How Do Cooling Towers Work?

Cooling towers are designed to take heat from one area and reject it to another. The cooling process that takes place within the towers is based on the principle of thermodynamics where heat will flow from hot to cold.

Cooling towers are designed to increase the surface area of this heat transfer process and therefore increase the efficiency of the rejection of heat from the system through evaporation. In essence, the function of a cooling tower is to efficiently cool water down and reject heat through evaporation, thus allowing the cool water to be recycled back into the system.

How Does A Cooling Tower Work?

Cooling towers operate through a heat transfer process that efficiently cools the already cycled water to be reused. The hot water from the chiller will enter near the top of the cooling tower and be sprayed across the wide surface area of the heat transfer surface, called the fill. Beneath the fill, cool air is entered in and promptly suctioned through the fill towards the top of the tower via a fan.

The fill acts as the transfer surface, as heat from the hot water droplets is transferred to the cool air rising through the fill. The hot air is then ejected out of the system through the fan, and then the cooled water falls down to the sump, where it will be recycled back through the system and into the heat exchange process below.

Why Do I Need Water Treatment?

Chemical water treatment for cooling towers, as well as up-to-date equipment, is essential in order to keep cooling towers operating at high efficiency and also to prevent the risk of damage. Water that is used in the cooling tower typically has high concentrations of dissolved solids, which if not treated properly, could form calcium carbonate (scale).

Scale greatly reduces the ability of the fill to transfer the heat from the water to the air, which can dramatically reduce operating efficiency. Other problems that often occur in cooling tower systems are corrosion, airborne contaminants, and microbiological growth. Bacteria are especially prone to grow in cooling towers, due to the warm and wet environment of the tower system.

Learn More About Our Cooling Tower Services

With serious problems caused by bacteria, such as Legionella, having a state-of-the-art chemical treatment program has never been more important.

To learn more about how Chardon can help protect your cooling tower, contact us today!

Portrait of Matt Welsh, the co-president
Matt Welsh
Vice President, Water Consultant at Chardon Labs | Website | + posts

Matt Welsh is the Vice President and Water Consultant at Chardon Labs.  He helps consult a wide range of customers utilizing various methods of water treatment, from chemical to chemical-free approaches, large and small applications, and across a wide range of geographical influences.  With 20 years of water treatment experience, including a wide range of troubleshooting and service in potable water and non-potable HVAC and industrial applications, he is an expert in water treatment chemistry for cooling towers, boilers, and closed-loop systems.


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