Overview

 

Though evaporative systems are gaining ground in the field of energy efficient cooling, the efficiency boost provided by evaporation creates other implications.

 

Though evaporative systems are gaining ground in the field of energy efficient cooling, the efficiency boost provided by evaporation creates other implications. When water evaporates off a surface the solids are left behind. These solids can form bonds to the metal surfaces (aka: scale) that diminish the heat transfer properties of that surface, and potentially reduce the airflow allowed through. Many technologies claim to either remove or replace scale forming elements, thereby preventing them from bonding to metal surfaces. If these technologies prove successful, then the evaporative system will run optimally without the need for excessive maintenance.

 

Research at WCEC in the area of water management for evaporative systems attempts to answer the following questions:

  • How effective are water treatment technologies at reducing the impact hard water has on evaporative cooling equipment?
  • What are the mechanisms that allow one treatment technology to outperform other treatment technologies?

 

To answer the research questions above, WCEC is running tests on multiple water treatment devices in parallel to determine the most promising technology to be applied to evaporative systems. This technology will then be tested further on a water cooled condenser. The water cooled condenser will be run to failure, once without any treatment and again with the treatment, at which point the extended life associated with the water treatment technology will be determined.