How Do Cooling Towers Work Explanation

What are cooling towers? Cooling towers are a special type of heat exchanger that allows water and air to come in contact with each other to lower the temperature of the hot water. During this process, small volumes of water evaporate, lowering the temperature of the water that's being circulated throughout the cooling tower. In a short summary, a cooling tower cools down water that gets over heated by industrial equipment and processes.

The hot water is usually caused by air conditioning condensers or other industrial processes. That water is pumped through pipes directly into the cooling tower. Cooling tower nozzles are used to spray the water onto to the “fill media”, which slows the water flow down and exposes the maximum amount of water surface area possible for the best air-water contact. The water is exposed to air as it flows throughout the cooling tower. The air is being pulled by an motor-driven electric “cooling tower fan”.

When the air and water come together, a small volume of water evaporates, creating an action of cooling. The colder water gets pumped back to the process/equipment that absorbs heat or the condenser. It repeats the loop over and over again to constantly cool down the heated equipment or condensers.

There are many different types of cooling towers but the cooling tower working principles stay pretty much the same. Most cooling towers work based on the principle of “evaporative cooling“.

What is Evaporative Cooling? Evaporative cooling is the process where warm water from an industrial process is pumped up to the top of the cooling tower where the water distribution system is. The water then gets distributed by cooling tower nozzles to the wet deck. At the same time, air is being drawn through the air-inlet louvers forcing water to evaporate. Evaporation causes the heat to be removed from the make up water. The hot air naturally rises out of the tire.

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