Cooling towers are an integral and irreplaceable part of many industrial and commercial facilities, responsible for ensuring smooth and safe operation across numerous processes and applications.
However, like any other part of the infrastructure, they, too, require regular maintenance. Whether you’re opting for cooling tower rentals near you or have a purposedly built structure, one of the major parts of these efforts is fill control and replacement.
When should I replace my cooling tower fill?
While filling materials are known for their durability and longevity, they’re not built to last forever. Sooner or later, they will start to show signs of wear and tear which can lead to a host of issues. Fortunately, there is a silver lining here, as recognizing these indicators will enable you to take prompt action and replace the infill before problems get the chance to escalate.
Reduced cooling efficiency
The first and easiest-to-notice indicator that the infill needs replacing is increased energy consumption, caused by the cooling tower’s decline in overall efficiency. Typically, this will be reflected in the utility bill, which will gradually increase, as the infill continues to deteriorate.
Tying directly into the previous point, if you suspect increasing energy bills are caused by infill decay, you should have professionals conduct a thorough inspection, looking for any physical signs of deterioration, such as cracks, warping, or breakage.
Additionally, it is highly recommended to check the support grid at the same time. These structures hold the fill packs in place and, when they become damaged, it can cause the infill to fall out of place.
Increase in operating temperatures
As fill material decays, it loses its effectiveness, becoming incapable of meeting the heat dissipation requirements of industrial processes. Therefore, if you notice that the machinery or the cooling tower itself starts to overheat despite regular treatment and maintenance, it can be an indicator that the infill is in dire need of replacement.
Scaling & fouling
Hard and/or insufficiently purified water cause two of the most common issues with cooling tower fill:
- Scaling occurs when calcium (found in hard water) builds up on the infill. The calcification layer then obstructs the flow of air, thereby compromising the heat transfer efficiency.
- Fouling occurs due to biological impurities (e.g. microbial growth) accumulation. This may impede water flow, resulting in the overall reduced performance of the cooling tower.
If the buildup is so severe that regular cleaning becomes ineffective, it may be a sign that the fill needs complete replacement.
Increased maintenance requirements
A sudden spike or a gradual increase in maintenance costs and frequency may be indicative of the infill nearing the end of its serviceable life. If the fill requires incessant cleaning or repeated patching (among other things), it is a surefire sign it needs prompt replacement.
How long does the cooling tower fill last?
The lifespan of an infill depends on several factors:
- Material composition and properties;
- Water quality (purity);
- Quality and regularity of maintenance;
- Specific demands of the industrial process.
In general, a high-quality fill can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, provided that it undergoes regular inspections and maintenance, as well as operates on properly treated water.
Who provides high-end cooling tower rentals near me?
For 45 years, Aerco Systems, LLC has been the top provider of cooling equipment for industrial applications in Riverside, Orange, and San Diego County. With a wide range of state-of-the-art solutions, expertly trained technicians, and expeditious installation, we’re the premier choice for your temperature control needs.
Whether your field-erected cooling tower requires emergency maintenance due to drift loss-induced problems or you’re looking for a reliable short/long-term cooling option, you can rest assured that our solutions will ensure your operation will continue running uninterrupted and at optimal efficiency.