138 Transcript

138 The One That’s All About Cooling Towers – Part 2


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welcome to scaling up the podcast where
we’re scaling up on knowledge so we
don’t scale up our cooling towers yes
folks last week we were talking about
cooling towers with a VAT Coast Brett
Alexander and Brett is back with us
today to continue our conversation about
cooling towers and I’ve heard from
several people out there that they learn
quite a bit about cooling towers I think
the number one comment that I received
is everybody calls something that
resembles a cooling tower a cooling
tower but now we know depending on what
it’s actually doing and how it does it
it’s not necessarily a cooling tower and
we have some new names for those well as
I mentioned Brett is back today and
we’re going to continue our learning
endeavor about everybody’s favorite
piece of equipment the cooling tower one
nation my returning lab partner is Brett
Alexander of evap CO and last week we
learned all sorts of new terms a lot of
us just call everything a cooling tower
we learned that there were different
terms for what that device was doing we
learned about the water and air
interface and we even learned about the
different metallurgies that the towers
can be made out of well today Brett has
come back and we’re gonna talk about
some of the designs that we have in
today’s cooling towers and you might
think you know what they are but there
are some really cool things out there
and the one that I want to start off
with Brett by the way before I do how
are you doing today I’m good
good to be back feel like we got the
weekly service visit thing going right
now there you go there you go coming
back every week we’ll see if you come
back next week or not we’ll see how much
we get through but I want to talk about
drift eliminators because I am
fascinated in the differences between
the drift eliminators from yesteryear to
the drift eliminators from today and as
I’m speaking I’m realizing that there
are probably some people in the
scaling-up nation that don’t know what
I’m talking about when I use the
term drift Eliminator so do you mind
talking a little bit about those and
what the differences in today are yes
and all evaporative units should have a
PVC drift eliminators specifically what
you’ll see so think of like the tower
fill the PVC fill that that water’s
flowing down through well above that you
will also have a layer of PVC called
drift eliminators and so all it’s doing
is it has usually about three different
turns in that PVC so when they air that
saturated air after it comes in contact
with the water is flowing up through the
tower it will go through those three
passes of the drift Eliminator and then
any moisture that has been caught in
that air stream will stay behind in the
tower right eliminating the drift but
you’re not completely eliminating drift
there is still some drift that is gonna
happen and so there are different
percentages we as the evaporative
cooling manufacturer give the different
units so we can get into a couple of
those if you want to I’d love to and I’d
like to talk a little bit about why I’m
excited about the the drift eliminators
and and the very little drift that
happens today and quite frankly it’s
because of legionellosis prevention and
I want to talk a little bit about the
term that I just used was legionellosis
not Legionella Legionella is the
bacteria so we still need to treat that
there needs to be a plan all of that
needs to be in order the drift
eliminators have to a great job in
minimizing the risk for that Legionella
to come out of the cooling tower so
somebody can inhale it and then get
Legion OSIS so can we talk a little bit
about that yeah that’s a very important
topic I always refer the reps and
they’re the contractors and engineers
who are kind of designing these projects
with cooling towers the one joke I like
to this is not a joking matter but the
kind of thing to lighten their I give
them as we don’t ship any of our cooling
towers with Legionella in them this is
kind of our public service announcement
but once you put water in them in the
field that risk is there and so what we
do for the manufacturing standpoint is
we add drift eliminators and to that top
section to keep those water droplets in
and not exit with the air stream
so what the drift rates they have gotten
significantly better over time so the
modern drift eliminators they can be as
low as point zero zero zero five percent
so to calculate how much drift you have
you would take the point zero zero zero
five percent and you would multiply by
the recirculating rate so whatever that
convinced their water pump is
recirculating the water asked to get
your drift you would see out of that
tower so that point zero zero zero five
percent that is as low as you can get on
counter flow type cooling towers so I I
talked about that last week counter flow
is when you have the water flowing down
the fill media and the air is coming up
the fill media so they’re moving counter
of each other so the water to then
escape would have to turn 180 degrees
and then go up with the air stream so
it’s harder right it’s got to do a
complete 180 and go up so that’s why
your drift rates are gonna be lower and
counter flow type cooling towers than in
cross flow so to reiterate that point
cross flow you’ve got the air coming on
two sides and the air is coming in and
it is going across the following water
so they’re moving perpendicular to each
other now and so now the all the water
has to do is turn 90 degrees to get in
the bay or stream those water droplets
so it’s easier to kind of turn and get
up in the air stream so you’ll see a
little bit higher drift rates and cross
flow towers compared to counter flow
towers
now somebody has an older counterflow
tower can they refit them with the newer
design drift eliminators yes they can so
that’s that’s a huge talking point and
somewhere that water treaters can even
add value use you’re out there every
month looking at the tower you know
hopefully doing a walk around and
inspection and every so often you could
even go up or talk to the operator and
be like hey we should go up and inspect
the drift eliminators and make sure
there’s one there there too they’re not
damaged and then what you know what year
were they manufactured you know what are
the drift rates because the modern ones
are now you know down at point zero zero
one percent two point zero zero zero
five percent where the older ones could
be only at point zero one percent so you
know a significant difference by
upgrading to the new modern drift
eliminators can really help keep the
water inside the tower so if you’re up
there and you’re looking at the drift
eliminators you definitely shouldn’t see
any algae or anything on the top you
shouldn’t see any wetted surfaces what
else should you be looking for make sure
they’re all you know place you know they
shall look uniform across like it
shouldn’t be kind of cockeyed you know
sitting up on one another because that
PVC when you take it out you know it
takes a little skill getting it back to
fit in properly so you’ve got to look at
that make sure they’re all sitting down
on there and that’s kind of the main
thing something that we like to do is on
a regular basis we’ll go up we’ll take
off the easiest piece of drift
Eliminator that we can access making
sure that we’ve either turned off the
fan or whatever we needed to do to keep
ourselves safe and then we look down
below that to inspect the spray nozzles
so I thought we would just bring this up
since we were talking about looking at
the drift eliminators but what should we
be looking for with the spray nozzles
yeah that’s important also because you
need to take the drift eliminators off
as you mentioned to look and see the
spray nozzles because there’s different
spray nozzles and so some are more prone
to getting clogged up and that’s a
concern right because we know from water
tree
Sandpoint chemistry if you’re not
getting adequate spray coverage over
that fill you’re gonna be more prone to
having a wet dry surface and then you’ll
see deposits are forming rightscale it’s
not continuously wet in that area and
then we know what happens usually the
water treatment gets blamed that the
water treatments not working or really
it’s the spray pattern you’re not
getting the full area flow over that
fill media and so that’s a huge point to
make sure you’re getting enough flow
rate through the nozzles to give enough
coverage but also those nozzles are not
clogged up and you’re just not having a
certain area in the fill that’s not seen
water or it’s seen water sometimes and
then it’s not so you’re getting the
wet-dry effect which is leaving behind
scale and deposits is it called the
evapo the one that you guys demonstrate
with ball bearings actually going
through it yeah it’s got a huge orifice
opening it’s like one inch wide so they
put mulch through it they put like
marbles through it so it’s really easy
like you’re having to put something
pretty strange up there our through your
water system to clog up one of those so
those have been a nice technology
advance and the spray system for Tower
now is that something that can be
retrofitted on other towers our older
towers that depends because the spray
systems are kind of dependent on the
Inlet piping to it we can retrofit a lot
of different towers like it doesn’t have
to just be a Valco tower it could be a
one of the competitors what I would say
is to listeners and many of the water
treaters out there is if you have
concerns or you have you know questions
about the constructions are the spray
nozzles or the drift eliminators we have
a vapo reps and service groups all over
the US and Canada and in Mexico and they
are happy to come out and you know do
those unit inspections and see you know
what parts you know that could help
upgrade and keep that tower running
efficiently and safely and so they’re
always happy to get leads from the water
treaters because you’re the ones that
are out there every day
so I try to tell them you know make sure
you’re giving the water treaty leads
because he’s gonna give you park leads
when he’s out inspecting the towers well
and the great thing about having that
relationship as we were talking about
last week is now you’re not going to get
a surprise that a new cooling tower has
been sold because they’re going to let
you know exactly yeah it’s it’s really a
great relationship if you can get in
with the contractor company or a sales
representative company that does a lot
of work with cooling towers and coolers
it can really help increase your
business you know we were just talking
about the wet/dry evaporation so high
concentrated solids water is splashing
over an area and maybe a nozzle is
clogged and now all those salts are now
exposed until it gets wet it again and
of course everybody thinks that that
scale and the water treatment
chemistry’s aren’t working it could be
that the nozzles are clogged but I’ve
also seen where people have put variable
frequency drives on their pumps and
they’ve allowed that water to slow down
so much that we’re not getting good
spray over the tower fill and we see the
exact same thing what can we do about
that yeah so our general rule of thumb
on our open cooling towers is we say we
can typically turn those down 50 percent
so you know if you’re rated for a
thousand GPM flow rate we’re saying you
can turn it down on that same unit to
five hundred gallons per minute and
still be good so people sometimes want
to turn it down 25 percent but then like
you said you’re not gonna get that
coverage over that fill and then we’re
gonna start seeing deposits form and the
salts start taking up on that PVC fill
so I think then you push them back to
the end-user that they should probably
consult their the representative that
sold the unit so then they can get the
factory’s involvement and the factory
can give the recommendation what the
actual water flow rate turndown should
be because we were educating all you
right now you know I’m the Dell and
these different things and I understand
it’s difficult sometimes
when you when you’re there a month and
you give this information and it kind of
you know gets forgotten about but I
think it helps when you have that
representative or that person that sold
it and they get an email or a call from
the factory and like a Vasco says you
should only turn it down to 500 gallons
per minute you’re at 300 gallons per
minute
you know that’s out of you know our
recommendation I think that carries a
little bit more weight with it and so we
get those questions a lot so we’re
always here to help yeah it’s definitely
helpful when we have information from
the manufacturer you know I’m thinking
of a count that we had an issue with and
the customer bought a variable frequency
drive because they wanted to save energy
and I think they were putting less than
10% flow through this unit and the high
concentrated solids were just they were
evaporating out and the solids were left
on the fill and they were saying your
water treatment chemicals are not
working why aren’t they working and we
had to explain to them that it was an
operational issue and what I had them do
was just turn it back on to a hundred
percent and within a day actually I
think it was within that same day we
then turned the unit off let it dry and
you could see that our products were
able to break all that stuff off pretty
quickly so that was how we demonstrated
and got them to turn that VFD up so it
could actually get full coverage yeah
and when I’m here in VF T’s what we
typically see these on is on the fans
right so you’re not ramping up and down
the flow rate as much your first thing
the energy savings is on the fan motor
so you’re ramping up and down the fan
speed based on the load and the ambient
outside temperatures so you know cooling
towers are going out today our our reps
are also selling some VF d package to go
with those fans you know that’s a great
point and I think the people in the
nation need to realize that you know the
point of the cooling towers to allow us
to concentrate off the solids so we can
use as little water as we can to
properly operate this system but when we
low that water down all the solids that
are just suspended in the water they’re
going to separate out and then we can
also start to precipitate out some of
those concentrated solids and that can
create issues in other parts of your
system so I think it’s safe to say that
variable frequency drives make a lot of
sense on the fan but you better know
what you’re doing if you’re installing
them on your water pump so trace my my
coworker I was talking to him about this
podcast the other day and what I was
going to talk about and we were talking
about you know varying the flow rate
through it and he goes Brett the thing
is cooling towers love water like when
they have water and they’re seeing the
water they’re supposed to they usually
run pretty well you know so it’s just as
simple as give the thing the water it
needs and you have the good water
treatment program usually things work
out I think that’s a great way to look
at that and people they’re trying to do
the best that they can they don’t have
all the information so they’re thinking
they’re saving energy they don’t realize
what the other shoe is that will fall
from that so that’s where we become
involved and that’s we’re getting good
information from the manufacturer allows
us to deliver that information to the
end-user Brett I am sure there are
listeners out there that now immediately
know what we’re talking about when we
mentioned the word louvers and that’s
the piece on the cooling tower that the
customer will look at and say hey
they’re scale on these your system is
not working so those are evaporite of
salts those are areas that have gotten
wet and then evaporated but there are so
many people out there that do think that
those are scale and I just want to make
sure that that’s not scale it’s it’s
fair to say that something scaling up
when it’s in a a hundred percent wetted
area but something that gets wet with
high concentrated solids water and then
immediately dries that’s not scale
that’s evaporative salts so I said all
that to load you with this question
sometimes those louvers will get so
covered with evaporative salts and then
organic material and how much can you
have on there before it starts
disturbing how much air is actually
going into the cooling tower you need to
have the airflow through there to cool
the water that’s flowing down through
the fill and these things these cool
open cooling towers are giant air
scrubbers right there scrubbing in
whatever is in that air and a lot of
that will get deposited on those movers
and so there should be some type of
maintenance program where they’re either
going out with the power washer and
washing those off another thing what
I’ve seen people do is they have extra
louvers and when they start getting
dirty the ones that are installed they
take them off and they dump them into
the end of the cooling tower basin I
advise all of our customers to do that
by one extra of each size louver leave
it in the tower basin and your water
treatment products will clean that up
for you you just rotate them out on a
monthly basis yeah and then you’re not
risking power washing added to
high-pressure breaking the PVC and I’ve
seen that more often than I would like
to I you know you see a big hole in the
PVC you know like okay well that’s not
doing its job yeah and so thinking back
when I was kind of a newbie down in
Austin Texas I was out at the airport
that was one of the accounts and they
were there louvers were constantly
getting dirty and he was he was just
didn’t understand it and you know what’s
going on right next door is construction
so you’ve been dirt the dust in the
construction all that up until the
louvers and so no wonder they’re getting
more dirty at that time of year well
Brett we’ve talked all over the map when
we talk about the anatomy of a cooling
tower so can you help summarize that so
we can all visualize it a little bit
better yeah so an open cooling tower
right I explained it last week as a big
metal box but it’s got PVC components
that make it up and so the PVC
components that we talked about or the
air inlet louvers where the air is
introduced into the tower and then you
have the fill media where the water in
the air interact where the heat transfer
takes place and then above that you have
the drift eliminators which job is to
keep the water droplets inside of the
tower and then you also have the the
water distribution system that’s usually
a PVC pipe with spray nozzles to spray
the entering water over that fill so
those are kind of the general components
and then of course you’ve got your fan
and your fan motor above the drift
eliminators for an induced draught
cooling tower that AWT young
professionals presentation it has these
images and it has circles of the
different components of a tower that
kind of lays it out so you can visualize
it
well I think that cleared things up for
a lot of people let’s get into why
everybody tuned in they want to know
what they can do from this conversation
about their water treatment programs so
now I as a water treat or am talking to
an equipment manufacturer and I want to
know what does the manufacturer consider
to be a good water treatment program and
that’s a that’s a loaded question I’d
say one that doesn’t cause corrosion
scale issues where I’m getting the phone
call fair enough so whether whether
we’re treating it or were the
manufacturers of what we’re treating we
have to deal with corrosion we have to
deal with scale we have to deal with
microbial fouling and we have to deal
with a dirt and debris that’s coming to
the system so that doesn’t change no
matter where you are in the fence all
the equipment manufacturers us in the
competitors they all give water
chemistry parameters based on the
materials of construction selected so
this is a table that I’m looking at one
right now it has the property like pH
conductivity alkalinity calcium hardness
chlorides and then if it’s galvanized
steel three or four 316 you know what
the recommended ranges to keep those
that water chemistry in so if you’re
ever
doubt I would reference those first two
just make sure you’re kind of staying in
line with the recommendation of the
manufacturer yet I’ll even say that that
takes precedence over everything
whatever the manufacturer says that you
need to maintain that’s what you need to
maintain yeah and the one I would want
to point on is we have fluoride ranges
on there are the upper limits of
chlorides but that is highly dependent
on temperature so say you have a
stainless steel open cooling tower you
can maybe push the chlorides up to 500
at you know when it seemed 85 degree
water but you put that in an industrial
process and now it’s seen 110 degree
water I’m not recommending pushing the
chlorides as high and there’s definitely
a there’s a chart I can picture it now
you know the coy limits that you can
have based on the cooling water
temperature and that’s a good good thing
to reference do the recommendations
change dramatically from manufacturer to
manufacturer they’re all pretty much the
same I would say we are probably more
conservative in places because we
actually have a water treatment division
so we actually kind of need to be blunt
know what we’re doing I think the others
just kind of follow kind of follow suit
a little bit so honestly when in doubt
I’d kind of turn to the Valco one so
what are some of the things that you’ve
seen out there that you think every
water treatment program should include
so when I think of a water a full water
treatment program I think of one for the
dissolved solids which we all do right
you got your scale and corrosion
inhibitor and then you’ve got some type
of bio side treatment and then I’m also
wanting to have some type of filtration
system and there as well for the
suspended solids and then on top of that
some type of water management plan that
has offline tower cleanings inspections
you know testing if that’s required in
your area so you know you got to have
the dissolved solids you’ve got to have
the suspended solids and then you’ve got
to have the the plan in place that
encompasses the entire water program
yeah and when you speak up water
management plans you’re speaking
specifically to the Legionella in
whatever system that you’re referring to
yeah they’re being more recommended in
areas you know the CDC came out with
that SC 17 and 30 things for hospitals
awhile back where they strongly
recommend having the water management
plan because I think they went back on
that and they’re don’t require it
actually but it’s a strong
recommendations of hospital and
healthcare facilities to have that water
management plan in place but I just
think it’s a good idea because a lot of
those parts of it with the cough line
tower cleanings you know some type of
maybe disinfection and then you know at
least the inspections you’re giving
yourself a better chance success for
your water treatment program as a whole
you know I’m curious how has your life
as a manufacturer changed since ashtrays
188 has come out and been adopted by New
York we get a lot more requests for at
our information because they have to
register all their chat towers in New
York City now what we’ve seen which is
kind of one of the topics I wanted to
talk on is we’ve seen a lot more of over
feeding of oxidizing biocides in units I
don’t want to put this the wrong way
it’s like I understand because you know
some of some places have regulations
about when you need a fade-in oxidizing
by a side and you know – what residual
if you get a test count over a certain
range but I think some people are kind
of taking advantage of that in the sense
that they now feel they can over feed to
just make sure they’re not having that
bacterial count they’re trying to do the
right thing right keep the tower safe
you know try to minimize the risk of the
Legionella bacteria growing inside but
that is coming at the detriment to the
the tower metal
at which we’re seeing I’ll give you one
example earlier this year I went up to
New York State and this boarding school
had a couple induced draft counterflow
open cooling towers at them and we got
called up there because they were
starting to see some signs of kind of
leaking kind of weepy malva out of the
basin out of the corners running down
you kind of see the staining on the
outside of the basin panels and so it
kind of got into play like what’s going
on we haven’t a water treatment and
operation issue is there issues with the
welds so I went up there with Chris and
first thing you do you introduce
yourself saw the parties the water
treatment company the manufacturer the
end-user the sales rep who sold the
towers and kind of you know you’re
you’re not up there to you know point
fingers you’re just up there to gather
data and see what’s really going on to
help the customer and so at this
specific site what we found is that the
the leaks are the weeping on that tower
were only in these two corners of each
of this is a two cell cooling tower and
it was when you walked up there at the
the two corners of each of the cells
that face each other and what this water
treatment company had been doing is they
had been dumping a solid a granular b c
d MN d MH by side into that base you
know just for kind of a little slug feet
a little shock feed every once in a
while is the issue with that is the way
that basin is designed it’s kind of got
a step in it so the he was dumping it on
the step portion of the basin and then
down below then it drops off to where it
sucks the water out so they weren’t
using a feeder of any kind they were
just dumping it directly on the basin
they did have a feed system also but she
was their reasoning behind this was he
was doing this to stay up with the New
York State regulations which I’m not an
expert at they’re those things are
there’s so much information out there on
those and you know different ways to
look at it but what we found is they
they didn’t have to be doing that they
didn’t have to be shocked feeding up to
a you know a 5 ppm residual and
recirculating it as often as they were I
mean especially the manner that’s how
they were doing it because when you when
they were dumping in that solid buy
aside it was just settling into the
bottom of the the metal of the basin and
just sitting there and it really wasn’t
a good mixing area where he was dumping
that in is where we were seeing the
leaks and so it that’s just kind of what
everybody let everybody know you just
got to be careful where you are slugs
feeding your chemicals if you are doing
that and where where you do that and
then what type of chemical is you know
if you’re doing a solid chemical biocide
it you got to be very careful where you
dump that into the basin and make sure
you have good mixing yeah ideally you
have some sort of feeding system so
you’re not having those granulars just
sit on the raw metal
yikes especially an oxidizer yep and so
that’s just you got to just watch the
over feeding and the oxidizing by side
is that the corrosion we’ve seen is
what’s what’s happening definitely in
New York City and state because of those
new regulations there be kind of they’re
getting interpreted by different
companies on how to do it and we’re
seeing the oxidizing biocide feeds go up
to levels that are not safe for the
metals of the system you know that is a
great point because there’s so many
people out there that they want to do
the right thing and they don’t have all
the information and your guys a perfect
example you know hey I want to protect
people from getting a legionellosis or
Legionnaires disease so I’m going to put
this extra product in but he didn’t
really understand that hey if we have
ten parts per million of chlorine for an
extended amount of time we’re not going
to have any equipment so we’re not gonna
have to worry about any leads analysis
but at the same time so we have to learn
how to apply those properly so my hope
is and New York responded in the way
that they knew how but as
different municipalities adopt a program
to conform to ashtrays 188 that they
look at all systems not just the cooling
tower but then they also consider that
we’ve got to take care of the equipment
as well as the people that are around
the building and we have to come up with
a way that involves an education
component and just all the parties
understanding what’s going on because
people just reacted in New York to the
legislation and there’s just so many
things that I think other municipalities
can learn from that and I think your
example is a great example of that what
we started this by talking about what’s
considered some of the things that you
would want to see in a good water
treatment program let me reverse that
question what are some of the things
that our issues or could create a bad
water treatment program I know that
there’s a multitude of things that you
can choose from so maybe top three or
five of some things that you’ve seen
that just create an issue that’s just so
hard to overcome with water treatment I
would say you’d be surprised you we see
a lot of different from no water
treatment where they just like we don’t
need it and it’s never been done you
know and then they’re surprised why
their coil is failed and a year and a
half now in this day and age how can
that be
how can people because we run into them
as well but how can people think still
that they don’t need water treatment so
I would say the one thing I’ve seen on
some of our units there’s two things
that really come to mind when I think of
this is one it’s zero bleed systems I
haven’t really run into a system out
there maybe because you know that an
issue hasn’t come up but a lot of issues
have come where you know a tower is
cycling up to 50 cycles and they’re
wondering why they’re having accelerated
corrosion on these on these towers and
I’m seeing these kind of a zero Bellino
blowdown systems in areas where they’re
really water efficient constants they
have either really high water bills or
have hard time getting the water supply
and this has been very detrimental to
the service life of the equipment we
might be saving water the metal is
getting stripped away at a much higher
rate than industry standards would like
us to be at that that would be my first
one and then the second one is I see a
lot of a lot of softeners being in play
as a treatment you know softening the
makeup water to a to a cooling tower or
a closed circuit cooler you know that’s
great because a lot of times I know this
you know hardness in the Midwest is high
and so you want to knock it down to
reduce scaling potential um the issue
with soft water is when you’re making up
stronger percent softened water to units
that have galvanized steel that is a
corrosion issue for that zinc so we’ll
see companies that are softening the
make up water and then they have a
galvanized coil and that closer to
cooler and their theme is seeing
stripping off of that coil on quicker
than if they were just using the regular
city or well water so that’s one thing
we’ve kind of been educating the
industry on is do not use 100% softened
water to make up a unit with galvanized
steel um you can split stream stuff in
it but you know it’s just kind of it’s a
risk with that from it you might be
helping from the scaling perspective but
from the corrosion end you’re hurting
the unit
now when you say split stream what do
you mean by that you’re softening the
water but then you’re blending it back
in with some of the raw city water or
well water so you know maybe you have a
200 ppm of hardness coming in on the
city and you’re gonna blend that back in
with your softened water so you’re doing
a 50/50 split so that’s just the more of
a controls thing so that’s great in
theory but it takes a nice well setup
softener system to be able to do that
correctly so if there’s a member of the
scaling up nation out there listening
and one of their customers has come to
them and said that we want to create
this impossible scenario where we don’t
bleed any water or we’re softening all
the calcium out of the water what is a
good way for them to be able to talk
with their customer and say hey here’s
some data that I have from the
manufacturer or here’s what I’ve learned
and we need to really look at this and
make sure we’re not just addressing one
side of the coin we’re addressing the
entire program with the zero bleed thing
I think the way to go against that is
use the manufacturers water recommended
water chemistry parameters and I’m
pretty certain if they’re you know
cycling out that high they’re gonna be
above a few of those properties probably
calcium hardness for sure alkalinity and
maybe even chlorides so you know that
kind takes them out of warranty and then
from the softener perspective that is
also in the OEM the water chemistry
table and so we have for a galvanized G
to 35 steel a minimum of 50 ppm of
calcium hardness and I see this all the
time where you know people with the
galvanized coil or running a purely
softened water and you’re seeing 1.5 – 2
ppm of zinc residual in that
recirculating water so they’re just
constantly taking stripping the zinc off
the coil which is problematic is that
your eat transfer surface and that’s
where the money is of that closed
circuit cooler or evaporative condenser
now Brett let’s say that this member of
the scaling up nation did all of this
and the customer still says no this is
the way that we want to do it would you
recommend that they document that it’s
outside of the parameters of the
manufacturer’s suggested water
parameters you know it’s their equipment
they can do what they want with it but
we document it so they can’t come back
to the water treater
and say you’re not doing your job yeah
that’s a that’s a big point is you know
it’s good to write in the report
definitely because then you have the
paper trail but it sounds like the first
thing is you go have that discussion
with them because we know
you know what’s the percentage of the
plant personnel that are reading the
reports right very low probably but you
still need that paper trail so you want
to have that discussion with them say
hey I’ve talked to the manufacturer I’ve
talked to the sales rep who who sold
this equipment and he talked to
manufacturer and you know they confirmed
we’re operating outside of om so this is
concern I’m seeing this and then this
was what will happen you know whether
it’s scaling concern or corrosion
concerned I think it’s good to tell them
you know what they’re doing wrong but
then you got to reinforce it with if you
keep doing it this way this is the
outcome and then put it in writing I
know we beat our heads against the wall
sometimes when you do that and I get
calls from the people we partner with
around the u.s. I’m you know trying to
help people you know operate their units
in a certain way with regards to the
flow rate you know what kind of makeup
water they’re using so all we can do is
recommend and at the end of the day and
customers are going to do what they want
to do I think that’s a great point to
make because sometimes we’ll just hit
our heads on the wall trying to get
somebody to do the right thing but you
got to remember it’s their thing and
they get to do whatever they want we
just have to make sure that we protect
ourselves if they choose not to take our
advice well I started off asking you
what was some of the bad things you saw
with water treatment I know I know
there’s just a host of items that you
can list something that I want to ask
you about is why are there so few
cooling towers out there that do not
have filtration on them I think the cost
thing everybody is very cost sensitive
now and so you know having a a competent
water treatment setup you know for the
for the scale corrosion bacteria on top
of having some way to filter out
suspended solids I mean you’re talking
about a pretty good upfront cost to a
new installation that’s not to say we
still see quite a bit of setups that
have filtration and so where we’re
trying to lead the discussion and help
out on the front end is we’ll actually
build the open cooling tower and we
in factory installed some sweeper piping
in the basins and so if you’ve ever been
now to an account and you look and
you’re inspecting the basin like I hope
you are especially with stainless steel
or I keep those surfaces clean if you
look in there you might see PVC piping
running along the basin floor and it
might have some nozzles and what this is
to do is you’ll hook that up to a
filtration system whether it’s a
significant separator or a sand filter
and so you’re pumping the water through
that filtration system and it is flowing
through those nozzles spraying the dirt
and debris down to a portion of the
basin where it sucks it out goes through
the hydro cyclone or the sand filter
removes some of the suspended solids and
in that water goes back into the inlet
of the some sweeper piping system so it
keeps that dirt and debris moving in the
basement floor while also sending it to
a filtration system to remove a portion
of those suspended solids I just can’t
get over the fact that people just don’t
understand that chemistry cannot
overcome a mechanical deficiency and if
we do not have a filter to get out all
the stuff that that tower that you
described as an air scrubber earlier
it’s just washing out everything that’s
coming in with the air you know we can’t
be expected to get good product whatever
our water treatment program is to
whatever that metal surface is if we
can’t get to the metal surface so I
don’t know what the answer is other than
making sure that we just have dialogue
with our end users to let them know how
important filtration is on these systems
because without it we’re just fighting
an uphill battle
yeah and how it how it works is I keep
saying you know sales rep because with
Abeka we work with representative
companies all over the US and they are
the ones that have the right to sell our
evaporative equipment right and a lot of
them also have filtration packages
whether it’s sand filters or centrifugal
separators so if you’re able to find
those guys in your
area or you know on the account you’re
at they are the ones that would be
though you know if they sold the cooling
tower they’re the ones that might have
the say are the ear of the contractor
where you’re like hey you know I
recommend you have this filtration
system set up you know I know you want
to sell it right you make money you want
to have the system as efficient as
possible and so I think if you can kind
of get on their team and on their side
you guys work together that’s how you
kind of get more of those packages and
where you have the filtration and the
water treatment on there together
so Brett last week when we opened up the
show you said you had some tips with
towers and evaporative condensers that
could help the scaling up nation do you
mind sharing those with us yeah so
everybody’s familiar with the open
cooling towers set up right the large
water volume connected use a plane frame
heat exchanger or a chiller so we
mentioned last week about the closer
coolers and evaporative condensers with
the coils so I just wanted to touch on a
couple things to keep in mind when
treating those units typically those
units when they’re outside you’ll see
them with a spray pump right by the unit
and then it is connected to a piping
that goes up the side of the unit that’s
called a riser pipe that’s what
transports the water out of the base and
up to the top of the unit and then
sprays it over the coil so what we see a
lot is people trying to tap off that
riser pipe to bring supply water to
conductivity manifold or a supply line
to then inject some chemicals into it I
just want to give you a heads up that
those riser pipes usually are very low
pressure so you might be only having 2
to 6 psi pressure when you are tapping
off of that so depending on how far
you’re trying to bring that a supply
water to your water treatment setup you
might have issues getting it back into
the basin of the unit so you might
require like a booster pump depending on
the size of the run so just keep in mind
the low pressure of that riser pipe on
closed circuit coolers and evaporative
condensers Bret let me ask you I’ve seen
systems where people have tapped off the
riser pipe and then they’ve drilled back
into the side body of the cooling tower
to allow the water to return to the base
and how do you guys feel about that
that’s a difficult thing because we sell
water treatment stuff that our factory
masters are our units so I kind of have
the point this is one where I’m
conflicted where I you know try not to
give too much recommendations on where
you should drill holes in our units so
the one thing I will say about that is
you need to make sure when you’re
returning it to the basin or in through
like the louver you know then through
the PVC part might be the best spot that
supply line should make sure it goes
below the coil because what I’ve seen in
the past is you tap off the riser you
bring the water flow and then you’ve got
some injection nozzles where you’re
feeding your low pH maybe corrosion
inhibitor with biocide you know say a
bromine based biocide and then and then
you return that water into the unit I’ve
seen it have enough enough pressure
actually where then it when it returns
into the unit it’s it’s going in there
at a pretty good flow rate and it was
spraying and hitting the coil
well that coil ended up getting burnt up
at that area where the water was hitting
it because you’re getting that
concentrated chemical additions to that
supply water to your treatment setup so
just be careful where you return the
water into units with coils make sure
it’s getting directed below down into
the basin so a couple other quick ones
these units because they they have the
spray pump in the riser pipe on them the
closed circuit coolers and evaporative
condensers that is with the coils inside
that they have a much smaller water
volume so what that means is they are
gonna have a high water turnover rate
right they’re gonna cycle up quicker and
you’re gonna be bleeding water so if
you’re gonna be using a non oxidizing
biocide you’re gonna need to do one with
a faster kill so the recommend
it would probably be DVM PA I’m not not
sure if I sew or glue would be able to
have any effect unless you’re locking
out the blowdown for extended period of
time so just keep in mind it’s a lower
water volume and a higher turnover rate
in these units now you make a good point
of how quickly evaporative condensers
with a very small volume can concentrate
up so listeners you need to make sure
you understand how much concentration
that’s going to happen when you’re
locking out your system because you
might actually go above what a
particular ion can stay in solution so
just keep that in mind as well what
other tips do you have for is breath
yeah I say the last one is we call these
the closer and coolers and evaporative
condensers when they have the spray pump
out by the unit and the riser pipe
called an integral sump so all that
while all that recirculating water is
right out by the unit so what that means
is your water treatment has to be out by
the unit right so it’s just something to
keep in mind where if this thing’s on
the roof and you know you’re good well
enough pumps and pails or you know what
type of inventory you’re gonna keep you
know you might have to do five gallons
or you know solid chemistry type systems
is it might be quite the hassle getting
up 15 gallon drums up to a roof of these
units great tips well Brett I really
want to thank you for coming on not only
this week but last week you shared a lot
of information that I’m sure has cleared
up misconceptions within the scaling-up
nation but let’s just say that there’s a
water treated just got in the car right
now and somebody was listening to it
what’s the one thing that you want to
make sure that everybody gets from this
conversation I think as water treaters
we all know how critical it is to fully
understand the make up water quality but
it’s just as important to understand the
the equipment that that water is going
to come in contact with in the cooling
system you know we talked about
different materials and constructs
galvanized stainless steel different
types of units so they all have
different things you got to keep in mind
when treating them don’t take a cookie
cutter approach from your one central
plant with this large field erect a coup
and tower to a small data center with
the closed circuit cooler with a
galvanized coil you’ve got to have
different approaches to each and you got
to know the temperatures they’re running
at to to make sure you know what type of
treatment system to put in place there
yeah there’s so many people out there
that will look at the bulk water
temperature so the the temperature and
the water that’s circulating and think
that that’s the temperature you know if
we’re talking about an evaporative
condenser we’re most concerned about
those top coils where that hot ammonia
is going through and sometimes those can
be in excess of a hundred and ninety
degrees yeah yeah I want anywhere from
one 150 up to 190 like you said and
that’s where you’re gonna see your
deposition and then R at risk of
chloride fitting up at those top row
rows of coils yeah I love that that’s a
that’s great advice
no the systems that you’re treaty you
know we’re called water trainers but we
really should be called system or
equipment treaters because that’s what
we need to know Brett I’m curious I know
there a lot of people that want to learn
more so where would you advise they go
so they can continue this learning
process so I we pumped on in a couple
times I would say you can reach out to
the AWC are the CWT certification thing
with that young professionals
presentation we did I think they have in
a PDF format or I know I have it in PDF
format so I’d be happy to share if we
can do that yeah that’d be great I’ll
put that on the show notes page it’s
just it’s just nice to be able to see
the images we’re kind of talked about
and kind of put the different components
with an image and then I have all the
tips from the water treatment of the
different units on there as well and the
different types of units know so it’s
all laid out in a kind of PDFs
PowerPoint format
perfect thank you for sharing that with
us and then yeah just all the web all
the manufacturers website have that onm
material so the checklist of what they
should be doing with tower cleaning so
you’re beating your head they won’t they
won’t do the tower cleanings onm says
the recommended tower cleanings they
have schedules on there and then also
the water chemistry parameter tables so
you can get all that stuff online great
resources well I’m almost done with you
but I do have a few lightning round
questions so are you ready for those yep
I’m ready all right so you now have the
special power where you have the ability
to go back in time and visit yourself on
your first day as a water treat what
advice would you give yourself
so I’ve listened to a couple of your
podcasts we’ve asked this before and so
I was I was thinking the other day I was
like well you know definitely the one
that makes sense is like everybody needs
to slow down you know if you’ve got you
know 30-plus accounts you’re you it’s
kind of like the rat race so I wanted to
think about you know something a little
bit different and I think the one that
also is very important is setting
expectations early on with with the
customer and what I mean by that is you
go out there and you meet meet them for
the first time you know they might be
expecting different things out of you
and what I ran into at this one data
center is any time there was a excursion
with you know the buy-side a feed base
we were feeding on ORP they would want
me out there you know within 24 hours
and you know sometimes that’s just not
realistic and I kind of got kind of felt
trapped into you know having to do that
for this data center but I think if you
said expectations early on and the
account you can you can then you know
manage that better so you know you don’t
have to go out there you know right away
of the one thing I would tell myself
what
the last three books that you’ve read so
I’m a big sports guy so I read that John
Grissom bleachers book quick read is
entertaining and then I also like kind
of some type of leadership books but
also kind of the you know just being a
better person type of books and the one
I liked was the four agreements and it’s
kind of cool it’s about kind of Toltec
principles and just like doing like good
things you know being a good person
leads to you know live living a good
life and the four agreements are be
impeccable with your word don’t take
anything personally don’t make
assumptions and then always do your best
and well that’s just good advice
yeah those can always apply to your
everyday professional life and life with
your family and number three right um
I’m reading one right now the leading at
ninety below zero that one about the
Antarctic Mike he one did like a
marathon in Antarctica so I just started
that one but one thing I heard within
the first twenty pages he had a good
line it was like he was explaining what
he did as a recruiter to people and it
seemed like so boring and I’ve heard
people mention it’s kind of hard to
explain what we do what I took for that
from the first 20 pages of the book is
just you just need to be enthusiastic
about it and just you know be like hey I
help people solve problems you know on
daily basis instead of talking maybe
about cooling water treatment people are
like huh you know you kind of just like
tell them like something you’re
passionate about what you do and so I
kind of wanted to take bad and now when
I get asked that question be able to
respond in a more positive manner if we
were to look at the podcast subscribed
list on your phone what would we find
fantasy footballers podcasts I’m big
into fantasy football and then you’re
scaling up those two I wasn’t fishing
for that by the way but thank you yeah
well you caught it so you may not know
this but Hollywood listens to scaling up
h2o and they find next year’s movies by
listening to this podcast so
they are currently writing the script
about Brett Alexander who do they cast
to play you so I feel like they’d have
to spice out the movie you know if they
wanted to do my actual life so I kind of
meant ooh like vampires and zombie
movies and the one that came to mind for
me was I think it’d be cool if like
Wesley Snipes played me from like his
role and blade you know I’m going out
every day to like these boiler rooms or
central plants and you know there’s you
know you know vampires or zombies that
you’re having to deal with so I think
it’d be Wesley Snipes
that’s an interesting movie premise so
I’m looking forward to the vampire water
treater coming out next tune stay tuned
my last question for you is you can now
talk with anybody throughout history who
would it be with and why I think it’d be
somebody I wanted to like relate with
from like oh maybe a leadership and you
know going through adversity standpoint
you know you go back you know being a
chemical engineer like you know it could
it be somebody in history that did
something like significant with our
industry and I just don’t know if I
really enjoy that as much and so I just
went with a easy one I’d want to talk to
just sit down with Michael Jordan and
just go over what went on with his life
and you know how he got to be world
champion so often and you know just kind
of pick his brain about leadership well
Brett thank you so much for coming on
scaling-up
we’ve covered a lot of ground it’s been
over two weeks and I’m sure we could
probably do another episode and still
talk about different items with the
cooling tower so we might even have you
back to do that but I know we have
helped a tremendous amount of people
within the scaling-up nation thank you
so much for that
yeah definitely I’ll be at ahr the
ASHRAE convention in Orlando so come
over the bath go booths and say say hi
and bring questions so we’re gonna be
there too so maybe I interviewed you
last year maybe I’ll do that again yeah
looking forward to it all right thanks
so much
Brett thanks so much for coming on
scaling up h2o and sharing with the
scaling up nation all of that
information and helping us out with some
of those terms nation Brett sent to me
all of the items that he mentioned in
the interview and he also sent me some
extra items too so if you go to scaling
up h2o comm go to this episode show
notes page you will see a whole bunch of
stuff that you can grab there’s
information on why trust control
parameters during passivation he also
sent us the presentation that he
mentioned during the interview so for
those of you that do training from this
podcast a great recommendation would be
to download that presentation and now do
a training presentation on all the
information we talked about here on
today’s show Brett thanks again a for
sharing that you know if that Co has
been just an outstanding partner for me
when I was the president of the
Association of Water Technologies they
gave us such great material to use as we
were developing some of our technical
papers that we were working on Chris
Nagle Brett all of the fine folks in
their water division have just been
incredible in both development and
sharing information
you probably remember Chris Nagle he was
on scaling up h2o two years ago and we
were talking about why trust a vac Co
has an entire lab devoted to water
treatment and they look at things like
why trust now the great thing about them
is they don’t just keep that information
to themselves they share that with the
community and Chris did a great job of
talking about what they do in the water
lab on episode 37 and he shared some
documents on that episode as well so I
just want to think about Co for all
they’ve done for the water treatment
community all they did for me when I was
president of the AWT and helping get
information and they continue to give
papers and presentations at
current events like the association of
Water Technologies annual convention and
Expo so guys just thanks so much for all
you do and we’re gonna say hey keep it
coming it’s great stuff we’re learning
from it and thank you for putting it out
there I also want to thank the scaling
up nation for listening to this podcast
for sending in questions about what you
want answered
people that you want me to interview but
I especially want to thank you I know
you were going out and you’re finding
other water treaters people that would
enjoy this show and you’re letting them
know how to subscribe to this podcast
thank you so much for doing that
so nation thank you for all that you do
and as always I will be back next week
with a brand new episode of scaling up
h2o