A more accurate process that keeps you in control
Scale and corrosion in cooling tower systems can reduce heat transfer efficiency and cause unexpected equipment failures. Whilst scale and corrosion inhibitors added to the water supply can minimise these occurrences, maintaining treatment levels within the control limits necessary to optimise performance and minimise costs can be a challenge. Let’s take a look at a more accurate and safer process for controlling inhibitor levels over traditional methods.
The Traditional Method of Adding Inhibitor Products
Typically, inhibitor products are added to the tower water in direct proportion to the fresh water makeup. However, consistent inhibitor levels may not be maintained if the conductivity of the water makeup varies, there are multiple water supply sources and/or treatment pumps lose prime. Using traditional feed methods under these conditions may lead to poor system control. Sometimes too little inhibitor is added, leading to cooling tower corrosion and scale formation that can impact system performance. Other times too much inhibitor may be added, which can result in wasting money unnecessarily.
Fluorescent-Traced Product Feed and Control Systems
Chemical feed and control systems that use fluorescent-traced inhibitor products are now available to precisely maintain the treatment residuals within very tight control parameters. These corrosion/scale inhibitors contain an exact amount of a special fluorescent dye called PTSA (1,3,6,8 pyrenetetrasulfonic acid, sodium salt) that can be accurately measured using an inline fluorometer mounted in a bypass line on the cooling water system.
Chem-Aqua’s aquaDART™ technology
The aquaDART allows for quick and accurate measurement of PTSA-based products. The system uses real-time sensors to directly measure key parameters to control scale and corrosion levels. PTSA levels can be continuously monitored and adjusted to maintain inhibitor levels within 1% to 2% of the target concentration (compared to 10-20% at best with traditional methods).
When paired with a web-enabled controller, the inhibitor levels are logged. The controller could then initiate an email alarm whenever the cooling tower's inhibitor level is out of range. This capability greatly reduces the time it takes to identify and correct a major chemical feed problem, such as a pump losing prime or a feed tank running out. It also allows the inhibitor level to be monitored and data logged in real time as can be done with other key control parameters, such as: conductivity, pH, ORP and water usage. This data can be used in real time to adjust the water treatment program based on changing system demands. The aquaDART not only gives you control of your water treatment program’s effectiveness, but it can also be a major asset in achieving and proving compliance.
Upgrade your aquaDART™ system with traced HandiBloc™
When combined with the unique traced HandiBloc from Chem-Aqua, the accuracy in dosing offered by the aquaDART is blended with the benefits of the solid technology: no manipulation of chemicals is required from site personnel in between service visits of the Chem-Aqua consultant and an overall greener program (no drums on site, no heavy metals in the products).
The aquaDART™ installation, alongside the HandiChem Solid Water Treatment System
Is traced technology right for you?
Fluorescent-traced product feed and control systems are not a replacement for routine service visits by a conscientious and involved water treatment professional. As with any water treatment equipment, regular maintenance, routine probe cleaning and calibration are necessary to prevent fouling and to ensure reliable readings and operation. Certain impurities can exist in water that might interfere with the fluorescent molecule. These interferences may be compensated for by modifying the tracer control range; however the assessment needs to be done by a specialist.
Finally, routine water treatment analyses are required periodically and represent an essential part of any effective cooling tower treatment program.
For more details and a free assessment to see whether traced products and automatic feed and control systems are right for you, contact us today.