Cooling tower

From Academic Kids

Cooling towers are structures for cooling water or other working medium to near-ambient temperature.

Missing image
Didcot_power_station_cooling_tower_zootalures.jpg
Didcot Power Station, UK
natural draft wet cooling towers

With respect to the heat transfer mechanism employed the main types are:

In a wet cooling tower the warm water can be cooled to a temperature lower than ambient, if the ambient air is relatively dry. (see: Dew point).

With respect to drawing air through the tower there are three types of cooling towers:

  • natural draft, which utilizes a tall chimney,
  • fan assisted natural draft , and
  • mechanical draft (or forced draft) which uses power driven fan motors to force or draw air through the tower.

If ambient conditions are right plumes (fog) can be seen rising out of a wet cooling tower (see image).

The cooling tower has been used in the media. On The Simpsons, at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Lisa Simpson sung of the towers in a protest song.

 ...And we'll march day and night, by the big cooling towers-
 they've got the plant; but we've got the power

Cooling towers can cause growth of Legionella bacteria, and should therefore be regularly checked.


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