Fundamental Principles of Cooling Towers

Fundamental Principles of Cooling Towers

Cooling towers are heat exchanger units to expose hot water with air and lower down its temperature instantly. Each time the hot water evaporates and cool water gets down to the basin for equipment cooling. During the cooling tower working process, about 5% of water evaporates, lowering the temperature of the water in the circulation process.


The Fundamental Principles of Cooling Towers are to cool down the heated water of industrial equipment and processes. While it comes hot from the tower but goes back cold to the industrial process.

How Cooling Towers Work:

Cooling towers are heat exchangers that intake hot water from the equipment process and expose it to air instantly to lower the water temperature. Some water evaporates during this process while the rest cools down that is circulated back to the cooling tower.  Basically air conditioning condensers or other industrial procedures cause the water to be hot.

Principles of Cooling Towers:

How a Cooling Tower Works is based on maximum water to air and surface exposure.  Pressure nozzles spray the hot water onto to film fills which slows the water flow down rate and gives it maximum water surface area for an effective air-water contact. This makes water cooling fast as it dribbles down the fills. To fasten cooling, an electric cooling fan pulls up heat from the hot water and releases it into the atmosphere thereby makes cooling fast. Subsequently, the water is cooled that is pumped back to the equipment process.

Most cooling tower mechanisms follow the principle of cooling water called evaporative cooling.  This system pumps the water up to the top water distribution system where it is ejected through spray nozzles to the film fills that lay below the sprayers. The water slowly dribbles down these fills and simultaneously, hot air from the water is pulled away by a fan on top of the tower to evaporate in the atmosphere.


Evaporation is an instant process that cools down water very fast.

Cooling Tower Applications:

Although traditional HVAC heating and cooling systems are used for air conditioning in schools, hospital and buildings, Cooling towers being much larger in size are used in industrial processes to remove equipment heat like in petroleum refineries, plants, natural gas processing plants etc.

Cooling Tower Types:

Cooling towers have a specific design for particular industrial applications. They have their benefits and shortcomingss too. To choose which fits your need, you must know the cooling tower types to know the best one for your industry.

Cooling tower types:

Crossflow Cooling Towers

Counterflow Cooling Towers

Forced Draft & Induced Draft Cooling Towers Process

Natural Draft & Fan Assisted Natural Draft Cooling Towers

Factory Assembled Cooling Towers


Crossflow Cooling Tower:

In this type, the vertical flow of water through the fill media is encountered by horizontal air flow.  As there is crossing of flows, the air doesn’t need to pass through the distribution system. Thus hot water flows via gravity to the bottom from the top of the tower right through the fill media.

Counterflow Cooling Tower:

In this system, the air flows vertically upwards countering the downward flow of the water in the fill media. Due to vertical air flow, the basin’s gravity-flow is not effective so pressurized sprays are substituted to spray the water on top of the fill media giving water more surface to air exposure.

Forced Draft & Induced Draft Cooling Tower:

In Forced Draft cooling towers, the air is forced upward by blowers at the bottom of the air inlet louver while induced drafts have the fann installed up on top of the cooling towers to pull air up through the fill media.

Factory Assembled Cooling Towers:

These towers come as disassembled parts in cargo and shipped at site for final erection although small size cooling towers can be shipped intact. These can include induced draft, crossflow, forced draft or counterflow.


These are large cooling towers usually constructed onsite although prefabricated FEP Cooling Tower can be shipped in pieces to the site for assembly.

Heavier applications warrant powerful field-erected cooling towers. The Working of Cooling tower is as per your specifications, structure and performance, and drift.



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