Industrial cooling towers require a lot of water. The water used in the systems are usually treated beforehand but still contains dissolved minerals. In turn, the minerals accumulate and build up inside the towers and the pipes.
To remedy this, non-chemical water treatment for cooling towers are now available. These technologies provide benefits and savings for the company.
Scale Deposits in Cooling Systems
Due to the large water requirements, cooling towers need a reliable source of water with their own treatment system. Additionally, companies usually have continuous operations, sometimes running 24/7. The water cooling system is a requisite to the efficient and continuous operations.
However, scaling from dissolved minerals still occur. These are typical of recirculating water systems, especially in refrigeration chillers and air conditioning systems. Minerals in water are usually calcium carbonate and other calcium compounds, as well as silica-based minerals. Other deposits include rust and other corrosion products, organic matter, dirt, and mud. Organic matter may include algae, bacteria, and plankton-like growth.
Cooling water starts out as clean and otherwise pure, with minimal dissolved minerals and other contaminants. With recirculating systems, the continuous cycle absorbs minerals and collects dirt and debris. Minerals remain dissolved until the water reaches the point where the percentage of minerals exceeds the solubility levels. This results in the accumulation of deposits of undissolved minerals. In some instances, instead of scales developing, the minerals form sludge and settle at the bottom of the pipes, tanks, and basins.
Debris is introduced into the system courtesy of the natural air washer design of cooling towers. Water is sprayed over slats and the tower fill, and airborne dust, pollen, leaves, grass, dirt, and soil enters the cooling tower. The debris makes its way into the water pipes and basins.
A water cooling tower system cannot be kept clean and pure when left on its own. Debris, dust, and mineral scales happen due to the nature of the cooling system. It can be said that it is a normal effect of the cooling system. Cleaning a cooling tower is an activity which every business should monitor to maintain continuous operations.