Three Critical Design Considerations for Cooling Tower Construction

Posted on: 24 May 2016

If you want to upgrade your commercial or industrial cooling, you should consider building a cooling tower. This type of heat-rejection system is economical because it releases heat through evaporation of water. Basically, the heat from the HVAC system and industrial machinery will be 'collected' by a cooling stream of water. The now heated water will then be cooled by air in the cooling tower. If you decide to set up this structure in your commercial property, it is important to understand the critical design factors. This will help you build a cooling tower that best matches your operational requirements.

Air and Water Flow

The relationship between the heated water and the cooling air is critical in the design process. This will determine the cost of cooling tower construction and the long-term efficiency. There are two primary tower designs in terms of air-to-water interaction: crossflow and counterflow structures. In the former design, the heated water flows downwards and the cooling air passes through the stream horizontally. The counterflow design is built to pump air upwards. The water is sprayed downwards via nozzles for efficient interaction. The crossflow towers are relatively inexpensive to build because there are no special pumps required for the process. The counterflow is more efficient in terms of heat transfer because the opposite air-to-water flow promotes better interaction.

Draught Generation

The cooling tower will require efficient draught circulation in the structure. The generated air will be used to cool the heated water before recirculation. There are cooling towers that utilise natural draught movement for air generation and circulation. Generally, this means that the systems rely on natural convection where warm air rises while cool air falls from outside. This is not often a reliable choice for commercial requirements. For more efficient draught generation, consider choosing induced or forced air draught. The induced design has fans installed at the top of the tower to pull in cold air and complement the natural draught movement. Forced air draught uses a blower to drive air from outside into the tower. It is highly efficient but requires significant power.

Erection Methods

Finally, you should think about the installation of the cooling tower during the design process. You can choose a factory-assembled structure or a field-erected cooling tower. As implied, factory-assembled towers are built in a controlled industrial environment and transported to the worksite for final installation. The field-erected option can be larger because the entire structure is constructed on your property. This is an ideal choice if you want a customised cooling tower. For more info about your options, contact a cooling tower design company.