The Down Side of Cooling Tower Biocide

Cooling Tower Biocide

Cooling tower biocide is often used for water scale removal in power generation plants. While a hard water scale remover must be used to preserve the integrity of the cooling towers and prevent corrosion, an electronic water descaler can reduce the need for cooling tower biocide.  Before we discuss the down side of cooling tower biocide, let’s take a closer look at the damage lime scale causes.

Why is water scale removal and control so important?

Lime scale deposits create an insulating layer on heat-transfer surfaces. It is estimated that 40% or more energy is needed to heat water in a system fouled with ¼” of lime scale. This either leads to more power consumption or the need for heavier-duty, more expensive heat exchangers to compensate. Scaled boiler tubes mechanically fail as a result of overheating. Cooling tower plates can collapse due to the weight of scale deposits. Erosion damage can occur as a result of scale particles breaking loose and subsequently impinging upon other surfaces.

What about pipe scale removal?

Pipework scale reduces the available cross-section area and fluids are affected by increased pipe wall friction. A larger, more power-consuming pump will be required to maintain throughput volumes, which may only be a temporary solution.

Cooling tower biocide is the most common solution for lime scale removal.  However, chemicals used in a cooling tower biocide are not only costly, but they can be harmful and are even considered pollutants in some areas. Discharge water regulations have made the disposal of chemically treated water a regulatory concern. Cooling tower biocide also requires a lot of manpower and labor.

The ScaleBlaster electronic water descaler, on the otherhand, is non-invasive and adds nothing to the water, thus simplifying compliance measures. And, it is not only an effective hard water scale remover, but it also helps prevent and control new scale from forming.

There is a definite downside to cooling tower biocide.  The ScaleBlaster electronic water descaler provides an affordable and effective solution to reduce and/or eliminate your need for these harmful chemicals. Our next article will discuss some of the benefits ScaleBlaster has when incorporated into a power plant.