Problems From Not Maintaining The Cooling Tower (Evaporative Condenser):

When you do not keep up the proper maintenance on your cooling tower water system, you will find that many different problems will come up. These problems can include scale formation, corrosion, and biological fouling.

Problems With Scale Formation:

Deposition of scale is a chemical process due to the concentrations of dissolved salts in the cooling water exceeding their solubility limits and precipitate on to surfaces in contact with the water. The most common scale formers, calcium salt, exhibit reverse solubility in that they become less soluble as the temperature of the water increases. This property causes scale formation in the most sensitive area, the heat transfer surfaces of production equipment. Since the thermal conductivity of scale is substantially less than metal, heat removal is reduced and production speeds must be lowered to compensate. In extreme cases, enough material precipitates to physically block the cooling passages, resulting in the affected equipment being removed from production for either chemical (acid) or mechanical cleaning. Scale formation on the condensers of Freon cycle chillers reduces the efficiency of these units from chilled water systems, therefore increasing the power needed to obtain a given volume of chilled water.  Various studies have shown a non-linear electrical power cost increase with increased scale thickness, for instance 0.5 mils of calcium scale results in a power cost increase of 3.5%, while 1.5 mils increases power cost to approximately 12.5%.

Inside Corrosion:

When metal starts to dissolve, you have what is known as corrosion. Oxidation effects break the metal down significantly. The breakdown will cause the system to degrade at a faster rate than normal. The major point being that when the metal starts to break down, the strength of the metal and the thickness off the metal are reduced. The structure of the metal can no longer stand up to the pressure that it was designed for and pits and craters can form in the metal.  A cooling tower system will help to stop the corrosion from happening. The better of the treatments for corrosion is the ozone treatment. There are also other methods that work just as good.

Problems With Biological Fouling:

Problems with biological fouling occur when the water has not been used and left for long periods of time. When the water is left unattended, it has the potential to form bacteria, fungus, algae, and protozoa. The microorganisms will eventually get to large proportions in the water and will cause a biological film to form on the surface of the water. This film is very hard to get rid of. This is what is known as biological fouling. The biological fouling problems are commonly known to be the worst problem that you can encounter with the cooling tower system. The problems that can occur with biological fouling are low heat transfer, the fill can stop working properly, the water flow can be restricted or blocked, or corrosion can occur from the microorganisms present. It can also result in health problems for the humans that are using it.