The average person doesn’t come across a cooling tower very often, and they can be a confusing site if you’ve never seen one before. Most people associate cooling towers with nuclear power plants, with their iconic cooling towers. However, not all cooling towers are this big. Some are smaller and used by everyday commercial buildings as a specialized heat exchanger that brings air and water in direct contact with each other in order to reduce the temperature through evaporation. Most HVAC cooling towers have an entirely different physical appearance. They may look like large metallic boxes, which may be emitting a fine mist like steam. Essentially, an HVAC Cooling tower is used to dispose of unwanted waste heat from a chiller. This heat transfer allows the chiller to work more efficiently as hot water is pumped from the condensers to the tower.
Commercial cooling tower systems are manufactured with numerous sizes and applications. If you are unsure which cooling tower is the best choice for your facility, our knowledgeable technicians will be happy to advise you.
Commercial Cooling Towers
The most common type of cooling towers are:
- Crossflow cooling towers: In crossflow cooling towers, water flows vertically through the fill while the air flows horizontally across the flow of the falling water. In these cooling tower designs, hot water is distributed to the fill by gravity through punctured basins sometimes supported by metering holes in the floor plate of the distribution basin. Cross flow cooling towers are generally easier to maintain due to their easy access to vital parts, but have a larger footprint.
- Counterflow cooling towers: Counterflow cooling towers are designed so that air flows vertically upward, counter to the flow of falling water in the fill. These HVAC cooling towers use low-pressure spray nozzles to divide hot water evenly over the infill surface. A drift eliminator section above the water distribution rejects all the water in liquid form and keeps this in the circulating system. Counter flow cooling towers usually have a much smaller footprint, making them a great choice for those systems with limited space.
Cooling towers can also be divided based on how they remove the air from the tower. Cooling towers may either utilize a natural draft to remove heat, or rely on a fan to push or draw the air out of the top of the tower. For example:
- Natural Draft Cooling Towers utilize a natural draft to push the heat through and out of the tops of the towers. These towers utilize the hyperboloid shape that is usually associated with nuclear power plants, as this shape aids in the upward convection of airflow.
- Induced draft cooling towers have fans that are typically mounted on top of the unit which pull air through the fill media. These are typically the most effective and economical types of commercial cooling tower systems.
- Forced Draft Cooling Towers utilize a fan at the bottom of the cooling tower to push the air through the heat exchanging fill media.
In addition to commercial cooling tower installations, we are also certified to perform cooling tower repairs and upgrades.
Commercial Cooling Tower Repairs and Maintenance
There are a multitude of issues that can arise with commercial cooling towers. It is best to seek out professional help in case of Cooling tower issues. Superior Mechanical is happy to provide 24/7 emergency repair services to our clients. If you have noticed an issue with your cooling tower, let us help you find the problem and get your cooling tower running properly and efficiently. Some issues that can arise with cooling towers that require immediate attention include:
- Corrosion and rust: This can cause basin failure and even result in premature failure of heat exchangers and piping systems.
- Excessive vibration or noise: Excessive noise may result from issues with the fan blades or the fan motor.
- Unexpected drop in cooling capacity: If you notice a drop in cooling capacity, you may have an issue with the motor, or a more serious electric power issue.
- Water leaks: Water leaks may be caused by basin overflow or by compromised end caps.
- Ice buildup: Ice buildup can occur with flow rate or temperature issues and can cause serious air flow issues. Ice buildup should always be allowed to melt naturally, not manually removed.
Regular service maintenance of your commercial cooling tower is incredibly important. If your cooling tower is not maintained correctly it can cause decreases in efficiency and even bring about the possibility of indoor air quality issues, bringing on a host of health hazards. Contaminants such as dust, pollen, and even insects can become captured as water falls through the air stream. These particulates settle in the basin and can pose an array of issues. Because of warm water temperatures, the water in a cooling tower, if not properly maintained with a chemical treatment, can harbor harmful bacteria such as legionella bacteria, which can cause legionnaires disease if the water system is not maintained correctly. Corrosion, white rust, and even basin failure can arise if deposits of impurities are not maintained and basin water is left to become a sludge. Maintain peak efficiency for your cooling tower and HVAC system and schedule your regular preventative maintenance today!
Regularly scheduled maintenance of your cooling towers will keep them in peak condition and ensure that your facilities will continue to run smoothly. Our professional technicians are trained and knowledgable on emergency service and routine repair service of cooling tower systems. We also service and maintain industrial chillers and commercial chiller systems which can be paired with commercial cooling towers in some applications.
No matter what kind of cooling tower design your office or business has, we offer a handful of annual, bi-annual, and quarterly service packages that will safeguard your cooling tower HVAC and industrial HVAC cooling tower systems against any unexpected emergencies. Superior Mechanical has been installing, repairing, and maintaining heating and cooling systems for over 30 years, as one of the most trusted heating and air conditioning companies in the North Carolina Triad.
We understand that HVAC problems often strike when you least expect them. That’s why we are committed to providing around-the-clock availability to accommodate any HVAC emergency you may experience. Our HVAC contractors are always punctual, prompt, and courteous. We arrive on time and finish on time—every time.
With our HVAC Repair Policy, You can count on our team to complete your service with accuracy and skill. Our goal is to provide a repair that is effective, lasting, and permanent. That way, you never have to call us out for the same issue twice—as much as we love seeing you.
As a business owner, you have enough on your plate not having to worry about your HVAC maintenance needs. Allow us to lift the burden from your shoulders with preventative maintenance services and cleanings. Our heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and plumbing services will keep everything in your business running smoothly.