Cooling tower blowdown is a critical process that maintains chiller, air conditioner and other equipment operation by regulating system temperature. As excess heat builds, cooling towers reject it into the atmosphere through evaporation, which causes the concentration of dissolved solids, including calcium, magnesium, chloride and silica, to rise. To reduce the high concentration levels and prevent scaling and corrosion, cooling towers flush a portion of the water out of the system and replace it with fresh water to cool the water stream temperature. Chief engineers, facilities managers and other individuals install flow meters on make-up and blowdown lines to monitor water use, protect equipment against insufficient cooling and reduce water waste to receive water credits from the municipality.
Flow meters are necessary to maintain proper design flow within cooling tower blowdown applications. Water loss is inevitable through evaporation and drift but can be measured during the blowdown process. Monitoring and managing recirculated water maintains a cooling tower’s efficiency and longevity and helps engineers and facilities managers better manage their cooling tower blowdown processes. To fit this application, meters must be able to capture low flow measurements with an accuracy of 2% or better, like each of the following technologies do.
Ultrasonic clamp-on meters are a leading solution in cooling tower blowdown applications because of their non-intrusive design. Take our Dynasonics® TFX-5000 ultrasonic clamp-on flow meter, for example. You don’t have to interrupt service or cut into the pipe to install it. It simply clamps onto the pipe’s exterior, ensuring it never comes in contact with the highly concentrated water.
Electromagnetic meters—also known as mag meters or magnetic meters—are commonly selected for their excellent accuracy and low-flow capabilities. Specifically, our ModMAG® M-Series® M2000 electromagnetic flow meter features a microprocessor-based signal conversion with accuracies of + 0.2%. It also has excellent turndown ratios, no moving parts and excellent repeatability, which are ideal benefits in hydronic applications.
Positive displacement meters are a cost-effective metering solution in cooling tower blowdown settings. For example, our Recordall® meters have a simple, efficient design that results in high accuracy and repeatability over the entire meter flow range. Additionally, nutating disc meters are extremely rugged and reliable, requiring very little maintenance.
Custom solutions come in all shapes and sizes, especially in the case of cooling tower blowdown applications. Whether you want to monitor make-up and blowdown water to manage water loss or to eliminate spillover, our product experts are available to discuss your unique application and recommend a solution that meets your needs.
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