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Title: Continuous Monitoring and Partial Water Softening for Cooling Tower Water Treatment

Abstract

Cooling towers are an integral component of many refrigeration systems, providing comfort or process cooling across a broad range of applications. They are the point in the system where heat is dissipated to the atmosphere through the evaporative cooling process. Cooling towers are commonly found in industrial applications and are also often used in water-cooled chilled water plants in medium to large commercial buildings. Continuous monitoring and partial water softening for cooling towers used in medium to large commercial buildings are the focus of this paper. Cooling towers consume large amounts of water. Cooling tower-related water consumption is one of largest potable water loads within buildings in the United States, with substantial building water use associated with heating and cooling. Regional water shortages have highlighted a need to reduce water consumption; the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and Executive Order 13834 place priority on reducing water consumption. This priority has fueled interest in the identification, investigation, and potential broad deployment of cost-effective opportunities to reduce water use, such as alternative water treatment (AWT) technologies for cooling towers. Traditional water treatment approaches use chemicals to extend the ability of the water to hold scaling minerals in suspension, minimize corrosion, and preventmore » biological growth. This treatment protects the chillers and cooling tower equipment; however, even when chemicals are used regularly, a certain percentage of condenser water must be drained and made up with fresh water to maintain system water quality parameters. In addition, the use of chemicals sometimes creates a waste disposal issue and can cause building owners to incur additional fees, such as disposal or wastewater charges. To manage cooling tower water treatment, GSA typically contracts with a company specializing in conventional chemical maintenance for a fixed fee. While there are many types and vendors of AWT systems, this project assesses the effectiveness of one technology provided by Aqualogix. This system is a chilled water plant monitoring and control system aimed at optimizing system performance by reducing the blowdown occurrences used to remove mineral build-up. The technology consists of two components – continuous programmable logic control (PLC) monitoring and side-stream filtration with partial water softening. PLC monitoring calculates cycles of concentration (CoC) and determines the optimum amount of blowdown water required to satisfy all water chemistry requirements. Side-stream filtration removes suspended matter and improves biocide efficacy while precisely dispensing softened water to achieve optimal makeup water hardness. Unlike other AWT systems evaluated by GSA to date, this system does not replace the legacy treatment system but is used in addition to chemical water treatment. The vendor claims their technology will reduce water consumption, water discharge, and maintenance costs. The AWT system evaluated in this demonstration is a commercialized technology. Given its commercialized state, the system evaluated in this report is at a Technology Readiness Level 9 according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) definitions.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
US General Services Administration (GSA); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Energy Efficiency Office. Federal Energy Management Program Office
OSTI Identifier:
1710165
Report Number(s):
NREL/TP-7A40-76756
MainId:9417;UUID:50cfa6a1-5c52-404a-831d-af927ab8bd4a;MainAdminID:18736
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; IAG-11-01815
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
water treatment; cooling tower

Citation Formats

Tomberlin, Gregg, Dean, Jesse, and Deru, Michael. Continuous Monitoring and Partial Water Softening for Cooling Tower Water Treatment. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.2172/1710165.
Tomberlin, Gregg, Dean, Jesse, & Deru, Michael. Continuous Monitoring and Partial Water Softening for Cooling Tower Water Treatment. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1710165
Tomberlin, Gregg, Dean, Jesse, and Deru, Michael. Thu . "Continuous Monitoring and Partial Water Softening for Cooling Tower Water Treatment". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1710165. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1710165.
@article{osti_1710165,
title = {Continuous Monitoring and Partial Water Softening for Cooling Tower Water Treatment},
author = {Tomberlin, Gregg and Dean, Jesse and Deru, Michael},
abstractNote = {Cooling towers are an integral component of many refrigeration systems, providing comfort or process cooling across a broad range of applications. They are the point in the system where heat is dissipated to the atmosphere through the evaporative cooling process. Cooling towers are commonly found in industrial applications and are also often used in water-cooled chilled water plants in medium to large commercial buildings. Continuous monitoring and partial water softening for cooling towers used in medium to large commercial buildings are the focus of this paper. Cooling towers consume large amounts of water. Cooling tower-related water consumption is one of largest potable water loads within buildings in the United States, with substantial building water use associated with heating and cooling. Regional water shortages have highlighted a need to reduce water consumption; the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and Executive Order 13834 place priority on reducing water consumption. This priority has fueled interest in the identification, investigation, and potential broad deployment of cost-effective opportunities to reduce water use, such as alternative water treatment (AWT) technologies for cooling towers. Traditional water treatment approaches use chemicals to extend the ability of the water to hold scaling minerals in suspension, minimize corrosion, and prevent biological growth. This treatment protects the chillers and cooling tower equipment; however, even when chemicals are used regularly, a certain percentage of condenser water must be drained and made up with fresh water to maintain system water quality parameters. In addition, the use of chemicals sometimes creates a waste disposal issue and can cause building owners to incur additional fees, such as disposal or wastewater charges. To manage cooling tower water treatment, GSA typically contracts with a company specializing in conventional chemical maintenance for a fixed fee. While there are many types and vendors of AWT systems, this project assesses the effectiveness of one technology provided by Aqualogix. This system is a chilled water plant monitoring and control system aimed at optimizing system performance by reducing the blowdown occurrences used to remove mineral build-up. The technology consists of two components – continuous programmable logic control (PLC) monitoring and side-stream filtration with partial water softening. PLC monitoring calculates cycles of concentration (CoC) and determines the optimum amount of blowdown water required to satisfy all water chemistry requirements. Side-stream filtration removes suspended matter and improves biocide efficacy while precisely dispensing softened water to achieve optimal makeup water hardness. Unlike other AWT systems evaluated by GSA to date, this system does not replace the legacy treatment system but is used in addition to chemical water treatment. The vendor claims their technology will reduce water consumption, water discharge, and maintenance costs. The AWT system evaluated in this demonstration is a commercialized technology. Given its commercialized state, the system evaluated in this report is at a Technology Readiness Level 9 according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) definitions.},
doi = {10.2172/1710165},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1710165}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {10}
}