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Hospital Cooling Tower Case Study

Airborne Debris Places Baptist Hospital East Cooling Towers In Intensive Care.

Water Cooling Solutions

Whether or not cooling towers are used for process or environmental cooling, proper tower upkeep is vital for making certain optimum performance in meeting the cooling calls for of the ability or operation. Airborne debris that gets drawn into cooling towers is the single greatest drawback contributing to system fouling, reduced efficiency, downtime and upkeep value.

When cooling towers aren’t properly maintained, performance will suffer, resulting in elevated indoor temperatures, a discount in occupant comfort levels including reduced employee productivity; and it will possibly have an effect on computer rooms and the equipment and operations they assist. Furthermore, when cooling towers fail in course of cooling applications, it will possibly bring production to a grinding halt, and the price of misplaced productiveness could be staggering. The following struggle story demonstrates the sorts of problems that may happen with any cooling tower (course of & environmental cooling functions) and the way one hospital solved their cooling tower problems.

The topic Amenities

Several fashionable medical buildings housing the company places of work of Baptist Healthcare System as well as physician offices and other health service services next to Baptist Hospital East (BHE), of Louisville, KY, the regions main hospital for Oncology, Cardiology, Orthopedics and Neurosurgery.

The problem

Over the past 16 years, managing the cooling of the buildings had been a problem due to the maintenance challenges of two BAC (Baltimore Air Coil) cooling towers. Gilbert Fister, Properties Manager for BHE’s campus buildings, was confronted with taking the towers out of operation for scheduled maintenance twice a 12 months, plus, as a result of high seasonal focus of airborne contaminants that obtained drawn into the towers, they required unscheduled upkeep related to system fouling and clogging. “Within the spring and summer season, Mayflies, pine needles and other matter would seriously clog our fill materials and basin strainers and trigger a series of other operational problems,” said Fister. Though the BAC cooling towers are geared up with water filtration techniques, they required weekly monitoring and cleansing and did little to protect debris from moving into the cooling water in the first place. Further, they did nothing to protect the fill materials from getting clogged with the debris being drawn in, leading to a reduction of thermal effectivity as the cooling water handed by means of the fill materials. Moreover, natural debris (insects, pine needles, cottonwood seed, leaves dirt and different Airborne matter) would gather in the basin and decompose, resulting in sludge construct-up that supported bacteria proliferation, plugged the basin strainers and reduced cooling effectivity when circulated via the chiller. On many events, debris got through the basin strainer, resulting in the solenoid blow-down valve getting stuck in the open place; this triggered automated release of water remedy chemicals and prematurely drained the remedy chemical tank requiring BHE to name for emergency refills. Furthermore, when the blow-down valve stuck within the open position, it resulted within the loss of thousands of gallons of make-up water as a result of the sump would not retain the water. In short, the system would fail.

During scheduled upkeep, the towers have been routinely cleaned using a strain washer and cleansing solvents – much of the work was targeted on cleansing the fill materials which had excessive debris concentrations of its surface. Over the course of a 12 months, literally thousands of dollars have been spent on simply conserving the cooling towers operationally and ecologically sound. Gilbert was not satisfied with the situation and set out to improve the maintenance calls for being placed on these important systems.

The solution

Whereas consulting with their upkeep contractor Gilbert realized that they needed an answer that would prevent debris from getting into the cooling towers in the primary place quite than attempting to manage the debris as soon as it received drawn in. Gilbert researched this selection and contacted Air Solution Company of Commerce Township, Michigan, the leading producer of cooling tower and chiller coil air intake filter systems. Not like traditional air filters (commonly used in air dealing with unit filtration banks) air intake filters mount to the surface of the intake opening and are specifically designed to isolate the airborne debris on the outside of the cooling tower. The filters are constructed of a UV resistant, non-electrostatic vinyl coated polyester media that resists mold and mildew, never wants altering and are simply cleaned using a brush, broom or shop vac. Since their installation in 1999, BHE has eradicated sludge build-up and has not skilled strainer or blow-down valve clogging. Moreover, they’ve reduced their chemical consumption by over 50% and reduced their make-up water consumption by 35%. As a result of Air Intake Filters now keep debris out of the system, BHE hasn’t required unscheduled service because of system fouling – saving thousands of dollars in labor and repair price. In short, Gilbert “hit a home run” in reducing the maintenance and operational price related to their cooling towers.

“For the reason that installation of the Air Intake Filters, we now solely inspect our towers monthly and discover little or no maintenance required versus our inspecting them weekly earlier than the filters had been installed and nearly each time finding a necessity for some maintenance work. Putting in Air Intake Filters on our cooling towers has saved us numerous dollars and has given me “peace of mind” realizing that we’re now optimizing our operational efficiency and defending the core of our cooling systems.” Mentioned Gilbert Fister.

Water Remedy and Mechanical Service Providers Perspective?

Copla Zincada 3\/4 EMTMost companies and establishments that outsource their HVAC system providers do in order a technique of decreasing their value of operations while enhancing system efficiencies. This typically entails establishing annual service contracts with water therapy and mechanical contractors to make sure scheduled maintenance intervals. However to truly optimize the cost financial savings, the system itself have to be effectively equipped so that the financial savings realized by way of not maintaining an in-home HVAC service staff is not lost to extraordinary and unscheduled service needs. In BHE’s case, their water treatment service provider contracted for annual service and chemical replenishment based upon regular upkeep and operation. However when chemical consumption dramatically elevated as a result of the blow-down valves would get stuck open, it was the chemical service supplier that wound-up eating the added price in the course of the contract period. Therefore, when the Air Intake Filters have been installed, each BHE and their water treatment provider had been winners. In response to the service firm utilized by BHE, “use of the Air Intake Filters have helped us to keep their cooling towers running optimally and has decreased our maintenance cycle time by almost half. The benefit to BHE is that their towers are out of service for shorter intervals of time throughout scheduled maintenance. Furthermore, it helps us free-up precious service time, giving us higher flexibility to deploy our service staff the place they are wanted most and to serve more clients per day. Because the Air Intake Filters do such a good job of helping keep BHE’s towers clean, they help us to optimize the profitability of our maintenance contract because we now solely deploy sources at scheduled intervals and we’ve just about eliminated unscheduled emergency maintenance at BHE.

Benefits of Air Intake Filtration at BHE (recap)

– Stopped insects, pine needles, leaves, paper and different airborne debris from getting into cooling towers.
– Stopped clogging of fill materials – enabling optimum thermal release.
– Helps stop sludge construct-up in basins.
– Stopped basin strainer clogging.
– Stopped clogging of blow-down valve.
– Decreased consumption of water therapy chemicals by 50%.
– Decreased consumption of make-up water by 35%.
– Improved chiller effectivity.
– Eliminated unscheduled downtime and upkeep service calls attributable to clogging and fouling.
– Diminished upkeep cycle time by nearly 50%.

With regards to sustaining cooling towers, it ultimately requires a workforce effort between the shopper and the mechanical and water remedy service suppliers. Utilizing Air Intake Filters along side a properly managed water therapy program and scheduled upkeep program will ensure that cooling towers carry out optimally, while serving to keep away from unscheduled emergency service.

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