Cooling Tower Maintenance: Common Problems and Practical Management Solutions

Cooling tower maintenance is essential for ensuring optimal performance of commercial HVAC systems and industrial plants cooling setups. The upkeep practises will prolong the lifespan of the cooling tower, minimising the cost of repairs and replacements. Also, a well-maintained cooling tower is energy-efficient and reduces the long-term power consumption. Unfortunately, there are some problems which can develop even if you perform general maintenance. It is essential to understand these issues so that you can take preemptive action against them. Here is a short discussion on the most common challenges and some practical solutions.

Cooling Tower Corrosion

Cooling towers are susceptible to corrosion because they are continuously exposed to moisture. Also, most sources of cooling water have minerals and compounds, such as sodium, which accelerate the rate of wear. Additionally, some chemicals which are used in the maintenance of the cooling tower are acidic and have a corrosive effect. If you do not control the corrosion of the metal elements in the cooling tower, you might experience leaks. Controlling corrosion in cooling towers can be a complicated process. You will need to adopt a mixture of approaches for optimal performance. In general, you should consider raising the pH of your water because acidic water accelerates corrosion. Also, you can apply epoxy coatings on vulnerable surfaces to prevent interaction between the metal and water. 

Water Contamination

The contamination of water by biological organisms is not uncommon. In general, the cooling tower has a humid environment, which can be quite comfortable for algae, fungi and bacteria. Moreover, most sources of water have significant quantities of nutrients which support the growth of these organisms. If these living things are not controlled, they will form biofilms. Consequently, the efficiency of the tower will decline. Also, some of the microorganisms can pose significant health hazards for humans. Fortunately, you can prevent and minimise the growth of biological organisms by treating the water with biocides, algaecides and chlorine. 

Surface Scaling

Scaling is a common problem in some areas because of the high mineral content in the water supply. In simple terms, scaling can be defined as the deposition of hardened minerals such as calcium on the surfaces of the cooling tower. The scale prevents efficient heat exchange, and over time, your operating expenses will increase significantly. To avoid this detriment, you should treat your hard water supply for the tower with softening agents. If your cooling tower already has significant scaling, you should consult an experienced contractor for the removal of the material. 

Reach out to Marley Flow Control Pty Ltd for more information on your cooling towers.