Last month was Process Cooling’s annual Buyers Guide issue - both in print and at www.process-cooling.com/buyersguide - which we hope you will use throughout the next 12 months as you make purchasing decisions. Now that we have finished the Buyers Guide, we’re back to supplying you with practical feature articles also packed with information that we hope will help you make purchasing or operational decisions.

First up we have an article from Cheryl Thierfelder, vice president of eastern sales and marketing at Cryotech International, Albany, N.Y. Thierfelder wrote “Cryogenic System Design” to demystify liquid nitrogen transfer and the fundamentals of cryogenic pipe-system design. She notes that too many missteps in the early design phase of a liquid nitrogen cryogenic-cooling project can result in the liquid nitrogen literally going “up in smoke” later.

You must know that most metals used in process cooling loops tend to deteriorate over time due to corrosion, which manifests itself as pits, cracks or more widespread surface degradation. Some metals, such as iron, are more prone to corrosion than others, such as aluminum. However, even aluminum is vulnerable. According to “Avoiding Aluminum Corrosion,” written by the experts at Lytron in Woburn, Mass., appropriate water treatment can prolong the life of aluminum components.

“A Clean Solution for Outdoor Cooling Towers” from Permatron Corp., headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Ill., presents a look at the towers at Osram Sylvania’s Towanda, Pa., plant. Several years ago, large concentrations of contaminants and debris were fouling the recirculation system, causing frequent system shutdowns. Maintenance personnel were called out daily to take the system apart and clean the strainers. Osram found relief after installing Permatron’s cleanable electrostatic equipment-protection filters.

Also, in “Listening for Leaks,” Lisa West, marketing manager for Thermal Gas Systems Inc., Roswell, Ga., explains how photoacoustic infrared technology provides an accurate leak detection method for chillers and other process cooling systems.

Cliff C. Johnson, senior project engineer at PolyScience, Niles, Ill., tells us in “4 Steps to Optimizing Chiller Performance” that portable chillers provide heat removal and temperature control. While most don’t require a great deal of attention, proper maintenance still is needed or performance can degrade gradually, resulting in temperature variations that adversely affect productivity and product quality. Johnson provides a few simple and straightforward tasks for years of dependable service.

When specifying a flow meter, engineers consider physical properties, process parameters, electronic features and interconnections, but too often neglect the expected measurement quality of the unit. David W. Spitzer, principal at Spitzer and Boyes LLC in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., notes that frequently confusion reigns because of the different ways in which vendors express performance and the incomplete nature of the available information. Read Spitzer’s “Evaluating Flowmeter Performance” and learn how engineers and plant managers make a balanced comparison.

Check out “Conserving Water with Cold Lime,” a case history of how an ethanol plant reused the discharge from its cooling tower, pretreatment equipment and process. U.S. Water Services, an industrial water treatment company in Cambridge, Minn., designed a process using cold lime softening.  While not a new technology, cold lime softening is effective in precipitating many of the minerals from the water, which allows the water to be reused continuously in a cooling process.