What type of square counterflow cooling tower do you have?
Cooling towers come in many different shapes and sizes. They deliver various cooling duties, different pump water flows, various temperature ranges. They are designed for a range of different industries, HVAC, industrial, mining.
The cooling industry typically categorizes cooling towers in multiple ways, including:
- Whether the design air flow is horizontal or vertical – Cross flow or Counter flow
- Whether the fan is driven mechanically, direct drive, belt drive or gearbox driven
- Where and how their fans are positioned – top – side – or underside. Forced draft or induced draft.
A single cooling tower may fall into more than one of the categories like a counterflow-induced draft cooling tower or a crossflow forced draft cooling tower. There are so many things to know when it comes to cooling towers.
How could you possibly exactly know what you may need?
In this article we are going to be talking about some of the most popular cooling towers in the industrial space which are the Square counterflow cooling towers. Do you have one?
If you have a square counterflow cooling tower like an EVAPCO, Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC), Superchill or an Aquacool cooling tower, then this article is for you!
Square counterflow cooling towers are considered to be cost-effective cooling towers as the maintenance and repairs is a lot easier than a crossflow cooling tower. Square counterflow cooling towers are designed using fibreglass-reinforced plastic, FRP making them weather resistant and corrosion-free. There are also steel and stainless steel counterflow cooling towers. One of the promising advantages of using a square counterflow cooling tower is the ease of removing the modular drift eliminators, fill pack, water spray nozzles, and the air intake splash louvers.
We got the opportunity to sit down with Jason Christensen, a director at FlowMatrix who has extensive knowledge of all things cooling towers. Jason’s experience is as follows: Ten years as a cooling tower industrial water treatment technician with Solenis, three years doing specialized coating applications with Select Coatings, and is now in his fifth year with FlowMatrix as a General Manager and director in 2022.
We wanted to put Jason’s knowledge to the test to help you learn more about your cooling tower, and its needs and wants throughout its lifetime.
Firstly, it must be compliant with Australian Standards AS/NZS 3666 part 1 and parts
MUST be manufactured for Australian conditions. MUST be modular for safe access and maintenance of ALL components and fan drives.
MUST be able to purchase local parts in Australia that are modern and comply with state government Legionnaires / Legionella regulations.
Parts must be easy to obtain, reasonably priced, non-corrosive and chemical resistant.
So, what type of square counterflow cooling tower do you have?
We look at the local options of the last 30 years
For more than 80 years overall, and 50 years in Australia, Baltimore Aircoil Company has been leading the HVAC, Industrial and Refrigeration industries in developing and implementing customized cooling solutions, that not only provide substantial energy savings for customers but conserve the most precious resources on the planet.
Predominantly a manufacturer of steel cooling towers years ago, BAC started to sell fibreglass square cooling towers starting with the Ultralite 100 IL series cooling tower and what a gem. Durable long lasting fibreglass construction, corrosion resistant design. Difficult access into the drift eliminators and the PVC wet deck surface, but the low-pressure water distribution system was great. The mechanical fan drives were IP55 motors, aluminium axial flow fans but fixed pitch, and galvanized steel mounts
Then came the RCT – 2000 and PCT range of square fibreglass cooling towers. Modern and super smooth appearance. Pultruded Composite Construction components, sometimes known as FRP fibreglass reinforced plastic, was great innovation. Motor out of the air stream, modular block PVC fill pack PVC drift eliminators, PVC louvers and PVC water distribution pipes – nozzles and stainless-steel supports.
The galvanized steel VXT VXI and VXC towers were rectangular but very similar to the RCT except the fill pack was not modular in the VXT.
BAC Counterflow BAC IL
BAC RCT and PCT
Ultralite cooling tower that you may have:
IL25, IL36, IL 56 and IL81
VXT – Cooling towers
VXI – S – Industrial Fluid Coolers
VXC and VXC-S – Evaporative Condensers
RCT and PCT 2000 Series Cooling Towers
RCC and PCC 2000 Series Cooling Towers – evaporative condensers
RCF and PCF 2000 Series Cooling Towers – Fluid coolers
Superchill Australia Pty Ltd was a 100% Australian owned company in Dandenong formed in 1997 on the basis of the former SULZER Australia Cooling Tower Division. Superchill closed down as a dedicated Cooling Tower company a few years ago. Superchill manufactured Axima (Sulzer) Escher Wyss and Superchill cooling towers in Australia for the local market and had its down own SC square Cooling Tower range.
Unfortunately, super chill is now no longer manufacturing new cooling towers with PE polypropylene but a lot of people still own older models that need repairs or refurbishment. FlowMatrix stock, PVC fill pack wet deck material – drift eliminators – air inlet splash louvers – PVC feed spray nozzles – access ports hatches or panels – float valves – strainer baskets – fan screens – Axial fans for Superchill.
Superchill or Sulzer Cooling towers that you may have:
EWK wet-type EWB wet-type and SC range wet-type
Founded in 1976 Evapco Cooling Towers – Closed Circuit Fluid coolers and Evaporative Condensers are crafted from decades of engineering know-how, such as the Advanced Technology (AT) cooling towers series from EVAPCO features state-of-the-art induced draft, counterflow technology to deliver superior operating advantages in any climate. From performance to maintenance, they simply work smarter. Centrifugal and Axial fan units that are CTI Certified.
They have PVC fill pack, air intake louvers and drift eliminators.
Cooling towers and closed circuit coolers that you may have:
AT, CAT, MTT, LSTE, LPT, ATWB, CATWB, MTW, ESWB, LRWB, ATC-E, CATC, MTC, LSC-E and LRC
The Aquacool MSS range is my favorite cooling tower for over the 20 years it was being sold for. Solid, modular, and easy to maintain. Modular high efficiency Brentwood fill pack CF1200 that other companies adopted in their cooling towers. Modular Blade drift eliminators, non-clog water distribution nozzles, fiberglass casing and basins that hardly ever leaked water. Large easy to remove access panel and great anti-splash louvers that were great in their day. Two speed motors, variable pitch fan blades, direct or belt drive all easy to get. Impressive. Easy to obtain modern fill pack drift eliminators and air inlet louvers. Nozzles off the shelf, PVC pipe is Australian standards, access hatch seals and ball float valves in stock.
Aquacool cooling tower models that you may have:
MSS and MST
Other Counterflow Cooling Towers:
Fiberflow Large Timber Tower
Finding the right part for a square cooling tower like BAC, Evapco, Superchill and Aquacool can be confusing as there are so many makes, series, and models; it can waste your time! However, FlowMatrix has the application to supply parts that can be used for any cooling tower, new or old!
Jason believes replacing parts today with modern parts that we stock, will in the long term, improve and save your cooling tower, making it more efficient, and saving your time, and money.
The cheap and old parts that a lot of people use can cause systems to clog up, shut down and fail after only 2-3 years if the material breaks up into particles. Out-of-warranty systems, experience blocked inline suction strainers, plastic fragments in heat exchange tubes, and in pipes.
Worse than this, some of the cheap plastic damages other components such as nozzles, grommets, water distribution systems, filtration units, and chemical dosing equipment. This can be severe, costing a lot of money to fix or replace.
FlowMatrix can design and select the right material to suit your application using products they import and products they hold stock of, such as Brentwood ShockWave, ThermaCross, CF1200, XF75, CFUltra, XF80Max, XF150Max.
FlowMatrix also supplies Modular parts like Brentwood for all types of towers square cooling towers for the importance of state government regulations and maintaining safety, which includes the installation of ladders, walkways, and access platforms for all cooling towers such as:
Crossflow Cooling Towers
Counterflow Cooling Tower
Forced Draft Cooling Towers
Experience in the cooling towers industry is crucial. The team at FlowMatrix are highly trained specialists and experts at carrying out mechanical maintenance and repairs, component repairs, and interpreting risk management planning audits to ensure the smooth operation of all brands of Cooling Towers.
It is essential to ensure your cooling tower is not only being installed properly but is also safely maintained.
It takes a real cooling tower expert to not only diagnose your issue but to also that action to fix the problems
Jason shared a few examples with jobs that they have recently completed with BAC, Evapco and Superchill cooling towers.
Jason said “Recently we did a repair on a BAC tower where the legs were leaking from the basin. We pulled out all the fill packs and we found that the hot water boxes had blown. So, we resealed all the hot water boxes, we strengthened up all the supports, we sealed the casing seams from top to bottom. We put new supports underneath the basin, used fiberglass, and coated the basin to stop any leaks. A lot cheaper than replacing the whole tower.”
Jason said “We had another job where we did a repair on a Superchill, because super chill went out of business four or five years ago, and there’s no one looking after them anymore. So, we had issues where we had to fix up all the air intake louvers because there was old Superchill parts available. So, we installed new modern fibreglass FRP support frames and put in new air intake PVC louver material in which also has a splash system so they can be fixed and repaired quite easily now, up to the proper standard. We also put some large access hatches in so you can actually get into the drift eliminators. The old ones were too small and not safe to enter through as if a person got stuck inside, they could not get out.
Once we put the new large hatches in, we pulled out the old drift eliminators which were falling apart, dirty and covered in slime and bacteria.”
Jason said “We also did a repair on an Evapco steel basin cooling tower where the basin was corroded, so we were able to strip all the basin out, take all the corrosion out and apply our own RepelCoat Rapid RCR-300 coating system onto it for long lasting result for up to ten to 15 years”
Jason said “We’ve recently had a few of our Evapco, Superchill and BAC clients ask to replace water distribution systems because they can’t get the nozzles, or they block too easily, they have blown out, or they are horrendously expensive. So, we put in modern water distribution systems with modern nozzles in there, which are cheap and easy to take out and put back in.”
Jason said “Fill pack for the wet deck is also something we sell a lot of if the pack is very dirty, fouled, scaled, or blocked up. Clients are sick of having their cooling towers run too hot, or they need to replace the fill pack too often, so we offer low clogging – low fowling TX19 modular block fill pack medium to solve their cooling performance issues.
This new fill pack is as good as the original fill pack, as it cools just as well.
We have one client that needed to remove and clean the old fill pack monthly but after installing the low clogging fill they now only remove it for cleaning every six months. A huge cost savings to them”
FlowMatrix’ s experienced technicians inspect your cooling towers and ensure all components are working as expected. If no problems need to be addressed, the work is done.
FlowMatrix Quality Targets
- Bacteria Control / Risk Control
2. Government Compliance
3. Performance Maximization
4. Water Savings
5. Energy Savings
6. Environmental Protection
If any issues are identified, technicians will submit a report, photos, and a quotation for repair. From here, you decide what action you would like to take.
There technicians keep concise records of all details relating to your cooling towers. If there is a problem down the track, they can quickly respond and conduct the necessary repairs. This means your cooling tower is back and functioning as it should with minimal downtime, and your business carries on with as little disruption as possible.
What they look out for
- Inspect basins for water and chemical leaks onto the ground or floor
- Inspect fans for cracks, pitch, and operation
- Inspect vee belt, pullies, shafts
- No protective coatings or grease on bearings, shafts, couplings, and taper lock bushes
- Damaged fibreglass or epoxy coatings
- Corroded basins, fan cowls, snouts, shafts, and fan drives
- Damaged or blocked fill pack
- Ensure drift eliminator compliance and correct operation to stop drift loss
The importance of a maintenance check
- Reduces liability and Legionella risk
- Extends the life of your cooling tower, evaporative condenser, or fluid cooler
- Reduces exposure to risk and warranty issues
- Identifies cooling tower operational issues early
- Prevents breakdowns and addresses corrosion and other damage
- Reduces energy, chemical and water usage, saving money
- A dirty fill pack can reduce the performance of your water tower by up to 30%
- Dirty drift eliminators can reduce performance by 30%, increasing OH&S risks by 40%
- Blocked water distributor nozzles/trays can reduce performance by 50%
FlowMatrix technicians comprehensively understand cooling tower confined space entry and height access regulations.
Specialised in-house training enables our technicians to enter all areas, including BAC cooling tower ammonia condensers.
Contact FlowMatrix today to have complete confidence that your cooling tower is in the hands of industry professionals!