It is important for you to analyse the different challenges that you are likely to face before you install any cooling tower. Understanding those challenges enables you to design an appropriate maintenance programme that is tailored to keep those challenges at bay. This article discusses some of the maintenance challenges that inexperienced facilities managers should address as they create a maintenance programme.
Corrosion is a serious threat to the metal components of your cooling tower. Mineral deposits in the water make it easier for electrical currents to start flowing between the tower's components and the circulating fluid. High temperatures accelerate the rate of such corrosion. An appropriate maintenance programme should address the different facilitators of corrosion. For example, sediment should be removed from the bottom of the cooling tower regularly so that reactive minerals are kept minimal within the cooling tower.
Scale formation poses a real threat to the performance of cooling towers. This is because the scale forms a barrier that lowers the ability of the system to transfer heat from the components quickly. Scale also facilitates corrosion. It is therefore necessary to keep scale formation at a minimum so that its adverse effects are checked. Scale can be reduced by using a water softener to lower the mineral content of the water in the system.
Biological activity is inevitable within cooling tower systems. This is because the environment provides the warm and moist conditions that are ideal for microbiological matter to thrive. For example, algae can grow and form a biofilm on the cooling tower fill material. This biofilm can lower the ability of the fill material to perform its cooling functions. The secretions from the biological matter can also worsen corrosion within the system. Appropriate measures should therefore be implemented to keep biological activity at the lowest level possible. For example, chemicals can be added into the water in order to inhibit the rapid growth of microorganisms within the cooling tower. Increasing the velocity of the water periodically can also create conditions that are hostile to biological matter.
The best cooling tower maintenance programme is the result of assessing the different threats that a specific cooling tower has been facing or is likely to face. It is therefore unwise for you to copy the maintenance programme of another facility whose operational conditions may not be identical to those at your facility. Ask cooling tower experts for help in case you are unable to design a customised maintenance programme on your own.
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