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COOLING TOWER

Tips

Tips for improving energy efficiency

This section lists the most important options to improve energy efficiency of cooling towers.

  • Follow manufacturer’s recommended clearances around cooling towers and relocate or modify structures that interfere with the air intake or exhaust.
  • Optimize cooling tower fan blade angle on a seasonal and/or load basis.
  • Correct excessive and/or uneven fan blade tip clearance and poor fan balance.
  • In old counter-flow cooling towers, replace old spray type nozzles with new square spray nozzles that do not clog.
  • Replace splash bars with self-extinguishing PVC cellular film fill.
  • Install nozzles that spray in a more uniform water pattern.
  • Clean plugged cooling tower distribution nozzles regularly.
  • Balance flow to cooling tower hot water basins.
  • Cover hot water basins to minimize algae growth that contributes to fouling.
  • Optimize the blow down flow rate, taking into account the cycles of concentration (COC) limit.
  • Replace slat type drift eliminators with low-pressure drop, self-extinguishing PVC cellular units.
  • Restrict flows through large loads to design values.
  • Keep the cooling water temperature to a minimum level by (a) segregating high heat loads like furnaces, air compressors, DG sets and (b) isolating cooling towers from sensitive applications like A/C plants, condensers of captive power plant etc. Note: A 1oC cooling water temperature increase may increase the A/C compressor electricity consumption by 2.7%. A 1oC drop in cooling water temperature can give a heat rate saving of 5 kCal/kWh in a thermal power plant.
  • Monitor approach, effectiveness and cooling capacity to continuously optimize the cooling tower performance, but consider seasonal variations and side variations.
  • Monitor liquid to gas ratio and cooling water flow rates and amend these depending on the design values and seasonal variations. For example: increase water loads during summer and times when approach is high and increase air flow during monsoon times and when approach is low.
  • Consider COC improvement measures for water savings.
  • Consider energy efficient fibre reinforced plastic blade adoption for fan energy savings.
  • Control cooling tower fans based on exit water temperatures especially in small units.
  • Check cooling water pumps regularly to maximize their efficiency.

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