Evaporative cooling towers are an integral part of many data center cooling systems.
Mechanical evaporative systems are often more efficient than dry systems, reducing water usage at power plants.
The number of data centers in the United States continues to grow in response to the enormous amount of digital information stored and streamed. The massive computer power within these data centers generates heat, making efficient cooling a key building system requirement. Evaporative cooling towers are an integral part of many data center cooling systems.
Recently some have questioned the use of cooling towers, citing water scarcity to bolster their arguments. But a thorough examination of water use for local onsite cooling towers compared to water use to generate power at regional fossil fuel power plants reveals surprising results.
Data Center Cooling Options
There are multiple ways to cool data centers, depending on the size, computer capacity that must be cooled, regional energy costs and the data load and density. Popular options include:
Water-cooled chiller plant – includes chiller system, pumps, cooling tower and plate/frame heat exchanger in series with the chiller.
Air-cooled chiller plant – includes chiller system and pumps.
Direct evaporative cooling – without mechanical refrigeration, also referred to as “swamp cooling”
Adiabatic cooling – air-cooled system assisted by water-cooled system during peak conditions
To attract customers, data center operators weigh the options and look for systems that reduce operating costs and environmental impact. They pay close attention to power use effectiveness (PUE), defined as the ratio of the total amount of energy used by a data center to...
The next generation of factory-assembled cooling towers can be delivered up to 60 percent faster than field-erected towers and installed 80 percent faster.
With three fewer cells, the newer tower requires only 750 horsepower to meet the same requirements and customers reap significant cost savings.
Recent developments in factory-assembled cooling tower technology are increasing the applications for so-called “package” towers supporting HVAC and industrial processes. Although field-erected towers have been preferred for power plants and industrial processes, today well-designed modular products suit a broader range of applications to simplify processes and positively impact their bottom line.
For example, an advanced design factory-assembled cooling tower can be delivered with 60 percent shorter lead time and installed up to 80 percent faster than what is typically estimated for building a traditional field-erected cooling tower. With no costly concrete basin construction required, simplified piping and electrical wiring, and flexible site placement, industrial processors more frequently consider the cost benefits of advanced factory-assembled towers.
Reducing Energy and Install Costs for HVAC
For HVAC end users who increasingly focus on reducing energy consumption, today’s new cooling tower designs specifically address energy efficiency. Utilizing larger box sizes and low horsepower motors to meet these needs, advanced factory-assembled crossflow towers can offer up to 50 percent more cooling capacity per cell and use up to 35 percent less fan power per ton of cooling.*
In addition to lower energy costs, these newer designs can also significantly reduce HVAC system installation costs. The increased cooling capacity per cell means customers require fewer cells, less piping and fewer electrical connections, minimizing labor and material requirements. Safety hazards associated with long and complicated installation are minimized.
The Marley® NC® Cooling Tower is the only FM APPROVED single-cell crossflow cooling tower available in the market.
When water flow is temporarily suspended, as in the event of a fire, some cooling towers that contain combustible materials and dry areas may be at risk. Some organizations practice loss prevention by considering an FM APPROVED cooling tower to potentially reduce structural damage and interruption of business.
Consider an FM APPROVED cooling tower to reduce risk
Cooling towers may contain a variety of combustible material, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fill, fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) casing, fan stacks, fan decks, fan blades, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polypropylene nozzles, as well as wood and fiberglass structural components. Functioning cooling towers may also contain dry areas that could catch on fire when water flow is temporarily suspended during maintenance or repairs involving electrical work or welding. In addition, fire damage in cooling towers can extend to the tower’s adjacent cells and to nearby buildings or equipment.
To avoid these risks, consider selecting an FM APPROVED cooling tower. FM Approvals is a nationally recognized testing laboratory and international leader specializing in the testing and certification of property loss...
When considering improvements to cooling towers, it’s important to perform an economic analysis of the options.
When planning and evaluating a cooling tower repair and maintenance program, few cooling tower owners and operators conduct a thorough economic evaluation. And while simple repairs and modifications can be done at minimal expense, more extensive cooling tower maintenance projects require proper planning and economic justification. In fact, a poorly executed economic evaluation can cost millions of dollars in lost productivity.
In the past, many chemical process industries (CPI) plants relied on once-through cooling, drawing cooling water from a local source or a man-made pond. The temperature of the incoming water depended on environmental factors and was not controllable, placing the plant operators completely at the mercy of ambient temperature conditions.
Years of experience led many operators to believe that nothing could be done about incoming water temperatures. But today’s...
Capital investment to restore a cooling tower’s structural, mechanical and operational integrity can yield substantial short and long-term benefits.
After many years of operation, cooling towers may require more than routine maintenance and component replacement to achieve the thermal performance necessary to support plant processes. In addition to achieving proper thermal performance, plants also must address the permanence of the cooling tower.
Replacement of heat transfer media or other spot repairs in an older cooling tower will boost cooling capacity in the short term, but unless structural integrity also is addressed, there will be no improvement in the longevity or structural stability of the cooling tower.
Unlike small patchwork repairs, a successful cooling tower reconstruction project can demonstrate returns in both cooling capacity and structural integrity, thus extending the lifetime of the cooling tower. With these goals in mind, how can plant operators plan and execute a successful reconstruction project and...
Some modern cooling towers include modular, pre-assembled components that can be shipped “just in time” to the job site to reduce construction time and manpower requirements.
Heavy industrial applications such as manufacturing, chemical processing and oil-and-gas refining use cooling towers and other equipment to cool the water integral
to their operations. As environmental regulations and challenging market conditions place higher demands on these industries, improved cooling technologies are emerging to help address the challenges.
In the oil-and-gas industry, many cooling towers currently in service were built as part of the original refinery construction, and they are fast approaching the end of their service lives. In order to meet modern production demands and industry requirements, these towers must be upgraded or replaced with more efficient products, and better long-term maintenance plans must be instituted.
Cooling Tower Operation and Types
Cooling towers are specialized heat exchangers that reduce the temperature of water by bringing it in...
Gearboxes are used as speed reducers to slow rotational speed from the incoming motor to the outgoing fan of a cooling tower.
Industries that require process heat rejection often use field-erected cooling towers to keep pace with their heat load. Cooling towers have large fans and powerful motors, which can present a host of challenges, including excessive sound, vibration and expense. Gearboxes are employed to address these challenges.
Gearboxes Play a Key Role to Multiply Torque
Gearboxes are used as speed reducers to slow the rotational speed from the incoming motor to the outgoing fan of a cooling tower. Companies that operate high- capacity production plants, such as those in the chemical process and power industries, require cooling towers with large amounts of heat rejection capacity. Without gearbox technology, cooling tower motors would be massive to directly handle the torque required by the fan. Something so large and heavy would be too expensive and impractical. Instead, the speed reduction from...
Third-party sound testing is essential to verifying cooling tower noise levels
Third-party sound testing is essential to verifying noise levels because published sound data are often confusing and can mislead product specifiers and end users. Urban and industrial development continues to increase around the globe, leading to a growing number of noise control regulations. In response, building designers and owners strive to be “good corporate citizens” by identifying quieter HVAC equipment, including cooling towers.
There is no single, universal method of specifying cooling tower sound. Either sound pressure level or sound power level measurements – or a combination of both – may be employed. Inaccurate cooling tower sound data are not uncommon; examples include calculating the sound power level of only one cell of a multi-cell tower or discounting the sound produced by falling water. Additionally, ambient noise at the site can hamper field measurements.
If all goes well, the plant will be “the first of many like it around the globe".
Historically, power plants have accounted for a significant amount of our carbon emissions. But, could it be possible for power plants to capture all of their carbon emissions economically? NET Power says it is, and with no extra cost attached. The company’s idea for capturing and utilizing the carbon dioxide from combustion could revolutionize the industry and help fight global climate change.
The Allam Cycle
This new electric generation system, dubbed the “Allam Cycle” doesn't use steam. Instead, the so-called working fluid that turns the turbine is carbon dioxide itself. It also employs an efficient cooling system. The Allam cycle captures all the carbon dioxide produced when burning natural gas. The carbon dioxide then can be transported via pipeline and used for other purposes.
Demonstration Plant First Fire Successful
NET Power, LLC announced in May 2018 that it...
Which power transmission technologies do you most frequently choose?
A handful of power transmission technologies are available for cooling towers and each has advantages and disadvantages.
Gear drives are used commonly across all cooling tower power levels, offering high efficiency (near 96%), moderate initial cost and low lifetime operating costs. Because the gears are protected by thick, casted shells, gear drives are well suited to the high heat and humid conditions inside cooling towers.
Belt drives offer smooth transmission of power between shafts. This technology is an economical method of power transmission at initial cost, but routine maintenance and belt replacement contributes to higher operating costs. Starting at 95% efficiency, belt drives can drop to the low 90s or even lower as belts stretch and wear.
Direct drive options, often using a permanent magnet motor, can reduce maintenance and lifetime operating costs, but often come with...
When operating cooling towers in subfreezing temperatures, avoid complications by following these 5 principles
When operating cooling towers in subfreezing temperatures, avoid complications by following these 5 principles:
1. Always maintain a heat load. Without a heat load, water flowing through the tower will equalize at the air wet-bulb temperature and form ice. Excessive ice can impede airflow and damage the fill.
2. Maintain the tower’s water flow rate at the design minimum or greater. This ensures an even water distribution over the fill and, in turn, predictable performance.
3. Bypass the operating water flow directly to the cold water basin if the heat drops too low. This prevents water from freezing in low-flow areas.
4. While fan cycling or two-speed motors can be employed, a VFD is recommended to eliminate cell-to-cell temperature gradients. Sequential fan cycling can lead to significantly lower temperatures in cells where fans are off, which increases the risk of...
A slight difference in carbon content greatly affects the corrosion resistance between the two materials in the welded regions.
Engineers must choose from a variety of stainless steel types when configuring a package cooling tower. Type 301L stainless steel (SS), Type 304 SS, even Type 316 SS may be selectable options for tower structure and components, including cold water basins, when additional corrosion protection beyond galvanized steel is desired.
Understanding the different material attributes of stainless steel types can lead to more logical and reliable choices. Type 301L (the “L” designates the low carbon version of 301) has 0.03 percent maximum carbon content while Type 304 has 0.08 percent. This slight difference in carbon content greatly affects the corrosion resistance between the two materials in the welded regions.
While nearly identical in their chromium and nickel content and ability to resist chemical attack and corrosion in typical cooling tower environments, the low-carbon content of...
Diagnosing maintenance issues often begins with inspection of mechanical equipment and components subject to wear and tear.
Many service contractors and cooling tower owners take a “squeaky wheel” approach when it comes to maintenance and repair. They replace a component only after it breaks, or they perform a repair when a component failure is imminent.
How can service providers provide more value? Take a proactive approach to maintaining cooling towers.
Diagnosing maintenance issues often begins with inspection of mechanical equipment and components subject to wear and tear – for example, motors, gearboxes or belt drives. Tower cleanliness is also a major consideration, especially with increasing regulations and ASHRAE standards. This includes water chemistry, fill media and more.
Another overlooked focus area – as important as “regular” maintenance – is preventive maintenance on mechanical equipment and other components. A preventive maintenance agreement with a reputable contractor...
It is important to select cooling systems carefully and consider the latest research when it comes to anticipating dangers and avoiding damage and expensive downtime.
Used in combination with chillers to provide comfort cooling in large residential, commercial and industrial buildings, or as a direct cooling system for industrial processes, cooling towers are important components of many heat removal systems. As a result, downtime or outages due to unplanned maintenance issues or damage from external factors can be costly. Events including liquid/water damage, wind and hail damage, equipment breakdown, fire, and collapse can all cause significant, costly interruptions to cooling tower operation.
While fire is a serious concern, other natural hazards also present significant threats. Wind and hail, in fact, accounted for 67 percent of total loss value in a recent 10-year study conducted by FM Global. It is important to select cooling systems carefully and consider the latest research when it comes to anticipating dangers and avoiding damage and...
Cooling tower owners can significantly reduce visible plume and eliminate community concerns.
In this blog, we’ve discussed how equipment generating sound can pose significant challenges for communities and businesses, and we outlined steps to reduce sound. Sound reduction is, of course, one of the leading initiatives among cooling tower owners to improve community relations. What’s another notable way to be a good neighbor? Plume abatement.
Under certain environmental conditions, particularly in cooler weather, cooling towers can produce visible water vapor called “plume.” Although the water vapor is not hazardous, a community may perceive it as pollution or smoke, potentially affecting the use of nearby land and even decreasing property values. Airports, railroad crossings and urban areas could be negatively impacted due to lack of visibility.
Cooling tower owners can significantly reduce visible plume and eliminate community concerns. Factory-assembled cooling towers...
Noise issues from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment are a big challenge for communities and businesses. Government and industry are faced with increasingly stringent and strictly enforced noise regulations. While a concern anywhere, some applications pose greater noise challenges, including medical facilities, universities, office buildings, hotels and residential areas.
For applications where sound reduction is imperative, here are a few product selection considerations:
Carefully consider initial equipment design and sizing – A larger tower requires less total air flow and therefore lower fan power than a smaller tower. This lets you minimize total fan power and speed, both contributors to noise. Crossflow towers with film fill result in lower water noise from “splash” compared to conventional counterflow towers without extra noise attenuation.
CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 8, 2019 /Globe Newswire/ -- SPX Corporation (NYSE:SPXC) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of SGS Refrigeration Inc. (“SGS”), based in Dixon, Illinois. SGS is a manufacturer and distributor of industrial refrigeration products in the North American market.
“We are excited about SGS joining the SPX team” said Gene Lowe, President and CEO of SPX Corporation. “As a leader in industrial refrigeration, SGS has operated as a close partner with SPX in the evaporative condenser market. I am very pleased with the progress this partnership has made and look forward to the next phase of our growth together, as we combine our resources to further expand our addressable market and product suite of industrial refrigeration solutions.”
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of cooling towers and other specialized heat exchangers, announces a new, continuing video series covering best practices for installing the MarleyNC Cooling Tower. The first four episodes are now available, with additional installments to publish in the coming months. Available for viewing are:
Episode 1: Site Prep, Tower Arrival and Unloading – covers steps for making the cooling tower staging and receiving process trouble-free and efficient, and outlines where to locate the components and literature included with the cooling tower shipment.
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of cooling towers and other specialized heat exchangers, announces the Marley® NC Everest® Cooling Tower was named the 2019 Environmental Leader Product of the Year.
The annual award program, in its seventh year, recognizes the most innovative and successful commercial and industrial products and projects in the environment and energy space. An independent panel of industry experts judge the entries each year. The winners are selected based on the success and capabilities of the project, and its positive effect on the industry. The winners were formally recognized and celebrated at the
Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference on May 14, 2019, at...
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers and air-cooled heat exchangers, will showcase its mobile display trailer with displays of field-erected cooling tower components during the upcoming Fuel Ethanol Workshop, June 10-12, 2019, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Additionally, on June 12 at 3:30 p.m., SPX Sales Manager Kent Martens will present “Cooling Tower Fundamentals” as part of the panel discussion, “Mechanical and Biological Considerations for Ensuring Plant Cooling Towers are Operating at Peak Efficiency.”
Visitors to SPX Booth 2041 can tour the display trailer and compare the quality and design of Marley® components with other OEM...
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of cooling towers and other specialized heat exchangers, announces Marley® MBX EZ Pack Fill has been selected as a winner of Plant Engineering magazine’s Product of the Year (POY) awards in the Maintenance Tools and Equipment category.
The 2018 Product of the Year program is a premier award for new products in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries. The annual reader-choice program, now in its 31st year, provides Plant Engineering’s audience with information about leading new products in their fields. Qualified subscribers of CFE Media, including plant engineers, plant managers, maintenance supervisors and manufacturing leaders, vote on the...
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers, announces the expansion of the Marley DT Fluid Cooler product line.
New Marley DT Fluid Cooler models incorporate finned coils that expand thermal performance and permit dry operation during a broader range of ambient temperatures. The new models can more effectively reject heat without evaporating water at ambient temperatures up to 20 degrees higher than with bare tube coils, which helps reduce costs associated with water usage, water treatment and pump energy. Other DT fluid cooler models using bare tube coils can satisfy the cold-water setpoint with dry capabilities at colder ambient temperatures.
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers and air-cooled heat exchangers, announces the availability of various control panels and monitoring equipment, which simplifies cooling tower installation, operation and data collection. Marley® control panels enable building management systems to conveniently communicate cooling tower conditions through visual displays, network communications and relay status outputs.
The Marley® AIO (All-In-One) Control Panel reduces installation and startup time, as it uses single-point wiring in one convenient panel. Control functions integrated into the AIO Control Panel are customer-configurable based on job site requirements. A typical...
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers and air-cooled heat exchangers, showcases its latest cooling towers and components and presents 20-minute education sessions at the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Exposition (AHR Expo), at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Jan. 14-16, 2019.
In booth B1415, SPX Cooling features the new Marley DT fluid cooler, which includes finned coil options that increase thermal capacity. Also featured is the Marley NC Everest crossflow cooling tower and Marley MD counterflow cooling tower, Recold V Tech adiabatic cooling system, MarleyGard™ water management products, and Marley controls and aftermarket components....
Worcester, UK– SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers, announces the Marley NC Fiberglass Cooling Tower, which offers robust materials, certified performance, and simpler maintenance.
The Marley NC Fiberglass Cooling Tower’s construction is designed for the corrosion resistance and service life requirements of demanding HVAC and industrial applications. Wetted components of fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP) perform reliably in the hot, moist confines of the cooling tower. Steel support structure options include hot-dip galvanized steel, 304 stainless steel and 316 stainless steel to help withstand exposure to very harsh environments.
Suitable for applications with flowrates up to 7000 m3...
Overland Park, Kansas. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers and air-cooled heat exchangers, announces the release of an informational video that describes the differences in size and capacity between three Marley® NC® cooling tower model platforms: the Marley NC8407 – a single-story tower, the Marley NC8414 – a modular, two-story tower, and the Marley NC8422 (NC Everest®) – the largest tower with highest capacity.
The video begins by showcasing the sizes of the three cooling tower models side-by-side with computer-generated schematics of the towers and a life-size human figure standing next to each tower to provide context.
The three towers are then shown from a side- and top-down...
Overland Park, Kansas. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers and air-cooled heat exchangers, will feature new and innovative Marley cooling towers at POWER-GEN International, December 4-6, at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. Featured at booth #1953 will be the Marley NC Everest® crossflow cooling tower and the new Marley MD Everest® counterflow cooling tower, pre-assembled modular products engineered for power and process cooling applications.
The new Marley modular cooling towers take cooling to a higher level, with nearly three times greater cooling capacity compared with other pre-assembled cooling towers available in the market. The modular towers typically deliver 80...
Overland Park, KS – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling systems has announced a price increase of 4-5% on Marley® and Recold® products effective immediately.
About SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc.:
SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of cooling towers, evaporative fluid coolers, evaporative condensers and air-cooled heat exchangers providing full-service cooling solutions, components and technical support for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, industrial and process cooling applications for nearly a century. SPX Cooling Technologies and its product brands are part of SPX Corporation. For more information, please visit...
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers and air-cooled heat exchangers, announces new, larger models of the Marley MD Everest counterflow cooling tower are now available. The Marley MD Everest Cooling Tower is designed to address today’s demands for large HVAC systems and is suitable for a wide range of applications, delivering almost three times more cooling capacity compared with other preassembled counterflow towers.
At 3790 tons, the MD Everest Cooling Tower is an ideal one-to-one match for large chiller systems. The tower can be adapted to varying water quality using a range of fill types. The MD Everest Tower achieves a low drift rate, down to 0.0005 percent of...
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers and air-cooled heat exchangers, announces that new, larger models of Marley MD Everest modular counterflow cooling towers are now available. The larger Marley MD Everest Cooling Tower models, with a maximum flow rate of 12,602 gpm/cell (2862 m3/hr) expand their capabilities to meet today’s process cooling demands, and are suitable for power generation plants, chemical, oil and gas plants, and other process applications with a wide range of thermal loads.
Whether designing a new plant or replacing an aging traditional site-constructed cooling tower, the MD Everest Cooling Tower’s pre-configured design offers significant advantages...
Overland Park, Kan. – SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a full-line, full-service industry leader in the design and manufacture of evaporative cooling towers and air-cooled heat exchangers, will showcase Marley® cooling tower components and promote the company’s service contractor training series – “Marley School of Cool” – at the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) Education Conference from Oct. 21-24, 2018, in Huntington Beach, CA.
SPX Cooling Technologies booth #26 will feature cooling tower components including Marley MBX fill and MBX “EZ Pack” Fill, Marley X7 Fan, Marley Spiral Target Crossflow Nozzles, bearings and fan shafts, hot water basins, and fan belts and sheaves. Quality Marley components are engineered specifically to provide dependable cooling...
Natural Draft Cooling Tower Ring Replacement Profile
By: Hannah BabcockIn: Published ArticlesOn: April 05 2019
In this article, originally published in the FirstEnergy Generation Online newsletter, read how the SPX Cooling reconstruction team helped FirstEnergy extend cooling tower life at Fort Martin Power Station.
LEED Certification: Evaporative Cooling Strategies For Energy and Water Conservation
By: SPX Engineering StaffIn: Published ArticlesOn: January 07 2019
UK-based magazine ACR News published our Q&A article, surveying engineers and design experts, that explains how cooling towers can contribute to successful LEED projects and other sustainability initiatives.
Herman Goldner Keeps Costs Low and Efficiency High with SPX Cooling Tower
By: SPX Engineering StaffIn: Published ArticlesOn: August 31 2018
MCAA Smart Solutions recognizes that careful collaboration between SPX Cooling, Herman Goldner (mechanical contractor), Dyna-Tech Corporation (rep firm), Erickson Inc. (helicopter) and others made for a successful cooling tower installation in a high-traffic area.
Keeping the Process Running: Addressing Cooling Challenges at Refineries and Chemical Plants
By: SPX Engineering StaffIn: Published ArticlesOn: June 29 2018
Many oil and gas refineries and other process cooling facilities use cooling towers that are approaching the end of their service life. Our article in Oil & Gas Product News helps you explore options to determine the most suitable cooling solution.