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cooling tower vs. ground water source

here..However I dont see how in this guys case that his heatsink can not handle the load it was design for.

For one I'm puzzle has to why they would even entertain a hx
to begin with...Is the water quality that bad that hx had to be used?

Personally I would scrap the hx all together it appears it got the same attention as the cooling tower.

If the field can not accept the heat on high load demands then maybe a a devise added to the loop to heat your dosmetic needs would be a benerfit.Capture those btus.

Almost anywhere on earth ground water and soil temps will
provide a better efficiency then outside air.

We find in my area the reason for high mineral build up on pipe and hx is because air was being introduce to the system...mainly because most are pipe as a bleed down system rather then maintaining pressure.

More answer please.


  • Wesley Baker
    Wesley Baker Member Posts: 1
    cooling tower vs. ground water source

    The original 128 unit (about 1.5 ton ea. ),six building complex was built near the indian river in FLA about 1967. The original design utilized a cooling tower. The orig. tower was replaced about ten years ago with well water system coupled with a plate heat exchanger. The system was adequate for a few years,but provides inaddquate supply wa. temps. The complex has been told that the wells are short-cycling and need to be relocated and additonal plates installed on the H.E.
    What about going back to a cooling tower system,rather than digging more test wells to find a new water source? I have told the board to have an engineering study done instead a well-digger continue poking around for good water. The well system in (1995) was based on an engineering study,but I maintain that C/T technology has jumped way ahead since then...Please help me,or tell me to shut-up.

    Thanks Wes Baker
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380

    My personal opinion would be to agree with you and head back to a cooling tower. From what you are saying, it appears that the cost of the new wells, labor and all other associated costs will be close to that of a new cooling tower. In addition, once the tower is in and up and running, maintaining the system should not be a major problem.

    A couple of questions, though. How far apart are the existing wells? Is it that the supply water temperature is too high or is it that the quantity of supply water is inadequate for the 200 tons of cooling?

    Remember that, for 200 tons of air conditioning, you are looking at a water flow of about 300 gpm through the system.
  • Wethead7
    Wethead7 Member Posts: 170

    Before you go to far along.

    Check proper flow on both side of the H/X

    Check temp drop thru H/X

    And when was the last time it was cleaned. You may need to disassemle it partway or entirely. Well water will leave buld up that slows heat tranfer.

    Check the specs for the install and find what is out of line.

    I hope that helps.

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,660

    Not to sound like a old horn blowing but but it has been my experence that most towers never see proper maintance espically where there is a maintance board who has to approve all work orders or pay a monthly service fee for normal maintance or a service co that just doesn't charge enough or the systems is not set up for acid cleqaning or condensing tube brushing and cleaning .If the tower is only 10 years old and shot it tells me no one has probalby been doing the maintance .Why not go for a air cooled condenser alot less water maintance and treatment issues .The biggest thing with thtem is proper clearances and clean those coils clean .Have you looked into a condesing field type but i don't believe anyone has done any thing over 5 ton .Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Tower vs well

    I dont have a problem with the well providing the water, but you definatly need the tower to dissapate the loads you pick up on different degree days. The tower temp control will give tighter control on your water supply. Plus the water PH/ calrity/ and overall quality can be monitored and treated w/ chemicals if needed. As far as design, I cant emagine why the tower was eliminated. I personally want all the control I could get. Also, Eugene I am comming up with 400gpm @ 2 gpm/ton. I would also like to know what size pipes are currently being used in this application. Like stated above, I would be concerned about the corrosion and scaling in the pipes.

    Mike T.
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    30 years

    Sounds like the old tower got nearly 30 years on it before replacement. That ain't too shabby. Was there a heat exchanger between the tower water & loop water or was this a closed circuit tower so the loop water wasn't contaminated?

    How could this be done by an air cooled condenser?
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    I have always used

    I have always used 1.5 gpm/ton for wastewater systems and 3.0 gpm/ton for recirculating systems (cooling towers)

    I guess for smaller systems the 0.5 descrepancy would make little or no difference but, as we see here, we're talking about 100 gpm...

    Let me look into this and get back to y'all.
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380

    Who did you thnk you were disrespecting? You are indeed the perfect gentleman...

    But I'm still going to Atlanta first.

  • Wethead7
    Wethead7 Member Posts: 170

    The projects we have come across with well type heatsinks have H/X seprating well water form a closed loop on the WSHP's. The piping tends to give less problemsand the H/X in the WSHP's does not need to be up grade for an open system. Also the WSHP's H/X do not need cleaning. The main H/X tends to get deposits that need removed.

    I was thinking this is the type of system they have. The vertical feild system would be closed and not needing a
    H/X. I hope this clears up the H/X comments.

This discussion has been closed.