How to avoid water treatment problems in your heat exchangers and contingency planning for cooling tower failure were among the highlights of the conference program presented at the Cooling Technology Institute's annual meeting.

Held Feb. 3-6 at the Wyndham Greenspoint Hotel in Houston, the CTI annual meeting included a program that delivered on its promise to provide practical solutions. In his presentation on heat exchanger designs that lead to failure, T.J. Tvelt Jr. of Puckorius & Associates Inc., Evergreen, Colo., explained that cooling tower water should be thought of as an engineering material. Left to its own devices, cooling water will corrode, and it can form mineral scale. Because it frequently contains suspended matter, Tvelt noted that it can and frequently does support micro- and macrobiological growth. Tvelt reviewed shell-side cooling in shell-and-tube heat exchangers and explained how designs must address the limitations of the cooling water.

In another presentation, Billy Childers of Aggreko, Houston, outlined a six-step approach to contingency planning for cooling tower failure. Cooling tower users must determine size needs, which may vary in summer and winter; determine pumping requirements; determine piping requirements, determine power requirements, keeping in mind that temporary cooling towers need more power than existing towers because they are smaller and use higher horsepower to meet the load; determine makeup and blowdown requirements; and check equipment availability.

The three-day conference program also included technical committee meetings on engineering standards and maintenance, water treatment, and evaporative cooling performance and technology.

The next Cooling Technology Institute Conference will be held Feb. 9-12, 2003, at the Westin River Walk, San Antonio, Texas. CTI is accepting abstracts for the 2003 meeting until April 15. For more information, call (281) 583-4087 or visit