Filling packs in a cooling tower have to be carefully selected based on the quality of the water, but also based on the working temperatures, in order to avoid deformation or even melting due to too high operating temperatures.
Usually, a cooling tower works with inlet temperatures of average 40-50° C, which embraces all of the plants served by chiller condensers. Here, a PVC filling pack is a valid and excellent choice, being able to withstand temperatures up to 55-60° C.
Going up with temperatures, literally the PVC melts, and therefore becomes not suitable for plants presenting possible overheating due to unexpected thermal loads – caused by the kind of production process or due to wrong operations by the workers. In this case, and generally if the limits of the process working temperature range is not exactly known, it is suitable to opt right from the start for polypropylene filling packs, withstanding temperatures up to +85/90° C. This is a more expensive solution, but it prevents damages that have severe impact of the correct operations of the tower.
Fo temperatures over 90° C, finally, the remaining options are stainless steel or wood.
The other factor to be evaluated, while selecting the filling pack in an evaporative tower, is the kind of water circulating inside the tower, and its level of dirt. There are indeed several production processes that contaminate the cooling water with suspended solid particles, such as:
These are all industries that don’t require extremely cold water for their process cooling purposes, so that the adoption of an evaporative tower still remains an excellent solution. A classic filling pack could however get completely clogged in a very short time, thus requiring a continuous maintenance. That’s why here the splash-type filling must be replaced with a non-clogging filling pack, especially customized with larger passage sections for air and water flow. Indeed, for example in paper mill, the water to be cooled carries flocs and fibers coming from the felt employed for paper production. In addition to non-clogging filling packs, this kind of application also requires a reinforced structure with strong supports, able to hold up the weight of the sediments that could settle down inside the tower before they get drained.