Smart Solutions

Getting the Best Performance From Your Evaporative Cooling Equipment

Tips from Baltimore Aircoil Company

Building owners and property managers have a lot at stake in their investments, so they look to their MCAA contractors for solutions. When evaluating mechanical equipment, hassle-free operation and long equipment life are important parts of the purchase equation. Here are five ways to enhance the performance of evaporative cooling equipment and save on energy costs.

  1. Add a variable frequency drive (VFD): Adding a VFD can reduce energy costs by 30–40 percent, providing a more efficient method of operating a cooling tower while extending the life of the motor and mechanical drive system. This 30–40-percent reduction also results in a payback of less than a year.
  2. Replace nozzles: Replacing broken or clogged nozzles will restore proper water distribution and decrease the leaving water temperature by 1° F—providing an energy savings of 3 percent. Damaged nozzles can also cause uneven water distribution over the fill, resulting in scale build-up while decreasing capacity, so it is important to fix such problems quickly.
  3. Replace fill: Replacing scaled or clogged fill—for example, with Baltimore Aircoil Company’s (BAC’s) patented, state-of-theart fill technology—can not only restore your tower to its designed capacity, but in most cases the new fill can increase the capacity of the unit by 7–10 percent versus the original fill. Additionally, new fill can also decrease temperature of the leaving water by 2˚ F on average, increasing efficiency and offering a 5-percent energy savings. New fill can yield payback in two to three years.
  4. Install a fan system retrofit kit: For example, the BAC ENDURADRIVE™ Fan System Retrofit Kit is a direct drive motor system that provides 100-percent reliability on transmission components and a 90-percent reduction in maintenance costs, all while providing an increase in energy savings of 10 percent versus a typical gear drive system. By eliminating drivetrain components like gears, pulleys, belts, and shafts, the need to maintain and replace old parts is eliminated. That means no more downtime for alignment issues or money wasted on oil changes and lubricants.
  5. Do regular preventive maintenance: Proper preventive maintenance is paramount for consistently achieving desired temperature and flow rate, and it plays an important role in maximizing the operational life of evaporative cooling equipment. To perform preventive maintenance properly, all tower components must be kept clean and free of obstructions. Maintenance frequency depends primarily on the condition of the circulating water and the environment in which the tower is operating. Refer to the operating and maintenance manual for your recommended maintenance schedule.

In summary, today’s building owners are constantly being challenged to keep operating costs down. Therefore, owners are motivated to purchase equipment that is energy-efficient, reliable, and maintenance-friendly. However, even with the most advanced systems, “set it and forget it” is not a viable option. Your evaporative cooling equipment needs routine inspection and maintenance for optimal performance.

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