Cooling Tower Maintenance For Cold Weather Operations

Cooling Tower Maintenance For Cold Weather Operations

Date: August 31, 2016

Ensuring your cooling towers function properly in cold weather requires regular maintenance and inspection. Without these important services, your operations are guaranteed to come to a halt as you are forced to conduct expensive and time-consuming repairs.

Most importantly, frequent inspections make it possible for you to see that your operating procedures are properly set for the specific conditions of your facility. Inspections and maintenance increase efficiency and have a significant impact on your operating costs. Knowing how to properly maintain your cooling towers will help them function well during cold weather.

Setting up the cooling tower

It is best to preheat the water within your basin prior to directing it up the cooling tower. You must also apply the heat load to the tower. This water can be bypassed back into the basin to increase the efficiency of your cooling tower. When the temperature of the water within the basin reaches roughly 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be directed over the cooling tower. At this point, fans can be used to regulate the temperature within the basin so that it remains within the desired specifications.

As the temperature stabilizes, it will create a thermal draft that will draw the air upwards and through the cooling tower. Because this is a slow and steady draft, many operators choose to turn their fans off in order to save energy and reduce operating costs.

Draining the lines to prevent them from freezing

If you are shutting your cooling tower down for the season, be sure to drain the lines. Draining the lines prevents ice from damaging equipment and machinery. Should ice develop within the lines, it is important to remove it immediately. Operating the cooling tower without fans is an effective method of removing ice and preventing damage.

If the temperature drops below zero degrees Fahrenheit, operate the fans in reverse mode for fifteen to twenty minutes every two to three hours. This practice circulates warm air throughout the cooling tower and keeps the components from freezing up.

Clearing the tower’s air inlets

Air inlet screens are a magnet for trash, leaves, and other debris blowing in the wind. As particles accumulate, they stop airflow into the tower. It is essential that your air inlet screens be kept free of debris during cold weather operations. Efficiency will suffer considerably without the steady and continuous flow of fresh air into the cooling tower. Be aware that towers that utilize inlet ductwork do not require air inlets. The presence of air inlets on towers that are elevated will actually serve a counterproductive function to your operations.

Pay attention to your cooling tower, even with automation

While automation can provide considerable advantages, it should never be relied upon during cold weather operations of your cooling tower. Visual inspections should be made at least once during every shift of the day. The colder the weather, the greater the frequency of inspections should be. While these inspections can be made via remote camera access, there is no substitute for having a person visually inspect your cooling towers and their components, including the gear drives.

If you would like more information about cooling tower maintenance, contact the experts at Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas today. You can call us at (806) 622-1273 or Contact Us by email to learn more about maintaining your cooling tower gear drives. We will be glad to tell you more about the regions we service and the quality workmanship we can bring to the repair or renewal of your gear drives.

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