Close The Loop On Clean Cooling Water
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Close The Loop On Clean Cooling Water
A plastics molding plant runs on more than electricity—it runs on water. Clean water. Lots of it. Consider even a small plant with three 165-ton and three 120-ton hydraulic injection presses. Each typically requires a continuous supply of 100 gal/min to cool the hydraulic system and the mold. Assuming a two-shift operation, that’s 96,000 gal a day and more than 30 million gal a year! With that much water going through a plant, water quality has a direct and significant impact on the plant’s operations. Dirty water blues Water contamination can have serious and costly effects, such as equipment damage and even failure, not to mention worker health problems. Heavy particulate matter and corrosive agents in process water can wreak havoc on your plant’s productivity. The following conditions suggest that your plant is suffering from water contamination:
Close the Loop
Manufacturers are coming to recognize that recycling their process water will not only reduce water costs, it can also forestall contamination. Water recycling is accomplished by closing the loop between the process and the source. This can be accomplished with a closed-loop cooling tower or a water chiller of either central or portable type.
A closed-loop system is similar to a conventional open-loop system except that in a closed-loop system, the tower reservoir is usually constructed with two separate tanks. One tank holds process water that is piped to the process and back to its tank without coming in contact with the tower water. The second tank holds the tower water, which—in a completely separate loop—circulates to the tower cell and back to the reservoir tank. The two loops are connected through the medium of a plate-and-frame heat exchanger, in which heat is transferred from the process water to the tower water.
Closed-loop systems eliminate common water-related problems because—once it is initially filtered and chemically treated—the water remains pure.
Cleaner water through closed-loop process cooling means increased manufacturing uptime and higher production rates because of the lower risk of fouling. There are many other benefits, as well:
- Clogging of high-heat, low-flow areas.
- Clogging and/or corrosion of process components.
- Gelatinous deposits.
- Worker health complaints such as fever, chills, coughs, muscle aches, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, and even pneumonia.
|If you are experiencing…||Your water could be contaminated by…|
|Scaling||Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, silica|
|Clogging of critical system components||Corrosive inorganic products such as iron oxide, which migrate to high-heat, low-flow areas Dust|
|Corrosion of metal components||MIC (Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion): Acids, alkalis, or reducing agents such as hydrogen sulfides, ammonia and sulfuric and organic acids produce byproducts that are corrosive to mild steel, stainless steel, copper alloys, or galvanized steel|
|Gelatinous deposits on metal surfaces||MIC, which mixes with other contaminants to form biomass that prevents corrosion inhibitors from reaching the metal surfaces. This is commonly referred to as underdeposit corrosion.|
|Poor worker health||MIC Organic debris (tree seeds, leaves, insects, pollen, grass, bird droppings), which enter the water and decompose in the relatively warm water—creating a nutrient-rich environment for bacterial growth.|
- Lower energy costs due to improved heat transfer capacity.
- Reduced equipment maintenance requirements—generally limited to once-a-year cleaning of the heat exchanger.
- Improved protection from chemical water treatments, because chemical loss is decreased.