Open-loop cooling towers have their drawbacks

For decades, many plastics processors have relied on open-loop cooling towers to meet the bulk of their process cooling requirements. These structures typically cycle warm, process-return water through baffles to expose it to ambient air. As a portion of the warm water evaporates into the air, the rest is cooled as it falls back into the cooling tower reservoir, ready for recirculation.

For all of its simplicity and effectiveness, however, tower-based process cooling systems have their costs: Because cooling capacity is based on evaporation, water consumption is continuous and fresh water must be continually replenished. And, because these systems are open to ambient air, cooling water quality must be continually monitored and maintained. Multiple forms of chemical treatment are necessary, not only to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria but also to prevent the accumulation of harmful particles or deposits in cooling lines, molds, or machinery linked to the cooling system.

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