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Cooling Towers, The Debottleneckers
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Power generating plants and petro-chemical works are always expanding. An on-going problem is to identify and de-bottle neck restricting conditions of growth. The cooling tower is a highly visible piece of equipment. Most industrial crossflow units are large structures, Illustration 1. Big budget money and engineering time goes into gleaming stainless steel equipment and exotic process apparatus, the poor cooling tower is the ignored orphan of the system. Knowledgeable Engineers, however, are now looking into the function of the cooling tower, which is to produce colder water- and question the quality of water discharged from that simple appearing box. These cross-flow structures are quite large, ranging up to 60 feet tall with as many as 6 or more cells in a row. With cells up to 42 feet long so immense in aspect, with fans rotating, operators assume, just by appearances, that all is well, and usually pay no attention to the quality of cold water returning from the cooling tower. The boxes look sturdy, but the function of the cooling tower is repeated ignored production of water as cold as possible.
Burger, R. (1998). Cooling Towers, The Debottleneckers. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from