Industrial Cooling Tower Cleaning and Maintenance
Industrial Cooling Tower Cleaning and Maintenance
By Jessie West | August 17 2022
Cooling Tower Cleaning and Maintenance
Your HRSG, also known as a heat recovery steam generator or a cooling tower, is a vital part of your company’s operations. Whether you work in the production of metal, cement, paper, pharmaceuticals or something else, you know you can’t get it done without this equipment.
However, the longer you use this equipment, the more it ages, building up algae, deposits and more. As it does, the system can slow down and work less efficiently, affecting your company’s bottom line. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution, something you likely already do with other machines in your operations — regular cleaning.
Why Do You Need to Clean Your Cooling Tower?
Most professionals, including the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), recommend cleaning your HRSG at least twice annually to keep your system in top shape for operations. This preventative maintenance can help:
- Prevent growth: Even if you’re only running treated water through your cooling tower, microbes, bacteria and other harmful substances can build up easily within it. Some of these bacteria can escape into the atmosphere, affecting both your system and the employees nearby. By cleaning the tower itself and focusing on all the small parts inside of it, you can ensure you’re killing any mold and viruses that may otherwise contaminate your product, customers and company.
- Prevent deposits: Any system that media runs through is susceptible to deposit and debris buildup. After a while, this can affect the efficiency of your processes, blocking your materials from running through your cooling tower as quickly. If the buildup is significant enough, it may even stop the flow entirely and put your system at risk of damage, which can cause even more delays in your work.
- Reduce costs: By cleaning your cooling tower regularly, you’re saving time and money in the long run. Growth and buildup can permanently damage your HRSG if left alone long enough, resulting in the need to replace the system much sooner. And if your tower unexpectedly goes down in the middle of your operations, it can cost you more in production time and lost product. Plus, when you keep your cooling tower clean, you can spend less money on treating the water moving through it.
How to Clean a Cooling Tower
Understanding the components of your cooling tower is essential in knowing how to keep it clean. Before you attempt to tackle cleaning your HRSG, make sure you have a good understanding of the various parts of your machine, from the outer body to the interior nozzles, fans and tanks.
There are five main steps to cleaning most cooling towers:
- Remove scale and debris buildup at the bottom of the tank. Usually, this involves special chemicals that dissolve the deposits without damaging the interior.
- Neutralize the chemicals as they circulate through the tower, sterilizing the system and returning the pH levels to normal.
- Destroy and remove algae and mold buildup in the nozzles and vents. Depending on the operator, you may use more chemicals, UV light or a combination of both to complete this step.
- Disassemble and clean the distribution pipes.
- Disinfect every part of the machine that makes contact with water, checking for damage as you go.
Why Use CO2 Ice Blasting for Cooling Tower Maintenance?
There are three main ways of cleaning cooling towers:
- Pressure wave cleaning
- Chemical cleaning
- CO2 ice blast cleaning
Of these three methods, CO2 ice blasting is by far the most popular option. It’s also the most effective and safest cleaning option. It’s non-corrosive, and because it doesn’t produce any byproducts, it’s more environmentally friendly than other cleaning options.
Pressure wave cleaning involves a series of explosions, wherein the vibrations cause debris to separate from the cooling tower. The strength of these explosions requires the user to clean the tower remotely or risk injury. On the other hand, chemical cleaning employs hydrofluoric acid, a highly corrosive chemical that can burn through the skin when not handled correctly.
Choose EAI for Cooling Tower Cleaning
Environmental Alternatives, Inc. is a full-service HRSG cleaning company specializing in CO2 ice blasting cleaning. We’re one of the only companies of our kind because we make our dry ice on site, meaning we’re always ready to help you keep your cooling towers maintained and in working condition. We’ve developed an efficient process for dry ice cleaning that guarantees no damage to your equipment.
Biannual maintenance is the best way to make sure your HRSG is working perfectly. When it’s time to clean your industrial cooling towers, make sure you have a professional at your side. Contact EAI today to set up an appointment for environmentally friendly, nonabrasive CO2 ice blasting.