Practical Methods for Achieving Cooling Tower Water Savings
By William F. Harfst
Cooling towers are routinely used in the pharmaceutical industry for removing waste heat from utility and process applications. These include comfort cooling, temperature and humidity control, and process cooling. From the mechanical engineerﾒs perspective, the purpose of a cooling tower is to reject waste heat to the atmosphere by evaporative and sensible heat transfer. The environmental engineerﾒs stance is slightly different. Cooling towers are water conservation devices. From this view, the purpose of a cooling tower is to conserve water. It fulfills its purpose by rejecting unwanted heat to the atmosphere so that the cooler water can be recycled back to the point of heat exchange. From this perspective, one can argue that the operation of a cooling tower is best measured in terms of how efficiently it reduces freshwater withdrawals and wastewater discharge and not just by how efficiently it rejects heat, although that is an important consideration and should not be ignored.
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