with piping and wiring in place, it is simple to install and may be placed wherever there is a clearance of 2 feet for the intake end and a space of 10 feet or more in front of the fan. The discharge end must not face the prevailing wind and should not be directed into a traffic area because drift loss may be objectionable.
In some situations, an indoor location for the cooling tower may be desirable. An induced draft tower of the counterflow or cross-flow design is generally selected for indoor installation. Two connections to the outside are usually required - one for drawing outdoor air into the tower and the other for discharging it back to the outside. A centrifugal blower is often necessary for this application to overcome the static pressure of the ductwork. Many options are possible as to the point of air entrance and air discharge. This flexibility is often important in designing an indoor installation. Primary water breakup is by pressure spray and fill of various types.
The induced draft cooling tower for indoor installation is a completely assembled packaged unit but is so designed that it can be partially disassembled to permit passage through limited entrances. Indoor installations of cooling towers are becoming more popular. External space restrictions, architectural compatibility, convenience for observation and maintenance all combine to favor an indoor location. The installation cost is somewhat higher than an outdoor location. Packaged towers are available in capacities to serve the cooling requirements of refrigeration plants in the 5- to 75-ton range.
A forced draft cooling tower uses a fan to force air into the tower. In the usual installation, the fan shaft is in a horizontal plane. The air is forced horizontally through the fill and upward to be discharged out of the top of the tower.
Underflow cooling towers are an improved design of the forced draft tower that retains all the advantages of the efficient parallel-flow design. Air is forced into the center of the tower at the bottom. The air is then turned horizontally (both right and left) through fill chambers and is discharged vertically at both ends. By forcing the air to flow upward and outward through the fill and leave at the ends, operating noise is baffled and a desirable reduction of sound level is achieved. All sides of the underflow tower are smoothly encased with no louver openings. This blends with modern architecture and eliminates the necessity of masonry walls or other screening devices oftentimes necessary to conceal cooling towers of other types.
Redwood has been the standard construction material for cooling towers for many years. Though cypress, as well as treated fir and pine, has been used occasionally, these materials have not enjoyed a wide application. Casings are constructed of laminated waterproof plywood. Such casings, as well as other noncorrosive materials at critical points, are essential in areas having a highly corrosive atmosphere. Nails, bolts, and nuts of copper or aluminum are almost standard practice for cooling tower construction.
Cooling towers of metal coated with plastic or bituminous materials that have air intake louvers and fill made of redwood have met with only limited success. The limited success is primarily because of the high maintenance cost as compared to wood towers.
Packaged towers with metal sides and wood fill are reasonably common. Some manufacturers have used sheet aluminum for siding for limited periods of time. Plastic slats have been used for fill material but have not proved satisfactory in all cases.
Fire ordinances of a large city may require that no wood be used in construction of cooling towers. With steel or some other fireproof casing and without fill, a cooling tower will comply with the most restrictive ordinances.
Recently, cooling towers have been linked to the spread of Legionnaire's disease. Several precautionary measures are recommended to help eliminate this problem. These include placing of cooling towers downwind and use of chloride compounds as disinfectants on a monthly maintenance schedule.
Water treatment is an important part of the operation of a cooling tower. The evaporation of water from a cooling tower leaves some solids behind. Recirculation of the water in the condenser cooling tower circuit, and the accompanying evaporation, causes the concentration of solids to increase. This concentration must be controlled or scale and corrosion will result.Continue Reading