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Whether you are trying to stay cool while shopping for groceries or you need to keep your machines, cooling towers are an essential part of many temperature maintenance systems.
HVAC towers help people cool with their use in air conditioning units and the more industrial towers keep heavy machinery at the optimum temperature and efficiency. In our modern world, these cooling towers are commonplace, but they tend to stay out of sight and out of mind.
Importance of Cooling Towers, Then and Now
Cooling towers have been in use since their invention in the 19th century for use with the steam engines. Over the years, their designs have been updated to allow for more widespread and convenient use in all forms of technology.
By the 20th century, the technology had been updated to be usable without direct water supplies nearby and even in urban environments.
The HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) cooling tower is small enough to be used in a large array of areas. Many office buildings, hospitals, and other public buildings use these cooling towers as an integral part of their air conditioning systems. In some hotter climates or for some larger buildings, multiple HVAC towers are used.
Despite them being able to heat a space as well as cool it, during the winter these units are often shut down. This is because the water within the unit can freeze and cause damage to the tower. Instead of the HVAC towers, alternate forms of heat are used.
Industrial cooling towers are used for cooling objects that generate extreme amounts of heat, like machinery and production plants. They are primarily used to remove heat from the cooling water used in such facilities.
The importance of these cooling towers can be easily underestimated. If not for the towers, the large discharge of excessively heated water could have a very negative impact on nearby ecosystems. Thankfully, the cooling towers instead dissipate that heat into the atmosphere with their cooling tower parts.
On occasion, large plumes of fog can be seen coming from these cooling towers. This is simply caused by the vapor reacting to the humidity in the outside climate, so despite often looking like smoke, the plumes of fog aren’t any more harmful to the environment when they are visible.
There are other safety hazards associated with the towers however. Due to their size, cooling towers are fairly susceptible to wind damage. This has to be accounted for when designing their shape and when choosing a location.
Cooling towers are integral to many different facets of a modern society. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and their purposes vary from one design to another.
The ultimate goal is always the same, but the specifics of what needs to be cooled and how are always integral. From the common HVAC to the much larger industrial cooling tower, these devices have stuck around since our society first began to industrialize.
In an ever more and more industrial world, the importance of keeping machines and those that operate them will always be paramount.