4 Typical Cooling Tower Components

4 Typical Cooling Tower Components

Date: October 25, 2016

A cooling tower is a heat sink device, which is a mechanism used to cool off water in a variety of heavy industrial settings. Cooling towers are typically associated with power plants. These towers are critical pieces of equipment that need to operate efficiently and safely. The following information will discuss the various components of a typical cooling tower. Understanding how these towers work is the first step in identifying possible problem areas that require repair.

Fill surfaces

The key to any cooling tower is the fill, which is also referred to as a wet deck or surface. The fill is used to maximize the contact between the air and the water, encouraging evaporation. Surface area is critical for maximizing contact, so fills are usually covered in a textured pattern which helps the water and air to meet and mix. This pattern is typically a wrinkled or ridged pattern.

Fill patterns create channels, or flutes, which are angled to ensure that the water takes a long, circuitous path for its entire route. Fills can be fitted and glued together to create blocks of varying thickness, length, and size. Whenever you are looking to build a cooling tower, selecting the correct channel is critical. Smaller flute sizes have a higher capacity per cubic foot, but less volume, which lowers overall costs. Marble-sized flutes, as opposed to a golf ball or baseball sizes, are more cost effective and are often used in clean water applications.


Drift is a constant problem for any cooling tower. This occurs when water droplets escape into the discharged air within the tower. Eliminators are used to provide multi-directional changes in airflow to minimize drift. Remember that the water is used to cool off your equipment. The more water that is lost, the less efficient the cooling process will be. A well-designed eliminator can greatly reduce water loss and improve the effectiveness of your cooling tower.

Spray trees

Spray trees come in a wide range of types, but the more common choices function using a single spray or multi-spray head. Single spray heads are useful for most situations, except those that require a wide range of coverage. Spray trees are used in counter-flow cooling towers to distribute water uniformly with low-pressure requirements over a wet deck.

Water basins

Water basins come in hot and cold varieties and are located near the top of a crossflow tower. In crossflow towers, hot water basins replace spray trees as the water distribution system. The hot water basin utilizes a deep pan with holes or nozzles at its base. Gravity is used to distribute the water uniformly through nozzles across the fill material.

Cold water basins gather cool water at the base of the tower. These are used as part of factory-assembled designs and are built in place for concrete erected towers. Make-up valves are used to replace the water that exits via evaporation. This heavy duty component works in a similar manner to the valve found in any consumer toilet tank, though it is larger.

Cooling towers, while strong machines, require detailed inspections to ensure that they are operating at peak efficiency. One of the most important components to maintain is the cooling tower gear drive. The experts at Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas can help you maintain, clean, and repair your cooling tower gear drives. Call Us today at (806) 622-1273 or Contact Us by email to learn more. We will be glad to tell you more about the regions we service and the quality workmanship we can bring to the repair or renewal of your gear drives.

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