Cooling Tower Case Study – Electronic Water Conditioning Allows for Substantial Savings in Commercial Building

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A Fortune 100 headquarters, located in Houston, TX was certified LEED Gold in 2008. While continued efforts have been made each year to improve energy and water efficiencies, the company still identified the need for its cooling system to improve water conservation, as well as energy savings and chemicals reduction. HydroFLOW electronic water conditioning was the recommended solution for achieving these additional savings. HydroTech Solutions, the HydroFLOW distributor in Texas and Oklahoma, provided a 90-day demonstration, beginning April 26, 2016.

About the Cooling Tower

The headquarters campus features two buildings, each with a 1,000 ton cooling tower situated on the rooftop. The cooling towers exhibited scale buildup on infrastructure, fill, and piping. The chiller units are opened for cleaning and inspection annually, with scale accumulation at entry sections and rifling that required cleaning. Three cycles of concentration were allowed with conductivity

set-point of 1,500 μS for blowdown. Despite a diligent chemicals management program for the control of scale, bacteria and corrosion; the cooling towers continued to exhibit accumulated scale and biofoul.

The HydroFLOW Demonstration

HydroTech Solutions provided the 90-day demonstration of HydroFLOW electronic water conditioning as a means of reducing scale and biofoul accumulation, optimizing the chemical program, decreasing the cost of makeup water and lessening the expense of blowdown disposal. An additional added value was to extend the service life of the cooling tower and chiller.

A 12” Custom HydroFLOW unit was installed inside the building, on the return line from the chiller. No pipes were drilled or cut, and the circulation of the cooling tower water was not interrupted during the installation. As a part of the baseline data gathering process, HydroTech personnel cleaned scale, to bare metal, on several surface areas. The purpose was to prove HydroFLOW prevents new scale from forming. Additional baseline data which was collected included make-up water volume, sanitary sewer disposal volume, total bacteria in the water, chemical costs and maintenance related expenses.

The purpose of collecting the baseline data came to demonstrate the cost savings associated with HydroFLOW electronic water conditioning.

Testing Procedure

Chemicals were gradually reduced over a span on 4 weeks. Once it was confirmed scale and biofoul control can be achieved with a combination of HydroFLOW and minimal chemical usage, cycles of concentration were increased.

Results

HydroFLOW successfully met the key success factor and also restored equipment condition by removing existing deposits. This allowed efficient operation for extended periods with less maintenance.

Sustained Cost Savings

The company’s goal of maintaining the cooling system within industry standards while reducing chemical and blowdown water usage was achieved. The monthly fee of leasing the electronic water conditioning equipment is covered by the cost savings.

HydroFLOW Benefits Included:

  • Makeup water savings of approximately 250,000 gallons per month
  • Blowdown reduced by approximately 50%, saving significant water disposal
  • Reduction of chemical use by 80%
  • Prevention of scale formation throughout the cooling system
  • Improved filtration capabilities of existing side stream filter
  • Chiller tubes were free of scale deposits
  • Cycles of concentration were doubled
  • Water cost savings of $2,500 per month

About HydroFLOW

HydroFLOW devices, which are powered by Hydropath technology, apply a frequency that travels throughout the water system and causes dissolved minerals to cluster in the water thus preventing hard scale from forming on pipes and equipment. The ±150 kHz frequency also disrupts biofilm and bacteria, which minimizes biological loading in a recirculating water system, such as a cooling tower.

HydroFLOW is installed on the outside of a pipe of any material (plastic, metal, etc.) without cutting or modifications.