In any given manufacturing or processing plant, the cooling tower is a vital part of the system whose role is to provide cooling so that the rest of the machines can run continuously. As the needs of the industrial sector increase, plant owners are looking for ways to increase the efficiency of their cooling towers every day. One way this can be done is by using design changes to limit the tower's overall heat load. The ideas below showcase a number of ways this can be achieved.
Adding exterior insulation
One way design can be used to lower your tower's heat load is by installing/adding insulation to the exterior structure. This refers to the walls and the roof. By using highly insulative materials in these areas, the amount of heat being conducted into the tower from outside can be greatly lowered. As a result, the air temperatures inside will stay low and this will allow incoming air to cool the plant water faster and more effectively.
Using heat non-absorbent materials for the build
Another way to lower your tower's heat load via design is by using materials that won't easily absorb heat when constructing of the tower. For example, bare steel beams or sheet metal cladding easily absorbs heat and conducts it throughout the tower. If other non-absorbent materials such as concrete, stone or timber are used, even less heat will be conducted from outside and into the tower.
Use of reflective paint
Paint can also be used to help lower a cooling tower's internal heat load. Just like in roofing, highly reflective colours can be used, e.g. silver, metallic grey, white, etc. Such colours will reflect the sun rays away and reduce heat radiation. And it's not just in the paint colours alone. Some paint technologies today have thermal properties that further help with insulation.
Using architecture to limit direct solar heating
Architecture is another very effective way to reduce a cooling tower's heat load. Cooling towers can be built in a manner that limits the surface area that comes into direct contact with the sun's rays. This can be done by building the tower with flat side walls facing the sun's trajectory on both sides. Also, the tower can be built with a top that is wider than the bottom as a way to further limit sun penetration and keep the tower cooler.
Of course, all the above cooling tower design ideas would need further research and the right team of engineers. However, with the right execution, they can help to keep your cooling tower cooler and thus more effective, faster, and even cheaper to run.