Researchers at the WCEC have recently been working to better understand water management strategies to minimize mineral scale formation in evaporative condensers, thus maximizing the evaporative condenser’s long-term performance. This research has included testing using a nominal three-ton evaporative condenser as well as miniature evaporative condensers, where the miniature apparatuses have enables higher throughput. This research has yielded some important insights, most importantly that the optimal bleed rate will be location-specific and dependant on the local water quality, namely magnesium and calcium concentrations; however,

bleed rates that had previously been recommended were likely compromising evaporative condenser performance, and a lower bleed rate (e.g., 15%) will improve the evaporative condenser’s long-term performance.

Experimental results were used to inform a preliminary model, which predicts that evaporative are an appropriate technology for many California water qualities (e.g., predicted life-spans >15 years for most assessed locations). Ongoing research is aiming to elucidate the importance of other water quality parameters such as pH, salinity, and other constituents (e.g., Si, Fe, PO43-, and SO42-).