The best way, is be proactive. As Canadians we all know how to protect ourselves from the winter weather, after all we live in a country where the temperature dips so low that frostbite can occur in less than ten minutes—and that’s disregarding the wind chill factor.
So how do you protect your cooling towers, closed circuit coolers, and evaporative condensers from these typical Canadian winter temperatures?
First, when the unit is idle and in the most danger of freezing, you can install a remote sump in a heated space, or you can install steam/hot water coils or electric immersion heaters in the tower basin.
To protect outdoor water lines from costly damage, especially the makeup water line to the unit, drain all the lines from the unit with a heater cable and insulate them to stop heat loss—all outdoor water lines should be insulated and traced with a heating cable.
You also need to take proactive steps such as performing frequent visual inspections of the unit. When you conduct your inspections, you should check that all operating controls are properly set and functioning normally, and that the method of freeze prevention you have employed is effective and efficient.
Additionally, you can implement a regular preventive maintenance program—one that you carry out regardless of the freezing temperatures. Your preventive maintenance program should include regularly lubricating moving parts, checking the makeup value and cleaning of strainers to prevent high water levels in the basin, and inspecting and cleaning the hot water distribution system to ensure uniform flow over the unit.
If you do discover any icing conditions before they develop to the point where the unit is damaged or system performance is impaired, then you have the opportunity to eliminate the problem and to ensure the unit performs at optimum efficiency.
The value to you of winterizing your evaporative cooling equipment so it continues to perform at optimum efficiency is huge. By insulating and tracing outdoor water lines with a heating cable, by performing frequent visual inspections, and by carrying out a regular preventive maintenance program you keep your equipment running reliably, you increase its life expectancy, you improve performance, and you gain operating cost benefits.
To prevent your evaporative cooling equipment from being damaged by temperature dips and wind chill factors, be proactive, be prepared.