Cooling tower systems are some of the most important industrial systems in use today, and even if you’ve never realized it, you’ve probably seen quite a few cooling towers yourself. But what exactly do these towers do, and why are they so important for so many businesses?
- What is a cooling tower? Many industrial processes naturally produce extra heat during operations, which is called “waste heat” and which needs to be removed from the system so that the equipment can function properly. Cooling tower systems remove this waste heat out of the system, thereby keeping the equipment cool enough to operate.
- How do cooling tower systems work? There are many types of cooling towers and they all function a little bit differently, but the two main processes involved are the natural absorption of heat and evaporation of liquid water.
- What are the different cooling tower types?
Open cooling towers allow water to absorb excess heat directly from the equipment, while closed towers use separate containers to keep the equipment and the cooling fluid isolated. Wet cooling towers use water to absorb the heat, and this water evaporates into vapor and is blown out of the system. Dry cooling towers don’t use water to remove heat, making the process a little less efficient and a little more time-consuming, so businesses typically choose wet cooling towers over dry ones.
- Who uses cooling tower systems? A variety of businesses make use of cooling towers, although these systems are most often used by industrial businesses, factories, and in any system where heavy machinery produces extra heat. Cooling towers are often used in the HVAC industry and in power plants.
- How big are cooling towers? Cooling tower systems can vary quite a bit in terms of size, and the size depends partly on the type of system being used (because certain cooling tower types take up more space than others) and partly on how much heat needs to be removed. They can be placed on rooftops or can be large enough to stand on their own. The average size of a large freestanding cooling tower is about 200 meters tall and 100 meters wide.