What are Industrial Cooling Towers and how do they work – 2024 Guide

These structures are not something new, but their usage is growing every day. It is almost impossible to imagine refineries or powerplants without this cooling system. This tool is crucial in many industrial processes, especially in those where the heat can be a problem. If you need a new tower, repairing the old one, or maybe updating, check Industrial Cooling Solutions. And for those who are still not sure what is an industrial cooling tower and how it works, this text will answer those questions.


Heat exchangers work in a pretty similar way to cooling towers, and what they do is reducing the water temperature so that everything can work at its best. The first one, built in the shape that is most common today, was built back in 1918, and since then, their usage has widely expanded.

They are widely used in various industries, such as metallurgy, mechanical engineering, aviation, and chemical industry, and the companies of the military-industrial complex use it as well. They’re one of the most crucial things you can have for your industrial setup, alongside compressor filter dryers. To easily describe the principle of operation: water evaporates and cools down following the primary laws of physics.

Water has a significant role in almost every industrial process, and we could not even imagine how it will all work without it. Sometimes, during a certain process, the water gets too hot, which makes it unuseful, and this is where these systems steps in and solve that problem. Their job is to reduce the water temperature enough so that it can return to the mechanical process more safely and efficiently. To be able to do so, they use contact between water and air in which the water temperature is decreasing – it evaporates. It circulates through the tower until it reaches a predefined temperature, and then it returns to the process. That is a perfect way to save more water since the whole process is entirely natural without any chemical and harmful materials. Those machines are not using a high amount of electric energy, no matter how big and powerful they are. That makes them perfect and safe for use in every environment.


The cooling tower is there to protect installations and all other important parts from overheating and damaging and also provide stable conditions for the course of reactions or product production.

Sprinklers are pretty important as they pour down the water in drops or in a thin layer. That process is significant because it allows water to evaporate. At that time, air flows along with the sprayer. This is just one example:  when 1% of the water evaporates, the temperature of the remaining water decreases by 6 C. The loss of liquid is also something to keep in mind as it needs to be compensated by an external source.

There are several types of these buildings, and they all have different purposes. That means that you should know about their benefits and limits to find a perfect solution. Some of the most popular types are crossflow and counterflow. Both types have some advantages and can benefit you in different ways, so it is up to you to see which one suits you the most. It may depend on what your company is doing, but also the space you have for the tower. They can also be found in different sizes, depending on your plant size and, of course, how much water you need to be cooled.

The three main types of cooling towers:

  • Natural Draft
  • Crossflow
  • Counterflow


Natural draft

It is perhaps the most simple one because it uses the shape of the tower itself for air movement. For this to work, the needed components are coolers (fans) since they are responsible for moving the air upwards.


The name itself explains a lot about this type of cooling tower because, with it, the water flows vertically, and the air runs horizontally across that falling water. Because of this crossing, there is no need for the distribution system, as gravity does most of the job.


The features are quite similar to those of the crossflow but with some advantages like much fewer vibrations. Counterflow cooling towers are most useful in terms of energy savings for fan operation and coolant cooling efficiency and produce much fewer vibrations. These cooling towers are installed mainly in medium and small-sized plants.


Pros of industrial cooling towers:

  • profitability (no electricity required)
  • easy to use
  • located near an industrial facility

Cons of industrial cooling towers:

  • large area for construction
  • great value


Maintenance is always necessary, and with these huge and complex structures, it is even more crucial to take care of everything in time. The goal of successful maintenance of the water of an industrial cooling system is to solve problems related to corrosion, deposits, and microbiological contamination. These three problems are interconnected, and each of them reinforces the other two, and they always work together. Dirt from pipes, water traps, filling surfaces, and pools is something that needs to be avoided because it can cause clogging. When using industrial closed-loop cooling towers, always observe and check fan operation, including voltage, fan vibration, noise, gear oil level, oil leakage or loose belt drive, etc.

Proper maintaining of every part can be crucial since it can prolong their lifespan but also save you a lot of money, which is something that we all want. Keeping the tower clean reduces the amount of energy that it must use to achieve desired goals. If the machine uses less energy, it will help your company to save more money. But it is not just that, as regular cleaning and maintenance can also prevent breakdowns that are not cheap to repair. Complete inspections are necessary to be sure that this powerful machine is working with top efficiency. Only if this machine is working on the top level and with maximum efficiency, you can expect positive results.

That is why detailed inspections are a must.