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Mining Gold from your Cooling Water System
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You may be missing on a fabulous opportunity to save on operating costs in your cooling water system. Cooling water systems are designed to handle peak loads in summer, but as cooling tower water or river water gets colder during the colder months of the year, the volume of water circulated can be reduced while still rejecting the same amount of BTUs. Advances in variable speed drives and controls technology have opened the door for reductions in flow to be accomplished on a consistent basis. These flow reductions result in large energy savings due to the pump affinity laws. As the speed of a pump is reduced, the Horsepower is reduced to the cube of the RPM and even small reductions in flow generate big savings in energy. A 20% reduction in flow generates almost 50% in electricity savings. Energy opportunities are demonstrated with real project examples as well as general theoretical calculations. Project savings can usually be generated with a minimal investment of time and effort.
Mendez, T. (2007). Mining Gold from your Cooling Water System. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from