Cooling towers are one of the many workhorses in an industrial facility. While they are not maintenance free, they generally perform well with little attention; however, there is operational risk lurking inside. With a Condition Assessment performed by one of our expert cooling tower technicians, we can show you how to identify the risks and manage or minimize them so your plant operations are not interrupted or reduced
To begin with, you should make sure your cooling tower is a safe working area for your maintenance and operations staff. Only then can you give the cooling tower the proper attention. Stairways, ladders and walking surfaces are the most frequent cause of injury around a cooling tower. Assessing their condition is the first thing our cooling tower technicians look at when conducting our Condition Assessments. We always begin here to help you keep safety as the number one priority at your plant.
The next priority in our Condition Assessments for mechanical draft cooling towers is the, operational reliability is condition of the air moving system: fan assemblies, speed reducers or gearboxes, drive shafts, motors and steel supports. This rotating equipment needs to receive the most attention but unfortunately is often ignored. When failure of these components occurs, cooling water temperatures rise and plant production drops. No one is happy then. Our condition assessment can help predict failures in this area and will allow you to take pre-emptive actions to minimize this risk.
Cooling tower structural deficiencies may also present an operational risk for your plant. Older cooling towers with wooden structures are particularly prone to biological or chemical decay after 5 -10 years of service. Once you get to 20 years of service, the exposure to moisture and temperature also take a toll. Wooden cooling towers at this age may well be at risk of catastrophic collapse. These towers must be looked at by a trained cooling tower technician on a regular basis in order to keep the cooling tower running safely and reliably. You guessed it, our condition assessment is the best approach to identifying problems here and helping you with a strategy to overcome them.
Other serious problems with cooling tower components take more time to manifest themselves. This is particularly true with the heat transfer components. Their heat transfer efficiency starts to deteriorate almost immediately on startup for a variety of reasons. At first the change is barely noticeable; but, over time, the effect becomes more noticeable: cold water temperatures rise and plant output drops. Routine Condition Assessments by our cooling tower technical experts can help you recognize the cooling tower components that are beginning to lose efficiency before they dramatically affect your plant’s production.
Of course, there are also environmental issues to be concerned with. Is it raining around your cooling tower? If so, the cooling tower drift eliminators probably need some work. The rain is almost always caused by poorly designed or damaged drift eliminator installations. High drift rates will lead to shortened air moving equipment life and a host of other problems around the cooling tower. If legionella is present in the circulating water then there is more risk to plant personnel even if they are not working inside the cooling tower. Just walking nearby can be a problem.
These are just some examples that can hurt your plant’s operation; there are many others. Our team of cooling tower technicians and engineers can help you get ahead of all of these problems by embarking on a regular schedule of Condition Assessments that will identify mission critical issues to keep your cooling tower running safely, reliably and with optimal thermal performance. Let us show you how we can make your job easier and your equipment work better today. It only takes a phone call or email to get started to increase your plant’s reliability and performance while lowering your total cost of ownership.