elb's hovel of thoughts

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Cooling tower

What is your first impression when you see this picture?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Taken on the train

If 'nuclear plant' springs out, well, you are partially correct. These structures are known as (natural draft) cooling towers. Thanks largely to games (Command and conquer, anyone?) and movies, the mere sight of (natural draft) cooling towers would make people associate cooling towers with nuclear plants (or any sort of energy plant). These type of cooling towers are for cooling water flowrates of over 200,000 US gallons/minute. Otherwise a mechanical cooling tower is used.

Cooling towers are nothing more than a huge heat exchanger, to remove heat from water prior to disposal to a natural source.

For a general description: http://www.nucleartourist.com/systems/ct.htm
For an engineering description: http://www.cheresources.com/ctowerszz.shtml



A funky looking pair of cooling towers, Johannesburg. Taken from http://www.southafrica-travel.net/


Picture from www.jazzmold.com

Smaller cooling towers you might be more familiar with; used for commercial buildings, and associated with outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease.

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