Cooling towers are an indispensable part of many industrial plants these days. Today there is hardly any major industrial installation that does not utilize cooling water systems. They are a relatively inexpensive way of removing heat from cooling water used for a variety of industrial processes. Theoretically, the process of such towers is very simple to understand. The hot water from the heat exchangers is piped back to the tower which cools the water. In other words, the heat is exchanged and the water is cooled. The cooled water is sent back to cool the various industrial processes in the cooling plant.
Presently, there are two different types of cooling tower systems in use. These can be classified as natural draft towers and mechanical draft towers. Due to the immense size of the natural draft types, these are used only in larger installations such as refineries and power stations globally. However, the mechanical draft types are smaller as they use electrical fans to force a draft of air through the tower.
The water in such towers falls on the fill surfaces while moving downwards aided by gravity. This helps to increase the contact time between the water and the air, thus maximizing the heat transfer from the water to the air, which is then dispersed through the atmosphere. The cooled water is recycled through the system and the loss of evaporated water is made up by adding additional water. Many companies in India are now capable of manufacturing world-class towers. These companies are now becoming quality conscious and have now obtained ISO certification to become amongst the best cooling tower systems manufacturing companies today.
Many companies also export these systems to various countries besides manufacturing them. Due to stringent quality checks, a near zero defect production is achieved. Any defect found is rectified before the product reaches the final stages of manufacturing. Thus, such systems are now in a position to meet the rigorous demands of various industries. These systems first found use in the industrial revolution. Due to the hastening pace of manufacturing during this period, industries faced a practical problem related to disposal of excess heat. Thus, the first systems were designed during this period.
The very first towers were originally made of wood. However, the recent advances in technology have made it possible to develop a range of systems such as Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and Reinforced cement concrete (RCC) cooling towers as well.