Patricia's Construction and Contracting Blog: Tips for Novices to Experts

Understanding the Different Cooling Tower Fill Types Available

by غزل موسوی

There are several different types of cooling tower systems out there, but one common attribute they all share is that they use a type of fill that will need to be replaced at some point. Cooling tower fill is primarily meant to cool water as it circulates through the system. The types of fill commonly used in modern cooling towers can be primarily be classified as splash or fill. Either of these types of fill may be utilised in towers of both counter-flow and cross-flow configuration. Both types of fill can work well, depending on the particular applications they are used for. If it is time replace your fill and you are wondering what type to opt for, here is a refresher on the two basic types of fill and how they work.

Splash fill

Splash-type fill comprise layers of horizontal splash bars or trays, which allow the water flowing in to be broken into small drips. The small drips of water act as a media through which heat exchange takes place. As the water continues to flow over successive layers of splash trays, it wets the surface of the fill, and heat is dissipated in the process. As compared to film-filled towers, splash-filled towers can generally ensure better water distribution because the water is dispersed within splash trays. At every level of the splash trays the splashing action helps properly redistribute the water. But that should not be taken to mean the design of the water distribution system should be given little thought.

Film fill

With film fill, narrow, tightly-packed plastic surfaces through which the water flows create a thin film that is exposed to air. This fill type provides a sizeable surface area for hot water to disperse itself as a thin coating that comes into contact with the air circulating within the cooling tower system. The surface of film packs may be corrugated, flat, honeycombed, etc. Film-type fill has become a popular option for cooling tower applications due to its ability to provide circulated water with a greater surface area over a particularly packed volume. But due to the fact that film-type fill does not present the chance for the water to redistribute itself as it moves vertically, make sure there is a uniform application of the water at the top of the fill. Otherwise areas without sufficient water flow will become sources of thermal inefficiency.

Contact a company like Marley Flow Control Pty Ltd for more information.