Traveling Water Screens Prevent Cooling Tower Clogging for Chemical Plant
Eight pairs of traveling water screens have been installed in new cooling tower systems for El Dorado Chemical. The rotating water screens, which are part of a refurbished production line for ammonium nitrate and sulfuric acid manufactured at the company’s El Dorado, Ark.-based plant, will help prevent cooling tower clogging. Cambridge EnTech, the environmental and energy products division of Cambridge Engineered Systems, Cambridge, Md., installed the filters.
Eight metal-mesh screen pairs — four per cooling tower — filter water and block debris that can back up pumps and heat exchangers that transport water during the cooling process. Each screen pair covers a 13' wide opening and is capable of filtering more than 20,000 gal/min of water. The screens rotate and force debris into a catch basin that is emptied periodically by plant personnel.
Critical to reducing the heat buildup produced during chemical manufacturing, each cooling tower sits over an 8' deep, football field-sized pond. Water is pumped into the tower during production and then returned to the cooling pond.
Cambridge worked with the Oklahoma City office of Leidos throughout design and installation to develop a customized solution for the El Dorado project.
“From the onset, we knew the size of the screens presented both logistical and financial challenges, so we developed a solution that paired two six-foot screens per opening to significantly reduce shipping and handling expenses,” says Larry Windsor, executive director of sales and business development at Cambridge. “Each pair was then coupled so only one motor and gearbox was required, which provided additional equipment and electrical installation savings.”
The size and efficiency solutions developed by the engineering teams at Cambridge and Leidos resulted in more than $200,000 in cost savings, according to Windsor.
Global Industrial assisted Cambridge as the on-site contractor for the installation.