Cooling Towers 101: System Overview

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Multiple cooling towers in a large application.

This Cooling Tower blog post is part of a series of blog posts that will explore how Veris Industries products can be used to monitor and regulate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) applications.

In a commercial chiller, water is used to extract heat from the refrigerant on the condenser side of the chiller before the refrigerant is recirculated to cool water on the air handler side of the chiller. If the heat extracted from the refrigerant cannot be used in other building processes, it remains in the water. This heated water is pumped to a cooling tower.

A cooling tower is a heat rejection device that extracts waste heat to the atmosphere by cooling a stream of hot water in the tower. This type of heat rejection is termed “evaporative” because it allows a small portion of the water being cooled to evaporate into a moving air stream. This heat removal then provides significant cooling to the rest of the water stream. The heat that is transferred from the water stream to the air stream raises the air’s temperature and its relative humidity to 100%, and this air is discharged to the atmosphere. The remaining cooled water is pumped back to the condenser side of the chiller. Additional water is added to the cooled water stream to compensate for volume losses due to evaporation. Because the cooling tower utilizes an evaporative process, it must be placed outside of the building. Cooling towers can be found on the roofs of large buildings or, as shown in picture above, on a cement pad or risers. Below is  a simplified diagram of how water from the condenser side of a chiller flows through a cooling tower system.


To ensure optimal functionality of a cooling tower, a building owner or facility manager may decide to monitor various components throughout the system.


Veris Industries has a complete line of sensor and flow metering products for cooling tower applications. Visit our website or call our sales team at 1-800-354-8556 or +1 503.598.4564 for more product details.

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