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Last time we talked about the impact that the wet bulb temperature has on cooling tower performance. In summary, it’s harder to evaporate water into air that’s already wet. (I.e. The higher the wet bulb, the harder a cooling tower has to work to evaporate enough water to maintain set points.) In this blog, we’re going to define what those set points are, how cooling towers are rated, and finally how these factors impact the cooling tower size and operation for a given application.
Cooling towers are simple mechanisms. Their operation is based on the natural occurrence of evaporative cooling – something most of us have experienced daily since the first time we got wet and felt a chill. But despite their simplicity, cooling towers play a crucial role in operational efficiency of the entire chilled water system. Not only are they the exit point for all those BTUs in a building that the chilled water system is working so hard to absorb and eliminate, their operation has the potential to significantly reduce the amount kWs going to the biggest energy hog in our system—the chiller.