From a general perspective, one could say that all cooling towers are the same. Indeed, the basic principle is identical for all cooling towers. Nonetheless, every industry has its own special requirements, characteristics, and unique features that make significant differences.
Cooling towers for the power industry, usually for green field installations, are the biggest towers of all. Nearly every wet-cooled power plant will require several m14xm14-m16xm16 cells. Low water temperature is extremely important to maximizing plant performance.
In the past, these cooling towers were mostly made of concrete. For the past 20 years, most are made of pultruded FRP positioned in a concrete basin. Sometimes these high-flow cooling towers, which require lots of water, use seawater or brackish water, which is available, hence special attention to components’ compatibility with corrosive water is required. High-level engineering, detailed documentation, and stringent quality plans are usually required by the leading EPC companies that dominate this market.
Oil & Gas
Oil & Gas
Cooling towers for the oil and gas industry are usually field erected. In the past, these cooling towers were mostly made of concrete. Starting 20 years ago, cooling towers made of pultruded FRP positioned in a concrete basin began replacing the old concrete cooling towers. Oil and gas plants are known as hazardous zones. Components used in this industry must comply with stringent standards relevant to these industries (e.g., Explosion Proof (EX), ATEX, fire retardant). Design of cooling towers for this industry should take into consideration chapter 12 of the CTI Manual: “Field-Erected Cooling Tower Fire Protection”.
The size of cooling towers for the chemical industry can vary from the smallest packaged units through medium-size cooling towers assembled on site, to large, field-erected cooling towers. In nearly all cases, the environment is very corrosive and requires special attention to the cooling tower’s construction materials. In many cases, water itself may be corrosive or contain chemicals that should be taken into account in the design stage.
The quality of cooling towers’ water in the metal industry is known to be poor. Many processes in this industry involve direct contact of the circulating water with the product itself. In some cases (e.g., blast furnace), inlet water temperature is very high. For this industry, we offer cooling towers based on fill that has low likelihood of clogging (either splash fill or new hybrid fill), or in some cases even fill-less cooling towers. To address low water quality, we developed an open, gravitational distribution system that can be easily cleaned when required.
Cooling towers have an important impact on total efficiency in the air separation industry, where low water temperature has an important role in production. The size of the cooling tower depends on the size of the ASU. For small ASUs, we can offer our customer packaged cooling towers. For medium-size ASUs, YWCT can offer modular cooling towers that include a basin and can be assembled in a few days on site; and for big ASUs, we offer our field-erected cooling towers. Since in many cases ASU land area is limited, we developed an elevated basin configuration that allows the end user to install the pumps, heat exchangers, and water treatment system underneath the basin of the cooling tower.
Cooling towers for sugar refineries are usually field erected. In the sugar industry, the air is the factor that must be taken into consideration. Bagasse, the fibrous residue that remains after sugarcane is crushed, has an extremely bad effect on common film fill. Therefore, for this industry, we ordinarily design cooling towers based on hybrid fill, which on the one hand is more efficient than splash fill, and on the other hand is assembled into packs that can be removed and cleaned when required. We fit these cooling towers with PVC anti-light louvers that reduce the amount of biocide required, and collect a certain amount of bagasse with low pressure drop. Like the fill, these louvers can be removed for cleaning.
The HVAC industry is the major target market of packaged cooling towers. The standard models available in the market are designed to be efficient and relatively inexpensive, to fit this industry’s value chain, as these units are usually purchased by HVAC contractors. In this industry, our company focuses on non-standard projects: skyscrapers, which require relatively large, quiet, cooling towers with difficult access to the roof; low-profile, crossflow cooling towers; and cooling towers specially designed to fit a given footprint.
Food & Beverage
Food & Beverage
he food industry usually requires small, packaged cooling towers. These cooling towers should meet and comply with strict hygiene standards and regulations. In some cases (e.g., autoclaves, breweries), inlet water temperature is high. As cooling towers in this industry may serve several processes, YWCT offers stainless steel cooling towers fitted with efficient high-resistance fill or FDA-approved FRP in case of corrosive environment. As an alternative, we have developed a configuration to modify the design point of the cooling tower using a mixing tank, reducing the water temperature significantly. Our PlugNPlay system, which includes pumps, heat exchangers, and all other relevant components positioned over a single skid, has proven to be a good solution for this industry.
Our engineering team supports the end users during the pre-sale process to assist them with the calculations and sizing of the required cooling tower.
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