Criteria for choosing the right cooling system

In the world of industrial refrigeration where efficiency and reliability are critical, choosing the right system can make the difference between process success and failure. With a wide range of options available, from conventional cooling towers to advanced evaporative systems, it is imperative to have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the criteria that should guide this decision.

When we go deeper into the task of cooling an industrial process, we are faced with a number of challenges and considerations that go beyond simply keeping temperatures under control. This is where a number of key factors come into play that influence the choice of the most suitable cooling system for each specific application.

Common criteria for choosing the best refrigeration

main criteria for cooling systems

  1. The cost of investment or CAPEX. The economic criterion is certainly important but it cannot be the only one. The rest of them must fit together. To be guided exclusively by the economic conditioning factor without paying attention to the rest would not lead us to the right choice.
  2. The OPEX operating costs that the investment will entail. In addition to assessing the initial outlay and the return on investment, it is essential to foresee everything related to its maintenance and repair tasks in the future and throughout its useful life.
  3. Above all, its technical feasibility will have to be demonstrated beyond doubt.

The above-mentioned criteria are the most common, but given that each process has its own particular circumstances, other equally important factors must sometimes be taken into account:

other criteria for cooling systems

  • The space available to house the cooling system is often the conditioning factor. There are towers of different sizes depending on the flow rate to be cooled and the power required. However, if space is limited, this will weigh heavily in the choice.
  • Water scarcity or restrictive water use can also influence or influence the choice of the cooling system to be selected. It is important to note that in evaporative cooling more than 96% of the water used is reused and returned to the process. It is also true that purging and make-up operations must be carried out to compensate for the evaporated water.
  • Noise and its perception has evolved over the years in the context of industry. There is increasingly less tolerance to noise and greater sensitivity to its impact. This sensitivity or certain regulations or legislation may require a reduction in the noise level and may become the predominant criterion conditioning the rest and the final choice.
  • Legionella. The few but unfortunate cases of legionella related to towers have generated a false perception of the risk of this bacterium which, on the other hand, thrives in any aqueous medium in which small droplets are present and can be inhaled. Legionella regulations are strict legislation whose compliance ensures its eradication. However, there are those who prefer to eliminate the risk of legionella by preferring the adiabatic cooling option.

In the complex landscape of industrial refrigeration, it is important to recognise that choosing the right system can be both an exercise in careful evaluation and adaptation to specific circumstances. In some cases, we will find ourselves able to select from a number of cooling tower options, giving us the opportunity to find the solution that best suits our needs and requirements. However, on other occasions, existing circumstances may limit our options, forcing us to adjust to the pre-established conditions. In any case, at Torraval Cooling we understand and carefully consider the fundamental criteria, from investment cost to technical feasibility. This allows us to make decisions in line with the needs of each client, driving efficiency, profitability and long-term success.


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