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Cooling Tower Fans
Cooling towers are used primarily to extract heat from a system through the cooling of a supply of water resident within the system. The water is moved in streams through the cooling tower and, with the movement of air over the water, heat is extracted and released to the atmosphere. The cooled water is then recirculated through the system and the process repeats itself. The rapid movement of air over the water within the cooling tower causes evaporation of the hottest water, thus the term “evaporative cooler” is often used to describe cooling towers. Cooling tower systems are used in large residential air conditioning settings, and in industrial and electric-energy producing environments.
Types of Cooling Tower Fans
There are two basic types of cooling towers: the open system and the closed system.
In the open system the water stream is moved through the cooling tower, where the heat from the water stream and the rapid air movement raises the air temperature within the tower and its relative humidity to 100%, thus causing evaporation and the transfer of heat from the water to the atmosphere. The same water is then recirculated back through the system, where it again absorbs excess heat and is returned to the cooling tower.
In a closed system the actual liquid, normally treated water or glycol, is recirculated through the system in a closed environment, usually pipes or coils or similar. This piping is routed through the cooling tower. Water is dispersed over this piping in significant quantities to allow the cooling tower water to absorb the heat from the liquid within the piping. Through the strong movement of air over this water, evaporation again occurs and the heat is dispersed into the atmosphere. A closed system requires a water source to be present within the cooling tower to replenish the evaporated water. In both open and closed systems, the primary force causing the evaporation is movement of the air over the system within the cooling tower. This fact alone makes the fan used in the cooling tower of utmost importance. The better the fan, the better the air movement, yielding better evaporation and cooling.
Selecting Your Cooling Tower Fan
The choice of a proper fan in the cooling tower significantly impacts the overall performance of the tower. Older tower systems can significantly improve their performance with the installation of newly designed fans which distribute the air in the cooling tower much more efficiently than older fan designs. Of course, the type of fan selected in new systems will determine its overall effectiveness. Recently, cooling tower fans have greatly increased the overall energy efficiency of cooling towers with new, breakthrough airfoil designs. These new airfoils maximize the airflow around each fan blade and increase the efficiency of the removal of heat from the water in the tower.
The Swifter CTX Series of industrial fans, developed by Glocon Inc., is a perfect example of modern technology being applied to cooling tower fans. The Swifter composite fan blades have taken airfoil design to a new standard that is yielding higher evaporative efficiency at reduced cost. Glocon manufactures Swifter CTX fans up to 40 feet in diameter. These fans achieve less drag over the fan blade surface with thinner tip airfoil design over the outer portion of the blade and a thicker root airfoil for advanced structural considerations. The newly designed fan blades are being used in some of the largest and most sophisticated cooling towers in current use. Original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket users are choosing the Swifter CTX Series cooling tower fans because of their significant design improvements, reliability, and cost effectiveness, both in the original purchase and in energy savings. Glocon manufactures Swifter CTX fans from 5 feet to 40 feet in diameter. See Industrial Fans Product Information.