A recent article in Power Engineering International magazine raises a number of very valid points in cooling tower systems, particularly having properly engineered gear boxes to handle high heat, large fans and powerful motors. While the article is specific to industrial power plants, the approach is important no matter what the size of the cooling tower.
As the article states, “The speed reduction from gearboxes… optimizes the performance of the cooling tower fan. As fan diameters increase, the fan speed must decrease to maintain acceptable sound and vibration levels, as well as to ensure the structural integrity of the fan itself. Improper gearbox sizing as it relates to the motor and fan can result in excessive vibration, loud operation and structural damage to the tower.”
An experienced central utility plant design-build firm is aware of this and similar challenges posed by today’s systems, and specifies and installs equipment that has been designed to accommodate anticipated operating conditions. Too often, however, inexperienced construction firms simply do not have the expertise with critical system sub-components like cooling towers – and the sort of operational and maintenance considerations inherent to each. As we enter the heat of the season, this becomes even more apparent as facility directors try to balance efficiency, cooling capacity and system operational and maintenance needs.
If you are planning a cooling tower upgrade or replacement, make sure your contracting team has engineering expertise and experience with complex systems. Gearboxes for cooling towers are just one element of overall mechanical systems where specialized knowledge can pay big dividends and save money in the long run. If you have questions about your project, or just want to talk to a team of experts, get in touch with the Greenland Enterprises team.
You can read the full Power Engineering International article, here.