Usually, when engineers use the word byproduct, they mean something produced in an industrial or biological process. Most hope that any byproducts produced in their cooling process is of the expected variety. No one appreciates an unintended result -- consistency of product is what your customers pay for and demand.

In the case of microbes, you can learn what to do to head off the relentless appetite of their byproducts by turning to Paul Puckorius' Water Works column on page 14. If left unchecked, these acids, alkalis and reducing agents nibble away at mild stainless steel, copper alloys or galvanized steel structures. And, these byproducts themselves can produce inhibitor-blocking byproducts as part of nature's cycle that keeps engineers responsible for cooling water systems on their toes. These deposits can stop corrosion inhibitors from reaching metal surfaces. But all this microbiologically influenced corrosion and interference can be anticipated and dealt with, as Paul explains.

While microbial byproducts can physically damage cooling system structures, there's another negative byproduct lurking: the result of an improperly selected water treatment provider. On page 25, certified water technologist Jay Farmerie addresses the basic questions you should ask a treatment company before using its services. If you, as a user, and the company, as the provider, aren't compatible, your “marriage” will be on the rocks, as could be your system's health. Both parties must be able to communicate so there is no fallout -- a different type of byproduct but a byproduct nevertheless -- that puts your system at risk, ultimately resulting in unhappy customers. Think of Farmerie's article, “Selecting a Water Treatment Service Provider,” as a primer and hang onto it.

If you want water contaminants out and profits in, there's a case history for you on page 21. A door-and-window hardware maker installed a self-cleaning filter to prevent suspended solids from clogging the heat exchangers in its rooftop cooling tower. The filter eliminated maintenance and boosted production by 10 percent, according to the company.

Elsewhere in this issue, you'll find an expert's take on how desiccant technology can work with industrial refrigeration systems to ease the problem of ice buildup on blast-freezer conveyors at entries and exits. Bonar Engineering's Henry Bonar in Jacksonville, Fla., says humidity control is the key, in “No Sweat,” page 16.

While you're inside the magazine, be sure to turn to page 18 for “How to Efficiently Cool or Condense,” which explores closed-loop, evaporative wet-surface air coolers and their role in a heat transfer process application. Written by Peter Demakos of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Niagara Blower Co., the article examines ways to accomplish fluid cooling and vapor/gas condensing.

If puddles show up on your plant floor or water stains dot your ceiling, chilled-water pipes dripping condensation may be your problem. “Controlling Condensation” on page 23 tells you how to keep dry.

So stay dry and watch out for those byproducts -- both the microscopic and human kind.

Anne Armel
Group Publisher