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City West Water

Cooling tower efficiency

Discover how you can improve your cooling towers efficiency and save money.

Did you know that cooling towers consume up to half the water used in large office buildings, shopping centres and other major commercial facilities?

Recent City West Water trials assessed the efficiency of cooling towers and examined ways to reduce water use while maintaining or improving cooling performance.

At one site, potential savings of up to 9.5 million litres of water were identified, which would translate into a saving of $17,000 per year.

The trials also found that savings could be made by minimising use of expensive water treatment chemicals. Cuts in water and chemical use can also be gained by repairing leaks and maximising water recycling.

Most of these benefits can be delivered through simple maintenance and operational changes that provide quick returns for customers, while ensuring no increased risk of Legionella infection.

Read our case studies below to see how other businesses are saving water and money through innovation.

Cooling Towers efficiency calculator

Find opportunities to save water and improve water efficiency of your cooling tower.

Case study - Olex: Finding a cool way to save water and energy

Objective: To reduce the amount of water and energy used by cooling towers in the cable manufacturing process.

How savings were achieved: By applying technology that allowed greater control over cooling tower operation.

Technology used: Variable speed drives were installed in the existing motor control systems of cooling towers.

Water volume saving: 4.8 million litres per year.

Olex is Australia’s largest manufacturer of electrical cables for the energy and infrastructure sectors. The company’s plant in Tottenham uses a water recirculation system to cool water from the various processes involved in cable insulating and sheathing. The system involves two cooling towers, which both use two fans. The fans were run at 100% capacity, regardless of the water temperature, consuming nearly 15 million litres of drinking water per year and a great deal of energy.

Significant opportunities were identified when the operation and maintenance of the cooling system was analysed from a water and energy efficiency perspective.

Case Study - CSR Ethanol: Sweet success of water saving

Objective: To reduce drinking water usage by reusing column effluent as tower make-up water.

How savings were achieved: Redirection of column effluent to the main process cooling water stream for use as make-up water. This is required as a result of losses through cooling tower evaporation.

Technology used: Baltimore Aircoil three cell induced draft counterflow cooling tower model RCT-2594.

Water volume saving: Overall site drinking water use decrease with installation of new cooling towers;

- 13% (approximately 18ML per annum) based on a decrease in make-up water of 6kL/hr whilst running the Barbet distillation column, and 1.6kL/hr when not running the Barbet distillation column.

- Reduction in make-up water use on cooling towers with new setup: 93%.

A few years ago we partially funded the project, as the upgrade of the cooling towers was deemed to achieve large water savings. The new cooling towers were commissioned in June 2008. A saving of 18 million litres of water per year was achieved at the CSR Yarraville Distillery since the upgrade of the cooling towers.

SR produces ethanol (ethyl alcohol) by fermenting molasses which is a by-product of sugar fermentation. CSR is one of three major Australian producers of ethanol products, and is a significant supplier to the food, beverage and industrial markets as well as the growing renewable fuel market in Australia.

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