How Do Cooling Towers Prevent Corrosion? 28th November 2022

How Do Cooling Towers Prevent Corrosion?

For applications including air conditioning, refrigeration, and industrial cooling, cooling towers offer an efficient way to reject heat. Many businesses across the world have significant concerns over controlling levels of corrosion in cooling water systems.

Most cooling systems and towers need chemical treatment to prevent corrosion. Chemical treatment stops microbiological growth from fostering biofilms, of which can impede flow, impair heat transfer, and host potentially harmful germs.

But how is corrosion actually prevented by cooling towers? We hope this article will help you answer that question.

How Do Cooling Towers Work?

Cooling towers are buildings made to transmit heat to water, which is a flowing medium, in order to extract excess heat from a process stream. Evaporative cooling serves as the foundation of the design concept.

A little amount of water in contact with the heat rises in temperature. Then the water evaporates, bringing the temperature of the remaining water down. Warm, humid air is used to transfer waste heat into the atmosphere.

Cooling towers are available in a wide variety of forms and capacities. They can all be susceptible to particular sorts of corrosion, sometimes with uncommon or possibly unexpected origins. It doesn’t matter what the operation mode or design is.

Causes of Corrosion in Cooling Towers

Water cooling tower corrosion is caused by two completely unrelated yet connected processes. One is surface scaling or mineral deposits.

Under these scale deposits, the chemical environment is distinct from the surroundings. The steel in the vicinity becomes anodic because these deposits are often cathodic to steel. And in most cases, corrosion is an anodic process unless mitigating circumstances demand otherwise.

The other is biological in origin. The ability of some microbes to corrode metals and concrete, particularly specific bacterial species and fungus, has long been understood. This method has a distinctive name – Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC).

Ongoing temperature changes typical of cooling tower functioning as well as system cycles can further aggravate corrosive conditions.

Problems Caused by Corrosion

Corrosion in cooling systems results in three major issues.

Equipment failure is, first and foremost, the most evident of said issues. Higher operational expenses and plant downtime are results of corrosion in cooling towers.

Secondly, heat exchanger fouling brought on by the build-up of corrosion products results in a proportional reduction of heat transfer efficiency.

And last, concrete basins and walls may lose some of their structural integrity. Direct corrosion, such as that caused by sulfuric acid, can happen to metal. Sometimes, corrosion can be uniform or it can be galvanic.

Cooling Tower Deterioration

We are commonly asked to conduct site inspections and provide a plan for renovating cooling towers with corroded or damaged surfaces. This is regularly caused by the initial coating delaminating and deteriorating.

Consequently, surfaces of the tower may begin to leak and exhibit poor resistance to chemicals – something that is necessary especially for corrosion treatment. Untreated cooling tower sludge and scale can encourage the growth of bacteria and cause Legionnaires’ Disease.

Reparations & Refurbishments

Cold Water Storage has a lot of expertise when it comes to cooling tower repair jobs. Our clients frequently receive an estimate and project plan that is more trustworthy and accurate thanks to our experience and understanding.

We frequently anticipate problems and obstacles that arise during cooling tower repair operations so that we can take the required precautions to guarantee success over the project.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions concerning your water cooling tower. Or if you want to explore your alternatives or receive a price from us for your tower repair job. You can give us a call at 01943 872 311 or you can try sending an email to us instead!