What is a Forced Draft Cooling Tower?

The cooling towers are used to produce cooling through the water. The required amount of water is taken from the lake or river, transferred into a process heat exchanger, and the hot discharged water is returned to the lake or river. However, the hot water from the process exchanger flows into the cooling tower. The cooling tower partially evaporates the water and lowers the temperature of the water. The forced draft cooling tower is the most famous type of cooling tower. It is the most powerful, flexible, and economical cooling technology for most industrial systems.

What is a Forced Draft Cooling Tower?

A cooling tower in which the fan is installed on the side of the tower to allow air to flow from the bottom to the upward of the tower is known as a forced draft cooling tower.

Forced Draft Cooling tower

This is one of the most economical and powerful cooling towers used in different industrial plants. Cooling towers are used all over the world for different industrial applications. These systems are used to produce cooling through the water.

The forced draft cooling tower uses environment cooling with wet technology. Heat transfer occurs due to the backflow of air and hot water into the cooling fill.

These cooling towers are used for higher-process inlet temperature applications. The fans of the forced draft cooling towers are also used to force ambient air into the combustion chamber to preheat the air and improve the efficiency of the boiler.

These cooling towers need less structural support than induced draft fans. They offer longer mechanical life because cleaner ambient air doesn’t affect the fans as much as the air normally drawn in by induction draft fans.

The forced draft cooling towers have many advantages. Therefore, many industries choose this model over the induced draft cooling tower. They have low cost and high efficiency.

They eliminate the small potential heat produced during the manufacturing process. The combination of hot water with a counterflow of air transfers heat into the cooling pad.

The fan of the forced draft cooling tower consumes low energy when running cool air. The main disadvantage of this design is that it has leakage, air distribution, and hot and humid air circulating back into the tower issues. Chemical and paper mills most commonly use forced draft cooling towers.

Cooling Tower Working

Cooling towers work as specialized heat exchangers that help cool down hot water. They do this by letting the hot water meet air, and some of the water turns into vapor, making the water colder.

In essence, cooling towers play a crucial role in cooling down water that has been heated by various industrial operations and equipment.

The elevated temperature of the hot water usually stems from sources like air conditioning condensers or industrial procedures. This hot water is conveyed through pipes and directed into the cooling tower. Within the tower, there are nozzles that spray the water onto something called “fill media.” This helps the water slow down and touch lots of air. As the water goes through the cooling tower, a big fan powered by electricity blows air over it.

As the water and air interface, a small portion of water starts to evaporate, inducing a cooling effect. Then, the colder water goes back to the machines or processes that were really hot before. This keeps happening over and over again, making sure the hot machines stay cool.

Forced Draft Cooling Tower Components

The components of the forced draft cooling tower are given below:

  • Water distribution system
  • Outer shell
  • Water basin
  • Drift eliminators
  • Supporting structure
  • Outer shell
  • Fan stack
  • Fan with drive
  • Cooling fill

Forced Draft Vs. Induced Draft Cooling Towers

For heat exchangers using cooling water, if there is an internal leak in one of the tubes or the tube sheet and the working pressure is higher than the cooling water pressure, the combustible product will enter the cooling water.

The combustible product mixes with the cooling water and then enters the cooling tower, where it vaporizes and, in some cases, ignites. Therefore, if you have a heat exchanger with cooling water, it must have less pressure on the process side than the waterside.

In such a case, if leakage still occurs there, water will go into the process stream. This is generally less dangerous than the case of hydrocarbons getting into the cooling water.

Forced Draft Vs. Induced Draft Cooling Tower

To minimize these severe issues with hydrocarbons in the cooling water, follow the below-given safety tips:

  • You must design your cooling tower electrically. The pump motor, fan motor, and other electrical equipment must fulfill the demands of Class I, Division 2.
  • You should install your cooling tower away from the furnace and process equipment.
  • Install the standoff column or chamber in the cooling tower return line to discharge gas before the water entry into the tower distribution system.
  • The water pump and its switchgear must be a minimum of 4 m away from the bottom of the cooling tower.
  • The packaging in the tower must be fireproof.
  • You must install two manual fan shut-offs on the cooling tower. One is on the top deck, and the other is on the ground floor. You should also install an anti-vibration switch.
  • Monitored hydrants should be spaced so that any area of ​​the cooling tower is covered by water currents in at least two directions.
  • The cooling tower must be at least 28 m away from the processing device.
  • Whenever possible, the cooling tower must be sited downwind of pipe racks, substations, and process devices to prevent cooling tower fog from causing corrosion or obstructing visibility.

Applications of Forced Draft Cooling Tower

  • Mining industry
  • Energy industries
  • Chemical industry
  • Petrochemical industry
  • Engineering industry and metallurgy
  • Paper industry
  • Plastic and rubber industry
  • Manufacturing industry (food-processing, sugar refineries)

FAQ Section

What are cooling towers used for?

An HVAC cooling tower serves the purpose of expelling or releasing heat from chillers. When compared to water-cooled chillers, air-cooled chillers are less efficient because they discharge heat into tower water that is closer to wet-bulb temperatures.

What is the function of a forced draft fan?

Forced Draft Fan is mainly used to provide air for burning fuel in a steam boiler. These fans mechanically push air into the boiler’s combustion chamber. One effective method of getting more energy from solid fuels is by using fluidized bed combustion.

What is the principle of forced draft fan?

A forced draft fan pulls air from the air around and uses a preheater to push it into the furnace. The FD fans are placed at the boiler’s inlet to blow high-pressure fresh air into the part where things burn. There, the air is mixed with the fuel and creates a strong pressure of air.

Which type of air does a forced draft fan handle?

The forced draft fan handles fresh air.

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