The Advantages of Cooling Towers for Commercial Buildings
Every business owner dreams of reducing energy bills. Well, guess what? Installing a cooling tower is one of the most effective ways to optimize your HVAC system’s power consumption to, wait for it, and reduce your energy bill!
It combines high energy efficiency and environmental benefits. But is this solution suitable for your commercial building? This article will help you understand what a cooling tower is, how it works, and what benefits it offers.
What Is a Cooling Tower and How Does It Work?
People, electrical equipment, industrial processes – all of those generate heat. More heat puts additional strain on your HVAC equipment, making it consume more energy and potentially lead to frequent malfunctions.
A cooling tower solves the excess heat problem. It uses water to absorb heat and disperse it into the atmosphere. Cooling towers reduce the water temperature in the most energy-effective way possible: simply by exposing it to air.
Some water evaporates, and the rest becomes much cooler. This cooled water can then be reused in your HVAC system. By using a cooling tower, you reduce both energy and water consumption.
Cooling towers are often perceived as giant industrial-grade machines used in plants and manufacturing facilities. However, large commercial spaces also benefit from cooling towers. For example, they are often used in schools, hospitals, airports, and large office building HVAC systems.
A cooling tower is not a standalone cooling solution. It can complement your existing HVAC system and increase its efficiency. A typical example of a commercial setup is a chiller and a cooling tower combination: the former is used to cool the air using water that passes through the latter.
Types of Cooling Towers
There are two main types of cooling towers:
- Natural Draft
- Mechanical Draft
Natural Draft Cooling Towers
These use the buoyancy provided by a tall chimney to naturally circulate air through the tower. They are typically used in large power plants due to their ability to handle massive quantities of water.
Mechanical Draft Cooling Towers
These towers are more versatile and popular for commercial buildings. They use fans to force or draw air through the tower.
Mechanical draft towers can be further classified into forced draft and induced draft cooling towers. Forced draft towers push air through the system, while induced draft towers pull it.
Each type has advantages and offer benefits for certain operations. The choice between them depends on various factors like your business’s size, energy requirements, location, and budget.
Is A Cooling Tower Right for Your Business?
The decision to invest in a cooling tower depends on a few critical factors.
Your business’s heat load is a primary consideration. Does your business really generate that much heat? If you own a data center, a shopping mall, or a large office building, you can find cooling towers extremely beneficial.
Your existing HVAC system is an important factor. If it includes components like chillers or heat exchangers that can work with a cooling tower, installing it makes much more sense. Otherwise, the cost of replacing the whole system may render the entire idea impractical.
The financial aspect plays a critical role. Cooling towers are expensive to install. If you have the budget for the initial investment and are looking for long-term savings, a cooling tower could be the right choice.
How to Choose the Right Cooling Tower
Selecting the right cooling tower for your commercial building involves carefully analyzing your needs and resources.
The first step is to assess your cooling needs. Consider factors like heat load, water quality, and environmental conditions. This will help you determine the type and size of the cooling tower you need. Typically, you will choose between forced and induced draft cooling towers – these two types are most used in commercial buildings.
Next, consider energy efficiency. Not all cooling towers are created equal. Some of them are more efficient than others. But additional effectiveness comes at a price, literally. You will have to find the perfect balance between initial costs and expected long-term returns.
Finally, take into consideration the tower’s reliability and lifespan. Cooling towers require regular maintenance to function effectively and prevent issues like legionella growth. You’ll need to ensure you have the resources for this maintenance if you choose to install a cooling tower.
Diversified HVAC is Here to Help
Diversified HVAC specializes in installing and maintaining various types of cooling towers. We can help you pick the right one, install it, and take care of its regular maintenance, ensuring you enjoy the long-term benefits of your investment.
Want to learn more about cooling towers? Call us, and let’s talk!