towers are mostly used for the air conditioning of large premises. hospital etc. 2Elements constituting a wet air cooling tower2 The main elements constituting a traditional air cooling tower are:  A water distribution system designed to uniformly disperse the water in the form of droplets.  Possibly one or several heat exchangers and a pump to ensure water circulation.which do not involve water spraying and do not present any risks of legionella disease (such as air conditioning systems in .  The heat exchange body or “packing”.  The spray guard or droplet separator (a set of baffles) installed at the air outlet of the cooling tower.). droplet entrainment is likely to carry bacteria. It can be located in the upper or lower section of the air cooling tower.One of the recognised contamination sources is the dispersion of legionella into the atmosphere by wet air cooling towers operating by spraying water into the air.  The access hatch(es). opening onto the body of the air cooling tower and allowing access to the inside and visual inspection of the different elements. for double-flow air cooling towers or hybrid towers. designed to prevent droplet entrainment. designed to recover cooled water.2Plume2 Steam-saturated air creates a cloud when coming out of wet air cooling towers. NOTE: these towers should not be confused with dry air-conditioning processes. This cloud. is made up of:  steam: this is the quantity of evaporated water ensuring the cooling process. public building (shopping centre. The list is kept up to date by the regions. Anyone operating an industrial installation.  droplet entrainment: fine water particles generated by the cooling system carried into the atmosphere by the air circulation within the tower. IT rooms or the cooling of heat-generating industrial processes.  The fan ensuring continuous air flow.  The tank located in the lower section of the tower. called “plume”. operators are required to report to the departmental Prefect. Unlike evaporated water. office building. These installations come under the permit or declaration system in accordance with decree 2004-1331 of 1st December 2004.

In this case. A hybrid tower (operating by dry/wet process) can be a closed primary circuit installation if the tower is closed (the water circuit in contact with air is restricted to the tower) or not if the tower is open. and in which the concentration of legionella must be controlled. 2Examples of air cooling towers2 Open air cooling tower Closed air cooling tower 2Different types of refrigerating circuits2 Open-circuit cooling installation: Installations other than those with a closed primary circuit are installations for which the water circuit in contact with air circulates from the tower to a heat exchanger or a process distant from the tower (not adjoining the tower).cars or individual homes). which is . is significant and requires a larger channelling surface where biofilm can form than closed primary circuit installations. the volume of water in contact with air.

Open tower + a heat exchanger not adjoined: an intermediate plate heat exchanger is positioned between the circuit to be cooled down and the circuit of the tower equipped with a heat exchange body. but the risk of legionella proliferation still exists. The operation of the tower is identical to that of the open tower with an independent water circuit. while the other part is recovered in a receptacle then returned to the process that needs cooling. the volume of water in the circuit in contact with air is lower. The conditions favourable to the development of legionella in the circuit are restricted by the limitation of channelling surfaces prone to biofilm formation. Part of the water evaporates to ensure water cooling. Open hybrid tower: this type of tower is made up of a dry cooling coil and a heat exchange body onto which process water streams: the fluid that needs cooling initially circulates through a dry cooling coil situated at the top of the air cooling tower.the case in the third diagram below. whether a closed tower or an open tower cooling a heat exchanger adjoining the tower. For these installations. If dry cooling is not sufficient. Closed tower (with tubular heat exchanger inside the tower): the fluid that needs cooling circulates through a tubular heat exchanger positioned in the air cooling tower and replacing the heat . partly evaporates and then returns to the process at the desired temperature. the fluid is dispersed onto a heat exchange body. remember: Open tower: the water of the circuit to be cooled down is directly dispersed onto the heat exchange body of the air cooling tower. remember: Open tower + adjoining heat exchanger: the intermediate plate heat exchanger is physically attached to the tower equipped with a heat exchange body. The operation of the tower is identical to that of the open tower with an independent water circuit. Closed circuit cooling installation: Closed primary circuit installations are installations for which the water circuit in contact with air is limited to the tower.

This guide is a training support in the management of the legionella proliferation risk in air cooling towers. The Guide of good practices (June 2001) “Legionella and air cooling towers” is the result of an interministerial work (ministries in charge of Health. it is important to raise the operators’ awareness of the risk of legionella disease associated with air cooling towers. the risk of proliferation is easier to manage when:  the developed surface area (contact between materials and water) is limited  the water volume is lower. maintenance and management of air cooling towers  A log to monitor the cooling system: a practical document facilitating the monitoring of the body. Industry and the Environment). It is aimed in particular at the operators of these installations and is divided into four sections:  Foreword. table of contents and bibliography  Module 1: legionella and cooling installations dispersing water into an air stream  Module 2: controlling the risk of legionella proliferation in cooling installations dispersing water into an air stream  Module 3: analysing the risk of legionella proliferation in cooling installations dispersing water into an air stream Guide: “Treatments to manage the risk of legionella proliferation in cooling installations” This guide presents the different existing treatments to control the risk of legionella proliferation and indicates the good usage practices for each type of treatment Legislation Decree no. It is divided into two sections:  The guide presenting the good practices in terms of design.developpement-durable. analysing the risk of legionella proliferation in cooling installations dispersing water into an air Training guide for the management of the legionella proliferation risk in cooling installations dispersing water into an air stream. 2004-1331 of 1st December 2004: creation of classified installations section 2921 Ministerial order of 13 December 2004 for permit-holding installations Ministerial order of 13 December 2004 for installations with a declaration obligation Ministerial order of 10 December 2007 certifying bodies to monitor cooling installations dispersing water into an air stream http://www.gouv. Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning.installationsclassees. Guide for the analysis of the legionella proliferation risk (February 2005) This methodology guide. was drawn up by a working group led by the Ministry for Ecology.html . Different water cooling processes in industrial and tertiary installations (February 2005) The CETIAT guide (Technical Centre for Air and Thermal Industries) presents the different cooling processes in industrial and tertiary installations (PDF format). operation. A secondary water circuit within the tower implements the evaporating cooling process. Its objective is to contribute to preventing the risk associated with Legionella in air cooling towers. 2Technical guides2 Beyond the regulatory aspect. Generally speaking.

and atmosphericair-cooled heat exchangers. and increased heat rejection. and at existing plants that need to be expanded but do not have sufficient water for the addition. Other advantages of dry-cooling towers are that they are less expensive to maintain than wet towers and do not require large amounts of chemical additives and periodic cleaning as do wet towers.7. Another important plus for dry-cooling towers is the increasingly restrictive environmental legislation on thermal pollution of once-through systems. not to speak of once-through cooling. Their main disadvantage is that they are not as efficient as evaporative cooling. Large utility dry-cooling towers have seen more usage in Europe where they have been developed. with a number of installations in successful operation.6 หอผผผ งเยย นแหหง (Dry-Cooling Towers) หอผผผึ่งเยย็นแหห้ง เปย็ นหอผผผึ่งเยย็นททผึ่ใหห้นน น้ำหมมุนเวทยนไหลภน้ำยในทท่อมทครทบ โดยมทอน้ำกน้ำศระบน้ำยควน้ำมรห้อนไหลผท่น้ำน ภน้ำยนอก ควน้ำมรห้อนททนงหมดททผึ่ระบน้ำยออกจน้ำกนนนน้ำหมมุนเวทยนจผงอยท่ยู่ในรยู่ปควน้ำมรห้อนสทมผทสททผึ่ถท่น้ำยเทใหห้อน้ำกน้ำศ หอผผผึ่ง เยย็นแหห้งมททน งท ชนนิดแรงขทบกล (mechanical-draft) และแรงขทบธรรมชน้ำตนิ (natural-draft) Dry-cooling towers have attracted much attention in recent years. which cuts down transmission costs. (The situation worsens at high atmospheric air temperatures. The recent attraction in the United States is certain to grow as powerplants get bigger and available water supplies dwindle so that even the makeup water needed by a wet tower will be burdensome. dry-cooling towers are intended to operate only in the closed mode There are two basic dry-cooling tower types: direct and indirect .) Small dry-cooling towers have seen extensive service in such installations as industrial-process cooling. Typical sites are at or near sources of abundant fuel. which are a real menace in certain localities. and the result is higher turbine back pressure. lower plant cycle efficiency. and fogging and icing of wet towers. at or near the utility load-distribution center. They permit plant siting without regard for large supplies of cooling water. air conditioning. blowdown pollution. which cuts down fuel transportation costs. Because of the above-mentioned advantages.

. จผงตห้องมท ระบบกนน้ำจทด noncondensables และอน้ำกน้ำศ และตห้องมทระบบปห้ องกทนนนนน้ำแขย็งในชท่วงอน้ำกน้ำศหนน้ำว (ดห้น้ำนลท่น้ำง) condensate ไหลดห้วยแรงโนห้มถท่วงลง o condensate receivers แลห้วถยู่กปท ปั๊ มกลทบไปยทงระบบ feedwater โดย condensate pump. Wyoming. Direct systems operate at the disadvantage of high vacuum in the cooling coils and the need for large steam ducts. Turbine exhaust steam is admitted to coils viatwo 13-ft diameter ducts. 6-3). Direct Dry-Cooling Towers ระบบนทนประกอบดห้วย condenser พรห้อมกทบ tower (รยู่ปททผึ่. รยู่ปททผึ่ 7-16 Schematic cross section of a direct dry-cooling tower. 7-16). ไอนนนน้ำระบน้ำยจน้ำกกทงหทน เขห้น้ำททผึ่ steam header ผท่น้ำนทท่อขนน้ำดใหญท่เพพผึ่อลด pressure drop แลห้วกลทน ผึ่ ตทวเมพผึ่อไหลลงผท่น้ำน finned tubes หรพอ coils วน้ำงเรทยงขนน้ำน จนน้ำนวนมน้ำก (แสดงเพทยงสองแถว). and the Black Hills Power and Light Co. The largest direct installation in the United States is the 330MW minemouth Wyodak powerplant near Gillette. They are limited to small-size powerplants.. โดยทท่อเหลท่น้ำนทน จทดใหห้ระบน้ำยควน้ำมรห้อนโดยบรรยน้ำกน้ำศททผึ่ไหลผท่น้ำนแบบ naturaldraft cooling-tower หรพอ forced-draft fan ตน้ำมรยู่ป เนพผึ่องจน้ำกเปย็ น surface condensers (Sec. built by Pacific Power and Light Co.

as is shown. Again the tower may be natural-draft or forced-draft. The latter could be natural-draft or.069 bar) for once-through systems. equal to the steam mass flow. The ratio of circulation to feedwater is large (Sec. 5 to 1. แบบททผึ่สอง The second design of indirect dry-cooling towers eliminates the intermediate water loop and uses an open. between tower exit and condenser inlet. 0 psia (0. one between steam and water and one between water and air.or direct-contact condenser (also called a jet or spray condenser. Sec. Alternately only one pump may be used on the condensate from the condenser and flows adjusted by proper valving.0psia (0. Condensate polishers (Sec. thus necessitating operating at condenser pressures of about 2.5 to 4. The results are loss in cycle efficiency and increased heat rejection. 6-2). cooled. 17 to 0. The condensate falls to the bottom of the condenser. returns to the condenser sprays. the circulating water can be mixed with the steam from the plant. This double irreversibility imposes a severe penalty on turbine back pressure. 6-8) may be used to maintain the circulation water at condensate quality. The turbine exhaust steam enters the open condenser where the cold circulating water is sprayed into the steam for intimate mixing (รยู่ปททผึ่ 7-18).034 to 0. This part. The circulating water leaving it goes through finned tubing cooled by atmospheric air in the tower. hence the open-type condenser. The balance of the condensate. 6-2). is pumped to the plant feedwater system by the condensate pump. Another optional component is a water-recovery turbine.รยู่ปททผึ่ 7-17 Schematic of an indirect dry-cooling tower with a conventional surface condenser. that is connected to the drive shaft of the circulating- . induced draft. from which most of it is pumped by a recirculation pump under positive pressure to finned tubing or coils in the tower. Indirect Dry-Cooling Towers มทกน้ำรออกแบบโดยททวผึ่ ไปสน้ำมแบบ แบบแรกใชห้ conventional surface condenser (รยู่ปททผึ่ 7-17). 27 bar) compared with 0. In this design there are two heat exchangers in series and two temperature drops. As operation (of all dry-cooling towers) is in the closed mode and no atmospheric or surface water impurities enter the system through makeup.

The one that has been developed uses ammonia as the heat-transfer .water pump to recover some of the work of that pump. more economical. This indirect system is expected to be more efficient. and more feasible for large plants. รยู่ปททผึ่ 7-18 Schematic of anindirect dry-cooling tower with an open-type condenser. รยู่ปททผึ่ 7-19 Schematic of an indirect dry-cooling tower with a surface condenser and a two-phase recirculatingcoolant (ammonia). แบบททผึ่สน้ำม The third indirect dry-cooling tower design uses a circulating vaporizing coolant instead of water.

The boiling and condensation modes have much higher heat-transfer coefficients. and between ammonia and air. Thermodynamic data of ammonia may be found in App. on the tube side. The work of the compressor can be partly recovered by the placement of an expander (turbine) in the liquid line. Because of their lower heat-transfer capabilities. and (2) reduced size and power requirements of the equipment. the Department of Energy. dry-cooling towers in general are larger and require more land area than wet towers. The vapor flows to the lower finned coils and is condensed to saturated liquid. The latter is pumped back to the condenser. This results in (1) a lower temperature difference between steam and ammonia. than forced convection of a single-phase fluid (as water in รยู่ปททผึ่ 717). and a consortium of utilities [57].medium between the steam and air (รยู่ปททผึ่ 7-19). An optional addition is a compressor on the ammonia vapor to raise its temperature sufficiently above that of the air during particularly hot days. A6-MW demonstration plant using an ammonia system is undergoing tests near Bakersfield. The tests are sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute.. . รร ปททผ 7-20 is an artist's conception of the dry-cooling tower system needed for a twinreactor nuclear powerplant. The use of ammonia enables phase change heat-transfer boiling in the condenser tubes and condensation in the tower tubes. which would result in enhanced heat transfer in the tower. This makes the system resemble that of a vapor-compression refrigeration system. Nearly saturated liquid ammonia enters the surface condenser and is vaporized to saturated vapor. The plant is part of the 150-MW Kern powerplant of the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. รยู่ปททผึ่ 7-20 An artist's conception of a dry-cooling-tower system serving a twin-reactor nuclear powerplant in an and area. California. C.

http://www. runoff. Nonevaporative systems include oncethrough cooling and closed loop systems. the cooling water itself gets hot. As the water continues to circulate throughout the system. Technically.psu. debris. Effective cooling water operation and treatment can prevent such an steel mills. Refineries. evaporative condensers. but the evaporation may be so minimal that it is offset by environmental moisture (dew. electric utilities and paper mills all rely heavily on equipment or processes that require efficient temperature control. Types of Cooling Water Systems Cooling water systems are either nonevaporative or evaporative. In . rainfall. cooling equipment efficiency is threatened and a total plant shutdown can result.htm Cooling Water Systems Introduction Most industrial production processes need cooling water to operate efficiently and safely. As this happens. bacteria and other impurities. As the temperature rises. Basically. This makeup water contains dissolved minerals. After completing this chapter. Cooling water systems control these temperatures by transferring heat from hot process fluids into cooling water. you will have a basic understanding of the different types of cooling water systems now used. before it can be used again it must either be cooled or replaced by a fresh supply of cool water. spray ponds or cooling lakes. etc. large cooling lakes (1500-3000 acres) fall into the evaporative category. other contaminants begin to In-depth methods for control of these problems (scale. Evaporative cooling systems include open recirculating systems in which heat rejection is accomplished in cooling towers.). this chapter will help you to become familiar with the many terms and concepts common in the water treatment industry. petrochemical manufacturing plants. and the problems associated with cooling water. their mechanical components. corrosion and fouling) appear in greater detail in other chapters. suspended solids.

waterborne fouling and biological fouling are all problems for once-through cooling systems (Figure 11.1). steel mills and paper mills.2 Closed Cooling System . Once-through cooling is usually employed when water is readily available in large volume at low cost.5% to 5% of system volume. corrosion. lakes and wells. FIGURE 11. Scale. where the only cost involved is that of pumping. Once-through cooling is currently prevalent in utilities. Characteristically. Daily water losses from leakage range from 0. a cooling lake will have problems and solutions similar to those of a once-through system. Figure 11. Common sources are rivers. it involves large volumes of water and small increases in water temperature. there is virtually no increase in dissolved or suspended solids. Once-Through Cooling Once-through cooling water is used to cool processes or equipment and then is discharged to waste.that case. Fresh makeup water is needed only to replace these uncontrollable losses. 1 Once-Through Cooling System Closed Cooling A closed cooling water system is a recirculating water system that does not cool by evaporation and has very little water loss. Because there is no opportunity for evaporation.

alcohol or brines (Figure 11.2). and low treatment cost. Closed systems can be reliably operated at very high temperatures (200 º F [93 ºC] and 200 psig) and under sub-freezing conditions using ethylene glycol. Approximately 1000 Btu are lost for every pound of water evaporated. Open Recirculating Cooling Towers As recently as 20 years ago. higher capital and operating costs are disadvantages of this design. industry is turning more and more to recycling water. A cooling tower is a heat exchanger: it transfers heat from circulating water to the atmosphere. cooling towers were more the exception than the rule in the industry because of their severely high operating cost and the large amount of capital required for construction. But with today's need for water conservation and minimal environmental impact.Closed systems offer the advantages of precise temperature control. which is critical in many process applications. Function Cooling usually takes place both by evaporation and sensible heat loss. This means that both the dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures of . The amount of heat lost by the water depends on the temperature rise of the ambient air before it leaves the tower. which results in cooling primarily by evaporating approximately 1 % of the flow for each 10 ºF drop in temperature. This section provides an introduction of cooling tower designs. Because a secondary cooling system and heat exchanger(s) are needed to cool the closed system. It accomplishes this by providing intimate mixing of water and air. The fresh makeup to closed systems usually needs to be sodium zeolite softened or demineralized.

The wet bulb temperature is also the dew point of the ambient air. FIGURE 11.the air are important. Because heat rejection is accomplished primarily by evaporation of a portion of the cooling water. Types of Towers Cooling towers may be classified as either natural draft or mechanical draft. Typically it is 10-30ºF. It is not practical to design a cooling tower to develop a sump temperature equal to the wet bulb. The wet bulb temperature of the air is the lowest temperature at which water can be cooled by evaporation. The natural draft or hyperbolic cooling tower is designed to take advantage of the temperature differences between the ambient air and the hotter air inside the tower. towers are designed to optimize intimate air/water contact.3 Natural Draft Cooling Towers (Crossflow and Counterflow) . but it can run higher in some processes. The design creates a chimney effect that causes the cold air at the bottom of the tower to push the warmer air out the top. The difference between the sump temperature and wet bulb is referred to as the approach.

right).3. In a crossflow tower. 5) has fans on the side. Figure I 1A shows the components of a typical mechanical draft cooling tower.Hyperbolic towers are divided into two basic types: crossflow (Figure 11. the greater the cooling efficiency.000 gallons of water per minute. Packing or fill inside the tower keeps the water evenly distributed and increases the water surface area. Fans are used to increase the air flow. therefore. FIGURE 11.000 gpm. In this design the fill is located outside the tower. and an induced draft has fans on the top.3.4 Mechanical Draft Tower . Water is distributed as evenly as possible at the top of the tower and allowed to drop through the air. air is drawn across the falling water. the greater the air contact and. A 400-foot-high tower with no moving parts is capable of evaporating in excess of 10. They are easily distinguished because a forced draft tower (Figure 11. The fill is contained within a counterflow tower since the air is drawn up and through the failing water. In the United States. Mechanical draft towers are divided into two basic designs: forced draft or induced draft. left) and counterflow (Figure 11. natural draft towers are generally used only for large electric utility condenser cooling. Design selection depends upon conditions at the particular site. The greater the surface area. Flows may be as high as 500.

As in the natural draft towers. and the solutions are the same. a crossflow tower (Figure 11. They are identifiable by their open decks and the louvers that go all the way from top to bottom of each tower cell. the principle. Counter flow mechanical . and whether or not the air is fanassisted.6 Crossflow Tower .6) draws the air across the falling water droplets and out the stack.7) are identified by their perpendicular side walls and closed decks. FIGURE 11.FIGURE 11.5 Forced Draft Tower Induced draft towers are also divided into two basic designs: counterflow and crossflow. the problems. draft towers (Figure 11. Regardless of whether the air is pushed or pulled through the tower.


As the cooling water evaporates. increased maintenance problems. high concentrations of impurities in open recirculating systems can lead to a number of serious problems. Fouling 3. Wet Bulb-The dew point of the air. Scale 2. dirt or silt. if left untreated. Cell-The smallest tower subdivision which can function independently with regard to air/water flow. If left untreated. once-through and closed systems are also subject to these same problems. By their very design. Microbiological growth 4. Dry Bulb-Ambient air temperature Fill or Packing-The structural system which keeps the water evenly distributed as it falls through the tower. Cooling Range-The difference between the warm water temperature to the tower and the cold water temperature leaving the tower. Microbiological organisms. Also referred to as the temperature drop across the tower (D T). . Contaminants enter the system either through the makeup water or from the air via the cooling tower. or even a total system failure. More attention is given to open recirculating systems because of the greater potential for problems inherent in their design. which is also the coldest temperature to which water can be cooled by passing it through air.Glossary of Cooling Tower Terms Approach-The difference between cold water temperature (sump) and wet bulb temperature. contaminants are allowed to concentrate in the system. dissolved minerals and gases. Problems in Cooling Water Systems Raw or filtered makeup water contains dissolved minerals and insoluble matter that pose a serious threat to efficient cooling. Wet bulb temperature is normally determined by using a psychrometer that contains a thermometer in contact with a water-wetted wick. All systems require attention to these four areas. open recirculating cooling systems are prime candidates for contamination problems. Corrosion While open recirculating systems are particularly vulnerable to these problems. including: 1. can concentrate and cause serious reductions in heat transfer efficiency.

The mechanisms of scale formation. adding more contaminants to the cooling water. Once scale becomes a serious threat to efficiency or continued operation. and form deposits. These deposits reduce heat transfer efficiency. such as the mineral concentration in the cooling water. In most cases. scaling ion concentration and temperature. Loss of heat transfer efficiency can cause reduced production or higher fuel cost. most open recirculating systems operate in a saturated state. magnesium silicate. makeup water may still hold particles of silt. the entire system may need to be shut down and cleaned. water temperature. clay. The cooling tower constantly scrubs dirt and dust from the air. mechanical or chemical cleaning is necessary. The higher the temperature. Corrosion by-products. and rough metal surfaces within the heat exchangers allow the masses of solids to settle out. because the scaling ions are highly concentrated.Scale The most serious side effect of scale formation is reduced heat transfer efficiency. Unscheduled downtime can obviously cost thousands of dollars in lost production and increased maintenance. laminar flow. are discussed in greater depth in Chapter 2. sand and other substances. microbiological growth and process leaks all add to the waterborne fouling potential in a cooling system. Scale in cooling water systems is mainly composed of inorganic mineral compounds such as calcium carbonate (which is most common). provide sites for underdeposit corrosion. The solids agglomerate as they collide with each other in the water. Even minute amounts of scale can provide enough insulation to affect heat transfer and profitability severely. mineral scale is a silent thief of plant profitability. the low water velocity. availability of nucleation sites (the point of initial crystal formation) and the time allowed for scale formation to begin after nucleation occurs. they will precipitate. but if left to concentrate uncontrolled. Fouling Waterborne contaminants enter cooling systems from both external and internal sources. calcium phosphate and iron oxide. The most critical factors for scale formation are pH. Waterborne fouling can be controlled by a combination of mechanical and chemical programs Microbiological Contamination . As more and more solids adhere. Dissolved mineral salts are inversely temperature soluble. Many factors affect the formation of scale. These minerals are dissolved in the water. Consequently. deposit onto the metal. Though filtered and clarified. pH. Precipitation is prevented under these conditions by the addition of a scale inhibitor. and threaten system reliability. as well as their prevention and control. Scale occurs first in heat transfer areas but can form even on supply piping. the lower their solubility. If heat transfer falls below the critical level.

destroy equipment and products and ultimately threaten plant shutdown. algae and fungi are the most common microbes that can cause serious damage to cooling water systems. Most cooling systems are very vulnerable to corrosion. FIGURE 11. scale and bacteria. Corrosion is a particularly serious problem in industrial cooling water systems because it can reduce cooling efficiency. Generally. Corrosion processes and methods of control are considered in Chapter 3. solids and other matter dissolved in the water all serve to compound the problem (Figure 11.8 Corrosive Factors in Cooling Tower Systems . air and other metals. Even a slight change in the cooling water pH level can cause a rapid increase in corrosion. dirt. debris. Microbiological fouling can cause: 1. along with various gases.8). Energy losses 2.Cooling water systems are ideal spots for microscopic organisms to grow. Bacteria. They contain a wide variety of metals and circulate warm water at relatively high linear velocities. Deposits in the system caused by silt. a temperature range of 70-1 40 º F (21-60 oC) and a pH range of 6-9 provide the perfect environment for microbial growth. The process reflects the natural tendency of most manufactured process metals to recombine with oxygen and return to their natural (oxide) states. Loss of tower efficiency 5. Wood decay and loss of structural integrity of the cooling tower Corrosion Corrosion is the breakdown of metal in the presence of water. increase operating costs. Both of these factors accelerate the corrosion process. energy and chemical nutrients that exist in various parts of most cooling water systems. "Bugs" thrive on water. Increased corrosion and pitting 4. Open recirculating systems are particularly corrosive because of their oxygen-enriched environment. Reduced heat transfer efficiency 3.

Leakage is the unintentional loss of water. W Wastage (W) is the total water (in gpm) removed from the cooling water system. All the constituents in the makeup will be present in the recirculating (R) cooling water at some increased level of concentration. R Recirculation (R) rate is the water flow over the tower in gallons per minute. W = B + D + (leakage) L . which in some cases can be as much as the evaporation (E).Cooling Tower Material Balances It is essential for you to be able to do a material balance for a cooling system in order to detect fouling or precipitation and to determine treatment chemical feed rates. Pure water vapor is lost from the systems by evaporation (E). The cycles (X) of concentration are determined by dividing the makeup by the wastage (M/W). D T Cooling range (D T) of a cooling tower is the difference between the entering and leaving temperatures. drift (D) and blowdown (B). Btu British Thermal Unit (Btu) is the heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one º F. All values are expressed in gpm. This is the sum of leakage. H Heat load (H) is the heat absorbed by the cooling water system which must be rejected in the cooling tower expressed in Btu/min. depending on the wastage (W) of recirculating water from the system. leaving behind all of the solids present in the makeup (M) water.

The latent heat of evaporation of 1000 Btu per pound of water evaporated generally accounts for 80-100% of the heat rejected by the cooling tower. where: CM is the concentration of ion in makeup. E(gpm) = (0.8 is an approximation of the evaporation considering sensible heat rejection to the air. E(gpm) = (0. CW is the concentration of ion in wastage. with 20% or less being removed as sensible heat through air contact with hotter water.001) (R) (D T) This equation represents the maximum evaporation: it is the slide rule calculation. drift (D) and any leakage. D Drift (D) is the recirculating water entrained in the air flow discharged to the atmosphere. B Blowdown (B) is the controlled discharge of recirculating water to waste that is necessary to limit the solids in the system.01 -0.L Leakage (L) is unknown and/or uncontrolled water losses.8) (6301) (R) (D T) The 0.3% of the recirculation rate for a mechanical draft tower. M=E+W X The cycles of concentration (X) is the ratio of makeup (M) to wastage (W). then Another way to express cycles of concentration (X) is the number of times makeup constituents are concentrated in the recirculating water. blowdown (B). M=E+B+D+L since W = B + D + L. M Makeup (M) to an open evaporative recirculating system is the sum of evaporation (E). The lower drift loss at 0.01 % is common for a modern tower E Evaporation (E) takes heat away from the recirculating water in the water vapor that is produced. . This is 0. since M = E + W.

the shell and tube type is the most widely used. SO.10 you can see that one fluid flows inside the tubes and the other fluid flows outside them. It does not.4.9 Factors Used in Determining Cycles of Concentration . Often. In Figure 11. Ca. Of the various types of heat exchangers. Si02. The ions added with makeup must equal those lost in the wastage.001 ) (recirculation rate) (change in temperature) Cooling Water Heat Exchangers A heat exchanger is a device in which two fluids (or one vapor) flow against the opposite sides of a solid boundary wall that separates them while permitting heat to pass from the hot to the cold fluid.Care must be used to pick a constituent that is not affected by treatment chemicals or contaminants and that is also stable. FIGURE 11. Makeup = water losses evaporation + blowdown + drift + leakage Makeup = evaporation + wastage (B + D + L + W) Evaporation = (0. Depending on the system. the mere presence of the word cycles is a source of confusion when discussing instructions about cycles of concentration. There is a tendency to believe this term has a direct relationship to the number of times the cooling water passes over the tower. Shell-side cooling water exchangers characteristically are very low velocity (1 -3 ft/sec 2) and high heat flux exchangers. It consists of a number of tubes enclosed in an outer circular shell. Cl. Therefore. You will also notice that in this particular example cooling water is on the shell side. they are very prone to fouling and they must be watched closely. or Mg might be considered.

11 Fixed Tubesheet Exchanger . 10 Cooling Water Heat Exchanger FIGURE 11.FIGURE 11.

FIGURE 11.12 Floating Head Removable Tubular Heat Exchanger FIGURE 11.13 Spiral Heat Exchanger .

Cooling water in different industries may come into direct contact with the plant's products or equipment. Otherwise. 1 4. FIGURE 11. cooling water is being used to cool a refractory to prolong the refractory life and to directly cool metal vessels that have molten metal inside. There are as many uses for cooling water as there are types of exchangers.15 and 11. cooling water may be sprayed directly upon poured molten slabs. In steel and aluminum manufacturing.14 Cooling Water System in an Electric Furnace . 16.Not all cooling water is used for heat exchanger duty. this structure would disintegrate and a catastrophic failure would result. 11. Every industry has its own surprising uses for cooling water. then recycled. In Figures 11.

15 Cooling Water System in a Grey-iron Foundry with Wet Scrubbers FIGURE 11.FIGURE 11.16 Two Cooling Water Systems in a Blast Furnace .

FIGURE 11.17 Plate Heat Exchanger .

Any deposit (in excess of a thin protective film) acts as an insulator that inhibits heat transfer. Q = UAD Tm where: . Each system is designed with a particular heat transfer rate in mind. the objective in treating heat exchangers that use cooling water as a heat discharge fluid is to keep the water side as clean and corrosion free as is practically possible. A severely decreased heat transfer rate can cause higher energy consumption and perhaps even process failure. it is important to know how heat transfer data can help achieve that objective. The calculation of heat transfer data relative to a particular exchanger design can provide valuable information about the condition of the exchanger surface.Basic Heat Transfer Simply stated. Because almost all heat exchangers are designed for specific process needs.

The same is true of the overall heat transfer coefficient (U). Looking at an Operating Exchanger Because the heat transfer area is fixed. The larger the number. The coefficient is always calculated. It is a measure of the relative ease of transferring heat. All the above data are available on the design sheet of an exchanger. However. never measured directly. But the temperature difference (D T) is the driving force or potential difference for heat transfer and is more complicated. the heat load (Q) may be found by determining the heat loss or gain of either fluid. One way to determine the heat loss or gain of a fluid is as follows: . it is necessary to understand a few of the concepts. fouling effects can be determined by following the changes in the heat transfer coefficient. More on the transfer coefficient appears later in this section. the basic equation is -. the easier it is to transfer heat with a given temperature difference. which may or may not be the same everywhere in the exchanger. respectively T1. Because we are interested in surface cleanliness. respectively The Heat Transfer Equation Although it is not essential to master the complicated equations required for heat exchanger design. t2 = cold fluid in and out. This means that the amount of heat transferred (Q) depends on three factors: U. A and T The area is not difficult to understand. For example. The temperature difference as used in this calculation compensates for the fact that the D T varies throughout the exchanger. For an operating exchanger.T2 = hot fluid in and out.Q = heat load (Btu/hr) U = overall heat transfer coefficient (Btu/hr-ft2ºF) A = heat transfer area (ft2) D Tm = log mean temperature difference between fluids (ºF) T1. these data tend to change (except for the heat transfer area) once an exchanger is put on-line. we must find ways to determine the heat load (0) and the temperature difference (D T) to determine the heat transfer coefficient (U).

If there is deposition on the process side. Steam tables should be consulted for exact values at various pressures. the smaller the coefficient. 1/U = Roverall = Rprocess film + Rprocess fouling+ Rtube + Rwater fouling + Rwater film If 0 is constant during a monitoring period. For this reason. it is relatively easy to follow changes in the coefficients. except in the case of . the equation reduces as follows: Q = UAdeltaT = Constant (heat flux) = UdeltaT Heat Transfer Coefficient The overall heat transfer coefficient (U) is a measure of ability to transfer heat by conduction. we have no way to differentiate this fouling from the waterside fouling. Where: D H = latent heat of vaporization (Btu/Ib) Note-. this should hold true. the following equations should be substituted for the process side: Q = WD H Note: For condensers. the cold fluid receives as much heat as the hot fluid gives up. It is the reciprocal of the sum of all resistance (R) to heat flow.Q = WC (T2 –T1) where: W = lb/hr of fluid C = specific heat of fluid (Btu/1b/ º F) Note: Water is approximately I Btu/Ib/ º F T2-T1 = temperature difference of fluid in and out ( ºF) Assuming that there are no external losses. the latent heat of vaporization must be considered in addition to any sensible heat. Because the process conditions are usually controlled within a narrow range. The greater the resistance. If condensing occurs on the process side. For water. The coefficient for the tube wall is fixed and it is very high compared to the others. D H is approximately 1000 Btu/pound. as far as our calculation of U is concerned. either fluid may be used to determine 0. Since both 0 and A are constant.

Each resistance produces its own temperature drop and these change only if the characteristics of the fluid or deposit change. The amount of heat to be transferred is governed by process requirements. changes according to both the deposit composition and thickness. although surface characteristics do play a role. Production rates as well as efficiencies change the amount of heat both above and below design. we must have a way to follow these changes. Fortunately.surface condensers. Because the same amount of heat must transfer through each element of resistance. The water film coefficient changes primarily due to water velocity. much data have been developed on water coefficients.gc3. Consequently. there is a temperature drop across each element. The exchanger is operated to achieve the desired process condensing or outlet temperature. http://www. it is not operated for cooling waterside conditions. operators change the flow rate of water to compensate for needed changes in heat transfer ability. we can predict the water coefficient. As long as we can determine the water velocity. Consequently. also called the fouling factor.aspx?tabid=90 . no practical change occurs here. The deposit film coefficient. you can better understand how it can be monitored. By considering the effects of deposition on the ability to transfer heat at each portion of the heat transfer path.