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Optimising the operation and maintenance of cooling tower systems

By Nicolas Boisnic on August 28, 2013

A cooling tower is a heat rejection device that uses water evaporation to cool a water stream to a lower temperature. In a commercial setting, cooling towers are typically used to cool buildings by delivering a cooled
water stream through coils in the building’s incoming air stream. Hot air that comes in contact with the cooled water stream in the cooling tower will be rejected through the evaporative process.

Cooling towers can consume huge volumes of water, most of which is of drinking quality. According to the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Airconditioning and Heating (AIRAH), this process can account for up to half of a building’s total water use.

Cooling towers require routine maintenance to ensure they are using water and energy efficiently. Water losses occur in cooling towers due to:

• general evaporation
• blowdown
• drift
• splash-out
• overflow
• system leaks

Check the efficiency of your cooling towers by using ARIAH’s free cooling tower efficiency calculator at

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