August 03, 2016 0 Comments
Save water, one drop at the time!
Cooling towers are not only relatively big water users, but one of the most polluting ones. Not only the water is evaporated and dissolved salts are concentrated but chemicals are added to it and concentrated too. When bleeding a gallon of cooling water, we could not only be bleeding water with several times the concentration of minerals but, high levels of highly polluting chemicals too.
Every single cooling tower operator should be making sure that the minimum amount of chemicals and water are been used to operate it. On the other hand, it is not hard to optimize the concentration cycles of the cooling tower, and minimize upsets created by defective or poorly maintained equipment.
Some cooling tower bleed control systems are based on timers, water meters or are manually operated. These systems would benefit greatly from being upgraded to an automatic conductivity controlled bleed system to improve water quality control and reduce water consumption. This kind of controllers are the best resource for water treaters and cooling tower operators, to maximize the concentration cycles and minimize the system’s upsets.
The bleed take-off point should be located on the high pressure side of the system after the heat exchanger as this water is the warmest and is the most depleted of any water treatment chemicals. Taking bleed from a low pressure area may cause practical difficulties with metering this water volume. Taking bleed from the tower cold water basin reduces system capacity as the bleed water would have already been cooled by the tower. It is more efficient to take bleed from before the tower inlet. Bleed water tends to be the most contaminated water in the system and suspended solids within the water can block open the solenoid valve and cause significant uncontrolled water losses or prevent the solenoid valve from opening preventing any bleed. It is good practice to protect the automatic bleed water valve with a strainer or filter installed upstream of the solenoid valve on the bleed line. Keep in mind that the strainer can also be clogged with debris suspended in the water and affect the performance of the automatic bleed system. A low maintenance and high reliability solution is a specially built motorized ball valve, designed to operate with cooling towers waters and, to electrically connect to standard controllers. These valves not only are immune to the suspended debris in the water but, reduces the failure rate exponentially, saving time, water and drastically reducing the pollution generated by the tower treatment.
Dirty sensors or sensors that are out of calibration may lead to faulty readings, excessive bleed and hence excessive water use. Regularly cleaning and calibrating the conductivity sensor will assist with accurate bleed control. Dirty sensors or sensors that are out of calibration may lead to faulty readings, excessive bleed and hence excessive water use. Creating a maintenance schedule with drastically reduce the failure rate and support a water treatment program with a tighter safety buffer, reducing the water and chemicals consumption, and minimizing the pollution created by the operation of the cooling system. Minimizing bleed quantities and metering the actual bleed discharge may also assist in reducing sewerage or liquid waste disposal charges (where bleed is not reused on site).
To automate your cooling tower right now, you can get your basic cooling tower package automation.
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