When you step into your facility, do you give much thought to your cooling towers? Managing any sort of industrial process is challenging, and sometimes it's easy to overlook some of the essential aspects of maintenance. Cooling towers are a critical part of nearly all industrial heat exchange systems, and they are also a potential source of high costs if improperly maintained.
Although cooling towers contain many parts that require occasional care, drift eliminators can have a particularly outsized impact on your operating costs. Since these components are responsible for reducing the evaporation losses of your liquid cooling system, poorly maintained eliminators can drastically increase your facility's overall water consumption.
Why Do Drift Eliminators Matter?
In an open-loop cooling tower, your coolant water makes direct contact with ambient air. As the warm water travels through the fill, the heat transfers to the surrounding air, and water returns to your main coolant loop. Since the tower is open to the environment, external water loss through evaporation is inevitable.
Drift eliminators help to reduce this problem by providing a condensation surface for water droplets. As the humid air travels through the winding pathways of the eliminator, water condenses out onto the surface and can drip back into the basin below. Properly functioning drift eliminators can eliminate nearly all evaporative water loss.
How Can Drift Eliminators Influence Your Costs?
Improperly functioning drift eliminators can impact your facility's overall operating costs and efficiency in two key ways: through additional water consumption and by creating a potential public health hazard. The first point is relatively easy to understand. If your drift eliminators are not functioning correctly, then your operating costs will increase as your coolant loop consumes more water.
Unfortunately, cooling towers are also a potential source of pathogens. The warm, moist environment found in most cooling towers is an ideal environment for thermophilic bacteria. These pathogens can then hitch a ride on escaping evaporative droplets and ultimately find their way into the outside world. Drift eliminators help to contain or eliminate this problem.
What Can You Do To Maintain Your Eliminators?
For drift eliminators to function correctly, they must be occasionally removed from the tower, inspected, and cleaned. Because of the cost and public safety consequences of dirty or damaged drift eliminators, it is essential to schedule maintenance several times per year. Drift eliminators with excessive rust or unremovable build-up always require replacement.
If you've been ignoring your cooling towers, then it's time to make them a critical part of your facility's on-going maintenance plan. Proper maintenance of your cooling tower components will help to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your industrial facility.
To learn more about various cooling tower parts, contact a supplier in your area.