Frequently Asked Questions
about the TowerKlean® System

 

What is TowerKlean?
How does it work?
Does it control corrosion?
What about biological fouling?
Do I need to adjust the pH?
How does the filter backwash?
How much water will my TowerKlean system use?
Will the TowerKlean system clean old scale deposits?
How is the TowerKlean system adjusted?
How do I know that my TowerKlean system is working?
How long does the media last?
How much does media replacement cost?
How many columns are required?
How is the system sized?
How will the TowerKlean system save me money?
Does the system interfere with my process plumbing?
How easy is installation?
How long have TowerKlean systems been used on cooling towers?
Is my cooling tower water safe to discharge?
What are the limitations of the TowerKlean system?

 

 

Q. What is TowerKlean?
A.
The TowerKlean system is the only total replacement for chemically treating cooling water.

Q. How does it work?
A.
It uses a fluidized bed of a patented, metallic, redox media that causes galvanic action between the dissimilar metals and releases a small quantity of dissolved zinc ions. The combination of the reactions and the soluble zinc result in a modification of the calcium carbonate (scale) into a filterable solid. The system then uses a sand filter to remove the particles, which are then purged during the filter backwash.

Q. Does it control corrosion?
A.
Yes, a portion of the zinc ions precipitate on the metallic surfaces as hydroxide and sulfate compounds, providing a thin layer of galvanic protection.

Q. What about biological fouling?
A.
The intense electron exchange at the surface of the media, along with the soluble zinc ions and metallic copper on the surface of the media create an environment that is toxic to algae and bacteria.

Q. Do I need to adjust the pH?
A.
No, the reaction media forces a combination of the dissolved oxygen with free hydrogen ions from the water molecules. This creates an excess of hydroxyl radicals that elevate the pH to approximately 8.5 – 9.0.

Q. How does the filter backwash?
A.
There are three methods of initiating a backwash. First, is a pressure differential that forces a backwash when the filter bed collects the precipitated solids. Second, there is a time interval that triggers a backwash. The factory, preset interval is every 12 hours. This is adjustable based on the dissolved solids content of the water. Finally, there is a manual backwash button on the control panel for initiating the process should the operator desire. When the backwash is initiated by pressure, the timer is automatically reset to prevent excessive water consumption.

Q. How much water will my TowerKlean system use?
A.
Water consumption will vary with each installation. The variables are; evaporation rate, make-up water characteristics and solids that are removed by the filter. Typically, the systems will backwash twice per 24 hour period for a 3 minute interval at the filtration rate. For example: The TK20, TK40 and TK2-60S filter at 65 gpm and use 195 gallons per backwash. The TK2A filters at 95 gpm and will use 30 gallons, however with more frequent backwash cycles as well as the standard conductivity dump on that model. In cases where high solids are encountered or where the make-up water chemistry requires, the system may require more frequent backwashes.

Q. Will the TowerKlean system clean old scale deposits?
A.
Yes. The rate, however, is dependent upon the type and amount of scale present. Partially conditioned, relatively thin scale deposits may be removed rather quickly and with dramatic results. Scale can come off of piping and heat exchangers in granular form or even in large sheets. It is advisable, in these circumstances to chemically descale the system prior to using the TowerKlean system. In the case of thick, hard deposits this removal may be slow (months or years may be required) and once again it may be desirable to remove heavily scaled surfaces prior to using the TowerKlean system.

Q. How is the TowerKlean system adjusted?
A.
The adjustments to the system are primarily flow and backwash intervals. Flow adjustments are necessary to maintain the rate of water being processed through the reaction columns. Each column requires approximately 20 gpm of flow. The time adjustment regulates the backwash frequency and is made through the programmable relay in the control panel.

Q. How do I know that my TowerKlean system is working?
A.
Visual inspection and monitoring of the cooling system will indicate proper operation. In addition, regular water samples should be submitted to TowerKlean LLC for testing and analysis. Reports will be returned to the customer with recommendations for adjustments or maintenance.

Q. How long does the media last?
A.
In most cases, the media has a life expectancy of one year. After that time, media loss and surface area reduction require that the media be replaced.

Q. How much does media replacement cost?
A.
The cost of replacement media (at current prices) is approximately $650 per reaction column.

Q. How many columns are required?
A.
Each column (TK20, TK40) will treat 1,800 gallons of water volume in the cooling system. With the larger conical vessel, (TK2-60S, TK2A) each can of media is adequate for up to 1,800 gallons of water volume.

Q. How is the system sized?
A.
The TowerKlean systems are sized, based on the volume of water in the cooling system. The water must be recirculated every 90 minutes. Since each model processes at 20 gpm intervals, the TK20 will handle 1,800 gallons of volume, the TK40 will handle 3,600 gallons. The TK2-60S will handle up to 5400 gallons, and the TK2A up to 7200.

Q. How will the TowerKlean system save me money?
A.
First, you will eliminate the need for treatment chemicals. Second, your heat exchange efficiency will be improved. Administrative burdens will be reduced since no hazardous chemicals must be maintained on site. Some customers have claimed increased production due to reduced downtime for cleaning of heat exchangers and since systems are kept cleaner, shorter cycle times might be realized.

Q. Does the system interfere with my process plumbing?
A.
No, because the TowerKlean system works on a side stream, drawing water from the reservoir and returning it back.

Q. How easy is installation?
A.
The systems are self-contained and skid mounted. Installation involves, connecting power to the panel, plumbing the self-priming pump, plumbing the return lines and connecting the backwash to the drain.

Q. How long have TowerKlean systems been used on cooling towers?
A.
The first system has been operating since 1994.

Q. Is my cooling tower water safe to discharge?
A.
Yes, the water contains only the minerals that were present in the make-up supply, along with a small amount (usually less than 0.5 mg/L) of zinc. You should, however, check with local authorities regarding any discharge of water.

Q. What are the limitations of the TowerKlean system?
A.
The TowerKlean system does not work on soluble silica. Presence of silica is a rare occurrence, however, and can be determined by analysis. Also, since the TowerKlean system only precipitates calcium compounds, high levels of magnesium must be regulated by backwash intervals and in rare occasions, make-up water high in magnesium must be softened. This can also be identified by a sample of the make-up water, submitted for a no-cost analysis. Finally, the TowerKlean media can be fouled with oil and grease contamination. Although a detergent is available to clean oils from contaminated media, installations where continuous exposure is anticipated should be avoided.

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