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 often used in HVAC applications can be modified to reduce the visibility of effluent plume using coil-based hybrid, wet-dry cooling methods. Recent advancements in this technology significantly reduce visible plume while reducing water usage by as much as 20% compared to conventional cooling towers.
For field-erected towers in process cooling applications, new plume abatement technology for both new and existing towers is available that uses a series of heat exchanger modules installed above the tower plenum to condense moisture before it escapes, substantially reduce plume emission and lower water consumption by up to 20% annually.
These plume abatement options can offer win-win solutions for the community and the cooling tower owner.