Let's talk about water treatment. I'm not sure if chemical less water treatment is practical. And the costs of the equipment are expensive but supposedly will pay for it's self in the long run.
I live in the Desert southwest, our water is hard but we have softened water to the towers. We use (2) different methods of water treatment.
One method we use utilizes sulfuric acid and a seperate inhibitor. We maintain a ph of 7.2 and 7.4. and a conductivity of 3600.
Our other method is maintaining conductivity of 2500 and using an inhibitor. Both methods are a "bleed then feed" approach.
At one of our buildings I have a Griswold skid mounted tower filter system. It has a centrifugal seperator and a bag filter. It has a pump of it's own which drafts off the side of a 6" condenser water line. This system is worth it's weight in gold. I clean out lots of "silt" and other fine debris from the bag filter. I understand this is not a realistic form of water treatment but it is a tremendous help.
Griswold also has a chemical less water treatment method called SBC Scale Bacteria Corrosion. Has anyone used this or any other methods of chemical less water treatment programs?
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Two of the centrifugals I service are on a Dolphin system.
It kinda sorta works, but you need to be able to remove the solids that will drop out in places including the tubes. It will work better in towers with a V shape along with a cyclonic separator. With flat bottomed towers you would need to suck out the gunk or install the cyclonic separator and a pump with some spray trees in the tower to kick up the solids and get them out. I'd lean away from sand filters. Bags might work if you cleaned them a lot.
There are other concerns such as white rust in a new system, and how well it deals with the sulphate reducing bacteria like the bugs that make the blisters with bright metal underneath.
So far we have to clean the tubes every year, and the pay off compared to our standard phosphonate based tower treatment with a Bromine biocide pencils out to far beyond the expected life of the unit.
The guy who invented the thing now works for Evapco, and they have their own version.
If they get it to work and pencil out, the green frenzy will beat a path to their door. At this time, however, I could neither recommend or condemn the Dolphin.
God Bless the USA
You say your water is hard. How hard. In San Jose I always advise people to chew the water before swallowing. But is is better to treat. Our total disolved solids on raw water runs from 500 to 700 miro mos.
Now my brother works in the Salinas Valley. The raw runs over 1700. He has found it cheaper to replace the condenceers every two years than buy the chemicals. It is a NH3 plant.
So haw hard is you water?
Old snipes don't die they just loose their steam
City water around here is about 1400.
The Griswold filtration system I have incorporates a basin sweeper which helps stir it up a little. I'd really like to try out the SBC from Griswold but I'd hate to piss the money away if it does not do what it says it can do. Perhaps I'll contact them and see it they can give a written guarantee on what they say it will accomplish?
What kind of towers are you using and what type of application are you using these towers on that your replacing them every two years? Are you using any stainless towers?
At one of our buildings I have a TowerTech cooling tower. It's all fiberglass and plastic. It sucks because they did not design it with servicing it in mind. It's a unique design which does not allow you to access the basin. Luckily it's getting scrapped this winter.
I believe he has Evaporative towers with NH3 used in food processing. I have not seen the plant. He has tried several different companies, but the cost of chemicals was more than new condencerss.
Old snipes don't die they just loose their steam
Can't beat chemicals.
Where I work, they use Nalco, they use a biocide, and an inhibitor. (3D Trasar?)and maintain a 1800 conductivity, 8 cycles of conductivity. In the off season, a petroleum based lay up chemical (northeast here.)
Some towers use a Vortisand self backwashing sand filter, or a side stream pleated filter element.
The Dolphin was on a trial period on one of the towers. Can't prove it worked, or that it didn't work, for the amount of time it was in the system, but the make up water use went up considerably, they said no thanks and gave it back.
Hope this helps, I'm not versed in water treatment, but I hope this helps somewhat!
Chemical Free Systems & Air Intake Filter Screens
Here's a chemical free water treatment system that is worth checking out - it's called the VRTX system - the way it works is that water is drawn from the Cooling Tower or Evaporative Condenser sump. The water is spun at high velocity in apposing directions then the two streams collide with tremendous kinetic energy and shear. At the core of these streams, a region of near total vacuum is created which degasses the flow; Under these conditions, hydrodynamic cavitation occurs causing intense temperatures (up to 9,000°F) (kinda like colliding atoms together) - Simply stated it causes debris to become emulsified.
However, no matter how well the chemical free technology works there are still drawbacks such as they do nothing to manage airborne debris that gets into the fill nor do they solve the problem with algae which grows in the interior regions of the tower exposed to sunlight. Another thought when trying to help customers solve their water quality problems is to keep in mind that 90% of the bio-loading is caused by airborne debris pulled into the intake opening and that using chemical free water treatment and side stream filtration only manages the debris after it gets into the tower. An important part of managing water quality is managing the airborne debris which gets into the tower - Use of air intake filter screens will stop most airborne matter from getting into the cooling tower thus enabling either chemical or chemical free water treatment systems to perform more effectively. Also, because air intake filter screens shade the tower it thwarts the photosynthesis process by difusing the sunlight which algae needs as its energy source for growth - when air intake filters are used in conjunction with chemical water treatment, it also enables the reduction in bromine solutions frequently used to help manage tough algae problems. In short, air intake filter screens can help stop airborne debris from getting into the systems in the first place thus increasing the effectiveness of water treatment systems through the significant reduction in bio-loading. If however the primary problem is water borne debris, then filter screens can't help and it's up to chemistry, or chemical free systems and side stream filters to solve the problem.
Last edited by randysimmons; 11-20-2007 at 08:55 PM.
Reason: Additional Point
There have been may discussions about the Dolphin systems almost 100% say they're junk. I have seen many types of systems, the side cyclone type help remove solids work good, but chemicals help every system I've worked on. When replacing the condensers is cheaper than chemicals I wonder if higher electrical usage and additional wear on the equipment is figured in, additional maintenance, oil changes, higher pressures all should be included. Its never been my experience that this is a good trade off for chemicals.
I've sold EVAPCO's Pulse-Pure system on several of their units all have worked great in my area, but the water is totally different in yours. The Pulse Pure is at a generation 7 while the Dolphin has not improved at all. The reason a lot of the Dolphin systems do not work is because they do not run water analysis first. While the Dolphin and Pulse-Pure operate on similar technology EVAPCO recognizes that it will only operate effeciently if the water sample is approved. I have a friend in Arizona and it is really spotty if that system will work or not.
One easy thing you can do is contact the local EVAPCO rep and send him a 16 oz water sample and he can tell you whether or not it is applicable. It shouldn't cost anything to have the sample run. Check out the link below if anyone is interested.
We work on a number of large packaged rooftop that utilize evap condensers and also the fishie (dolphin) water treatment systems. So far they seem to work. As stated though the cause the particulate to drop out of suspension in the tower sump. This requires the basins of the towers to be cleaned once or twice per season.
I don't see a lot of talk on this anywhere else and am new to the board. Has their been any changes in thinking with this alternative technology? I hate to revive such an old thread but this is what the search revealed and I am looking for some input.
Before you invest, be sure it pays for itself within the expected lifespan of the unit.
I'm not so sure the Dolphin does. For the price, you can buy a lot of chemicals, pumps and controllers. And we have real good water here.
From what I've seen of Evapco's system, it might have a better chance of working for you. But listen to what they have to say about your water and the chances for success.
God Bless the USA
Originally Posted by Randy S.
I have researched them both as well as one other and they seem to each have their pros and cons. I am looking for the simplest alternative and I am a bit concerned about the installation process and short warranty.
Chemicals are not getting cheaper, neither is water, neither are the pumps and controls for that matter. Something has to surface that can stand up to the chemical lobby and provide a solution.
That is my hope anyway.