Ice in cooling tower
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    862

    Ice in cooling tower

    The customer popped open the hatch because his overflow had water coming out of it and saw a gigantic sheet of ice on the wall of the tower. Now he is scared it is going to come off and wreck the sump. The tower goes to a heat exchanger for winter chiller replacement.
    I checked the system out and it seems ok. The fans are running to cool the water to 45-50 degrees for the exchanger and there is a HW fill if it gets to 40. Tower is 3 years old. He may have had it do this before but never opened the hatch to see it. Opinions?
    Second place is the first loser.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    1,978
    45-50*F water in the tower?

    Are they using it in economizer mode or something?
    UA LU189

    10mm, because it's better than .45acp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Ont.
    Posts
    480
    Is this forced draft or Induced draft, regardless this link makes for a pretty good read on the subject.

    http://www.michiganair.com/newslette...1/section4.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Princeton Texas
    Posts
    114
    Had it happen on a older BAC we had. Building shut down for the night, but Megamess, I mean Metasys didnt shut the spray pumps down. Basen heaters didnt keep up and OOO boy what a mess. At least you could get the door open on yours. Took us about 1hr . Tower was ruined. Looked like the ice cave on Hoth, that Luke was stuck in. Empire Strikes Back. So if you got ice in it, then something is not running that should be or shouldnt be.
    Redfive

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee Wisconsin
    Posts
    984
    Does it have sump heaters?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
    1,288
    We have tower icing problems in the winter because we cool all year long using chillers, heat exchangers, or outside air.

    We are going to try some Marley VFD's that measure the outgoing water temp. If the temp gets too low the VFD will reverse the fans to keep the warmer water/air in the tower longer to melt the ice and bring the water temperature back up. Looks good on paper.
    Signature on hold. Trying to find a real Jefferson quote I like. Others here have bogus Jefferson quotes too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by wgrr View Post
    We have tower icing problems in the winter because we cool all year long using chillers, heat exchangers, or outside air.

    We are going to try some Marley VFD's that measure the outgoing water temp. If the temp gets too low the VFD will reverse the fans to keep the warmer water/air in the tower longer to melt the ice and bring the water temperature back up. Looks good on paper.
    We did something similar to this. Whenever the outside air temp dropped below 40F, the cooling tower fans would reverse for 10 minutes every half hour. Worked very well, but only if you have basin heaters.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    6,931
    resticter dish the diameter of the discharge air of that tower will restrict the air and keep the ice from building up within..the fan will run longer to make the setpoint of the troth water,but that heated air stacked up withn will keep it free of ice cut a piece of sheet metal the diameter of the opening if it is a blow thru then mount it about 16" out from the wired cicular cover looking into the fan blade with kindorff or strip lenghts of metal...12/3/6/9 positions
    "when in doubt...jump it out" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1qEZHhJubY

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mount Airy, MD
    Posts
    7,281
    Quote Originally Posted by wgrr View Post
    We have tower icing problems in the winter because we cool all year long using chillers, heat exchangers, or outside air.

    We are going to try some Marley VFD's that measure the outgoing water temp. If the temp gets too low the VFD will reverse the fans to keep the warmer water/air in the tower longer to melt the ice and bring the water temperature back up. Looks good on paper.
    Interesting plan, would like to hear about the results and maybe even see this paper ;-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Spokane Wa
    Posts
    169
    chillers will not like that cold of water hitting the condensor barrells at that temp

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1
    Is this a BAC open forced draft cooling tower?
    It sounds like you are using the system in free cooling using heat exchanger with the chiller off? Is that correct?
    If there is water going over the tower the pan heaters will have very little effect. The pan heaters are there only to keep the basin water from freezing when the tower is off.
    What sort of fan control do you have? Possibly the fan is running at too high of a speed when the load has dropped off. Vfd that runs based on the leaving temperature from the tower is the best option.

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