Many managers do not consider or are not aware of the role of cooling towers and the application of cold water. A cooling tower is a high-energy utilization machine as well as a mass heat transfer device. Frequently, cooling capacity is the limiting factor in high unit production.
After a cooling tower has been erected, proper operation and maintenance is required to yield full unit production. With poor maintenance, towers can lose appreciable performance. A deficient (low bid nominal) cooling tower plus improper maintenance can mean tower performance loss, which can amount to as much as 5°F (2.7°C) increase in cold water temperature (table 1). But what does a 5°F (2.7°C) temperature increase mean to an operating unit? The following three examples demonstrate what a small temperature increase can mean to a real-world application.