Willow Creek Community Church’s congregation joins together for each week at a million square foot college style campus situated on acres of Illinois farmland. Three cooling towers are utilized to keep the facility cooled as part of their chilled water loop air conditioning system. As water in the cooling tower trickles down through the tower, high volumes of air blow across it, and airborne debris that gets mixed in with the water, ends up in the cooling tower basin.



Willow Creek Community Church’s congregation of 24,000 joins together for their spiritual journey each week at a million square foot college style campus situated on 155 acres of Illinois farmland. The latest facility addition included a $73 million, four level, 7,200-seat auditorium used for services, full production musicals, multimedia presentations and lectures.

Three cooling towers are utilized to keep the facility cooled as part of their chilled water loop air conditioning system. As water in the cooling tower trickles down through the tower, high volumes of air blow across it. Airborne debris that gets mixed in with the water, like cottonwood, end up in the cooling tower basin. The cooled water in the basin is piped into the building and runs through a strainer to clean these contaminants out. During cottonwood season, they needed to remove and wash the clogged strainer two times a day. Solid contaminants sucked into cooling towers can also deposit on heat transfer surfaces, increasing fouling factors and energy consumption. These contaminants also clog the small spray nozzle orifices and cause poor distribution through the fill.

Two custom sized PreVent filters from Permatron Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill., made of flexible black high abrasion media were easily installed on the primary Marley NC Class 650 ton cooling tower in the spring. The filters caught the cottonwood before it entered the system. Based on the water pressure gauges on each side of the strainer, the strainer only needed to be rinsed clean once every four days instead of two times per day, with the PreVent filters installed on the tower air intake. The strainer was 90 percent cleaner.

Routine cleaning of the PreVent filter face will be done when each system cycles off, since they rotate between three cooling tower units, depending on heat load. Annual cooling tower cleaning also includes manual cleaning of the water basin, and mandatory equipment shut-down for the duration of the cleaning 1 time per year. Contaminants left in the basin promote bacteria and algae growth, increasing the need for chemical treatments, which ultimately reduce the basin life. Basin cleaning is also simpler with the PreVent filter because the messy solid contaminants were kept out of the system to begin with.

For more information on how equipment protection filters can simplify your maintenance routine and keep equipment running at optimal efficiencies, contact Permatron Corp. at (800) 882-8012 or visit www.permatron.com.

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