Maintaining your cooling towers in the winter

The freezing winter can have a lot of negative effects on your cooling towers. Operating cooling towers in the winter always has the risk of formation of ice in the system. That ice formation is what you need to control. Ice-related structural damages really decrease the effectiveness of these towers and normally lead to severe problems. However, dealing with these issues is not such a hard task. If you're always facing icing problems in the winters, then here are a few ways to keep your cooling towers operational all through the chilly season.

Plan the layout well

The layout of the cooling towers should be your first concern. It should allow unobstructed airflow to and from the cooling tower. You need to ensure that the air-inlet opening is well protected. Cold air can lead to the formation of icing inside the cooling towers. You could have tarpaulins set up to protect the air flow.

Where the cooling tower is located also matters. You need to watch out for prevailing winds. Very strong winds can lead to icing conditions at the inlet louvers, so ensure your towers are set up in a way that doesn't expose the louvers to the winds.

Let the pump run

When the cooling tower pump runs, heat is generated and that can be used to keep your fluid temperatures above the freezing point. Even when you're done with the process, for instance, at night or during holidays, let the pump keep on running for as long as possible. Remember, running water freezes at a much lower temperature than still water, so it'll be a lot harder for it to freeze. Keeping everything at a standstill will make it easier for the cooler air temperatures to freeze the water.

Go for multiple sensors

Cooling towers normally have a water temperature sensor in the cooling cells. However, in the winter, it's important to increase the number of sensors. This is because the water temperatures vary at different parts of the cooling cells. This is particularly true if the volume of water in the cells is different. Less water quantities in some cells would freeze a lot faster than more water in other cells. Have sensors at multiple cells in the cooling tower to alarm you whenever the water temperatures drop too low. The volume of water also has to be monitored. There should be a high flow rate at all times to decrease the chances of freezing.