Water is becoming a real issue these days. Whether you’re talking about droughts in Colorado, polluted groundwater in Louisiana, or multi-state fights over the Rio Grande and the Mississippi, water is becoming as valuable as oil.
Engineers typically design cooling towers to perform in the hottest part of the year. But even on hot days, the weather cools significantly in the evening and nighttime. When summer is over, fall and spring bring much cooler temperatures to your tower, and the wet bulb temperature drops accordingly. When the wet bulb temperature drops below the designed wet bulb temperature, the cooling tower’s performance increases proportional.
The cooling industry has made great strides on the air side of the equation. For instance, cooling tower operators will turn fans down to low speed, or run the VFD, or shut off fans completely when the wet bulb drops.
But on the water side, waste rules. Pumps are typically turned on and run constantly, no matter what the wet bulb temperature is. The reason for this gross waste of energy is that, until now, there has been no viable option to control the water flow because of the way cooling towers are designed.
The pumps and fans of cooling towers are not in sync. For example, you might see (3) pumps for a 5-or-10-cell cooling tower. Let’s assume that the wet bulb drops to a point so that a 10-cell tower was overproducing by 10%. In theory, at that point your load could be met with only 9 cells . In other words, we could possibly shut one cell off completely, including the fan and water flow.
Shutting the fan off is easy. Shutting off the one tenth of the water flow with 3 pumps operating is not attainable unless you have VFDs on the pumps. And even with VFDs, managing flow control valves at each cell is hard because those valves are often corroded and difficult to operate.
If the flow control valves are in working order, trying to open and close flow control valves with the rising and falling wet bulb is both unpractical and economically unfeasible.
Now there is an simple answer: the revolutionary Variable Flow Nozzle. The water flow can now be controlled at the nozzle.
Just leave the flow control valves full open all the time, all year long, and let the Variable Flow Nozzle do all the work and make the flow adjustments. This is a nozzle that thinks it’s a flow control valve. Instead of wrestling an unwieldy, corroded, valves, you just let the nozzle automatically adjust the water flow.
Learn more about the Variable Flow Nozzle at www.curtistech.com or call us at 405-476-7003.