How Cooling Towers Work

Last Updated: May 15, 2019

Have you ever wondered how Cooling Towers work? 

Cooling towers allow warm water and air to come in contact with each other in order to remove heat from the warm water. The warm water comes from a heat source and is spread evenly at the top of a cooling tower. As the water trickles down the tower media, It's surface area is increased allowing more contact with the air and maximizing evaporation. As the evaporation takes place, the water loses heat and eventually makes its way to the tower basin. This colder water in the tower basin goes to cool the process and the cycle repeats.  

As water enters the cooling tower, it has a certain mineral content, also known as total dissolved solids (TDS). In water treatment, a relationship is recognized between total dissolved solids (TDS) and conductivity. As the water evaporates, the TDS is left in the recirculating water, causing the TDS concentrations to increase. As the mineral content increases, it is necessary to control the increased scale and corrosion potential via chemical treatment and blowdown. Chemicals required to prevent scale and corrosion depend on the makeup water source, the temperature of the system and other factors. Click here for more information on cooling tower chemicals.

Blowdown, or bleed, is the process of draining off some of the tower water to allow new, less concentrated water, to be introduced to the system. Blowdown can be achieved via a cooling tower controller.  Please click here for more information on cooling tower controllers.