How To Develop Cooling Tower Life Cycle Cost Analysis: Introduction

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By Chad Edmondson

Cooling towers cost money. Cooling towers save money. In between those two statements lies a host of variables that must be evaluated in order for the engineer to make an informed decision on behalf of the owner. That’s what this series is all about.

Over the next several blogs we will be covering all of the information an engineer needs to know to not only compare cooling towers for a given application, but how to put that information in a format that an owner can easily understand. Think of it as a roadmap for cooling tower life cycle costing.

With this “roadmap” you will learn to evaluate the merits of various cooling tower designs and sizes based on the design load, load profiles of the building, and local ambient conditions for the building. Along the way you may be surprised by some of what you learn – like the huge impact that ambient wet bulb temperature has on the performance characteristics of a cooling tower and how dramatically fan speed reduction impacts energy consumption. And hopefully by the time we are done you will have a renewed appreciation for the nuances of cooling tower design and how they can impact the long-term cost to an owner.

To our knowledge there has not yet been an industry standard for comparing cooling towers based on overall lifecycle cost. So in the interest of engineers, owners and the environment, JMP has developed an easy to understand method for doing just that. This method is applicable to any cooling tower type as well as any brand.

You’ll also get a great review of the basic science behind evaporative cooling and perhaps even make friends with the dreaded psychrometric chart. Stay tuned.