We know that a cooling tower picks up all kinds of particle contaminants as it operates. Even the best filtration system is not perfect, and maintenance can sometimes slip. This results in contaminants getting into the heat exchanger and fouling it, reducing performance. In a worst-case scenario, the heat exchanger can foul to the point of non-operation.
However, if the heat exchanger were easier to maintain, this might not be an issue. A gasketed plate heat exchanger is a good solution since it can be completely and easily disassembled for cleaning. Maintenance is done with simple tools (a wrench and a tape measure), allowing on-site maintenance staff to perform the task with minimal training. Since a typical maintenance schedule is one shift, maintenance can be done at night or at another point of non-operation.
The likelihood of maintenance is another benefit. Think back. How many times have you specified the PM schedule knowing full well that they won’t service the heat exchanger because of the headache involved? Since maintenance is easy and fast, it is more likely to be done, keeping the heat exchanger operating at peak performance.