Tower Tech Wins Cooling Tower Manufacturer of the Year Award

OKLAHOMA CITY – Tower Tech, Inc. was awarded the Manufacturer of the Year (Cooling Tower) Award during the Climate Control Awards 2015 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, UAE on November 23rd, 2015. Receiving the award on behalf of Tower Tech was Mr. Akel Diab, Controls & Contracting Solutions Director for Trane Middle East & Africa.

Award for Cooling Tower Manufacturer of the Year

Mr. Akel Diab of Trane Middle East & Africa accepting Climate Control award on behalf of Tower Tech

The award is sponsored by CPI Industry and Climate Control Middle East magazine, judged and evaluated according to their systems and processes, and monitored by third-party auditing firm KPMG. The theme of the Fifth Annual Climate Control Awards, according to CPI Industry’s Editorial Director & Associate Publisher, B. Surendar, was ‘Inter-connected in thought and execution’. According to Surendar, “The philosophy behind the theme is the critical need for the HVACR industry to work as a cohesive unit towards achieving specific goals, be they energy efficiency; resource conservation; reliability; good indoor environmental quality; food safety or ease of installation, operation and maintenance.”

“Tower Tech wishes to thank our outstanding customers for their support and for making Tower Tech a success in the Middle East. Furthermore, we thank our talented sales representatives Trane Middle East & Africa (UAE and Qatar) and Radian Oil & Gas (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) for representing us with distinction in the GCC region,” said Daniel Coday, Sales Manager – International for Tower Tech.

Mr. Wasfi Hassan, Head of Mechanical Department for Allied Consultants in Dubai, attended the award ceremony and was involved in a 5,000 ton district cooling plant project in Dubai that selected Tower Tech cooling towers in 2013. Mr. Wasfi reminisced over some of the driving factors for choosing this specific tower. “The variable flow distribution system, multiple bottom-mounted fans, and enclosed basin design [is what] first attracted my attention. When operating the towers we were surprised to get performance exceeding the design value in such a humid environment. It was great to see Tower Tech get this deserved award.”

Upon learning about the award, Mr. Syed Younus Ahmed, Director, HVAC Operations and Maintenance at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia said “congratulations to the entire Tower Tech team.” When asked about his experience with operating Tower Tech cooling towers he replied “It’s almost impossible to perceive how truly process and environmentally friendly this cooling tower is.”

Tower Tech CEO Robert C. Brink stated “Our vision is to be the most customer-driven cooling tower company in the world – the standard by which all other cooling tower companies are measured. We thank CPI, Climate Control Middle East magazine, our amazing customers throughout the GCC region, and our GCC factory certified representatives Trane Middle East & Africa and Radian Oil & Gas.”

Mr. Brink added “With the recent introduction of our new TTXR line, Tower Tech offers even greater performance at reduced installed fan power and footprint. The TTXR is more affordable for mid and large sized projects with the same unique counterflow design solutions. Tower Tech continues to raise the standard for a better customer cooling tower experience.”


About Tower Tech:

Tower Tech, Inc., based in Oklahoma City, USA manufactures innovative modular cooling towers.

Tower Tech towers are designed to reduce installation time and costs, environmental impact, operating costs, and tower maintenance. Design features include: variable flow technology; low Legionella risk; TSE and sea water friendly operation; non-corrosive construction; built-in redundancy; modularity; and low sand/dust entrapment.

Tower Tech’s products are used worldwide for comfort cooling, industrial processes, and power generation. Tower Tech’s revolutionary cooling towers have been recognized by environmental advocacy groups for their ability to conserve energy and water.

For more information, visit the Tower Tech web site at

Best Available Cooling Tower Technology for Legionnaires Disease Risk Management Quiz

Best Available Cooling Tower Technology for Legionnaires Disease Risk Management Quiz

Think through what role technology can play in addressing root cause reduction of Legionnaires’ disease outbreak risk from a cooling tower.  Click on the link to take the quiz!

Legionella and Cooling Towers

With sadness we’ve been reading about the ever-growing number of people in the Bronx that have been infected with and died from Legionnaires‘ disease. Our hearts sincerely go out to those that have lost friends and family.

Cooling towers act as the radiator for large air conditioning systems. There has been little technological improvement over many decades in the industry and almost all manufacturers have built near identical designs. Traditional cooling tower designs do require considerable maintenance and can become environmentally unfriendly. This is because the water in the basin at the bottom is often exposed to sunlight that allows for the growth of algae, the primary food source for biological growth such as Legionella. This is compounded by stagnant areas in the basin where biological growth can multiply. The top-mounted fans cause drift emissions or mist to exit the tower at a rate where it commonly feels like it’s sprinkling outside when walking by the cooling tower. When people with lowered immune systems breathe in drift emissions that come from a cooling tower with high Legionella growth, outbreaks such as what we’re seeing now can occur. We published a white paper about this several years ago:

New York City is now faced with putting appropriate legislation in place to greatly reduce the potential for such an outbreak to happen again. The UK and Australia were among the first to put legislation in place relative to Legionella control with cooling towers several years ago. Their focus was on requiring owners to thoroughly clean their cooling towers every month or quarter, and that the government would oversee and enforce. Although every cooling tower owner needs to provide water treatment and routine maintenance as outlined in the manufacturer’s O&M manual, here’s the problem with that approach to solving the problem:

• It’s unrealistic to shut down the air conditioning system during summer months for cleaning without spending a lot more capital dollars for a redundant unit
• Maintenance departments are under staffed, and because it’s one of the hardest jobs and in a confined space, new legislation will require a lot of teeth to actually be enforceable
• It increases the burden to the local tax payers since now oversight is required to ensure the cleaning is consistently taking place per legislation
• It encourages the use of air cooled systems instead of water cooled, which often use nearly twice as much energy and can double the building’s cooling system carbon footprint

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
There are two (2) key things that have to happen in a cooling tower before someone can become infected from the cooling tower:

1) Legionella has to grow inside the tower, and
2) the mist or drift from the water in the tower has to be transported to the person

If you eliminate either of those items, it’s near impossible for a person to get infected by Legionella from a cooling tower. Technology commonly exists today that can automatically greatly reduce and/or nearly eliminate both items above. As a more simple, manageable, and surer solution, perhaps legislation can focus on the following two (2) requirements instead:

• Must install a basin sweeper system (already offered by major manufacturers and after market providers) if the basin does not keep the water moving at least 3’ per second
o This turbulence makes it very difficult for Legionella to grow, and the cost is much less and more realistic than monthly to quarterly government mandated cleaning
• Mist/drift eliminators must be designed not to exceed 0.001% drift emissions per CTI standards
o This will reduce the amount of mist that can travel from the cooling tower by 50-80%, depending on what’s currently installed

If you’re reading this post, you probably already know that the Tower Tech modular cooling tower eliminates 100% of sunlight contact with the water so algae, the primary food source for biological growth like Legionella, doesn’t form. You already know the Tower Tech basin keeps the water moving at 5’ per second, without the need for a basin sweeper system, so Legionella has no hiding place. You already know Tower Tech towers have a drift emissions rate of 0.0004% per CTI standards so 82-90% of the drift or mist, as compared to conventional designs with top-mounted fans, is eliminated. That’s why a Tower Tech cooling tower is the surest way to eliminate the potential for Legionella. Additionally, readily available and cost effective technology exists that can easily be retrofitted into traditional designs (as described above) which can dramatically reduce the potential for Legionella without putting undue burden on local businesses and local government.

Cooling Tower Helps Eliminate Legionella

Cooling Tower Helps Eliminate Legionella

To see a specific example of how simply eliminating algae and keeping the water moving can reduce biological growth such as Legionella, see the last page of this case study:

Legionella growth in under-maintained cooling tower designs that utilize open basins with stagnant zones and high rates of drift emissions can be a matter of life or death. Technology that can easily replace or be retrofitted into these designs is readily available and can save lives. Use the right technology and let’s all breathe easier.

How To Design A Cooling Tower

The first cooling tower was designed during the Industrial Revolution and is used to extract heat from industrial, power and HVAC processes.  If you asked the question “how to design a cooling tower” in the late 1800’s, the answer would be quite a bit different than the answer in 2012.

Today we have evolved substantially with improved knowledge around energy efficiency, water conservation, reduced emissions and overall environmental impact, worker safety, improved reliability, and aesthetics.  Nevertheless, today’s conventional cooling tower basic design has many similarities to the design of a cooling tower over 100 years ago.  This can easily be seen on the brochures of many leading manufacturers showcasing:

  • Large top mounted fans operating in the hot, corrosive exhaust air stream exposed to the elements that can lead to devastating results to the process when they fail
  • Ladders and handrails to routinely access mechanical equipment 15’-30‘ or higher above ground level
  • Drift rates of .002% and greater with open air inlet louvers allowing significant chemically treated water to escape and land on adjacent ground, cars, equipment, buildings and humans
  • Large unsightly stagnant water basins exposing basin water to the sun and natural elements allowing harmful breeding such as Legionnaires’ Disease
  • Corrosive materials of construction such as galvanized metal that can leach harmful elements into the circulating water and deteriorate quickly
  • Distribution systems with a single operating point that require entire cells to be turned off during off-peak operating conditions, which is the majority of the time, for optimal performance
  • Distribution systems that can clog easily requiring maintenance personnel to routinely enter the tower box for maintenance
How To Design A Cooling Tower

How To Design A Cooling Tower

Many manufacturers have put an adhesive bandage on the conventional cooling tower design problem by offering an option to address the design flaw that most concerns each specific prospective customer.  For example, a forced-draft design is offered when there are concerns of drift and top-mounted fans.  A stainless steel or FRP design is offered when corrosion or long life expectancy is a concern.  Basin sweepers are offered when concerns of stagnant basins arise.

Many of these options help reduce the concern.  Unfortunately, they often do not always address the entire problem that is your primary concern (ex. SS basins when most of the structure is still galvanized) or create other unfavorable impacts (ex. having to maintain belts with many forced draft designs).  Take care when designing your next cooling tower project to ensure your concerns are adequately addressed.  If your only concern is initial cost, you will likely end up with a cooling tower that comes with many of the same design limitations of technology that was in play 100 years ago.  If you seek out the latest technology available that addresses each of the design flaws listed above, you will likely find a relatively quick return on your additional investment and sleep much better if cooling tower operation is your concern.  Think about “how to design a cooling tower” not only for 2012, but for the anticipated useful life of your next cooling tower.  After all, you will live with the cooling tower and its corresponding energy efficiency, water consumption, environmental impact, safety, reliability and aesthetics for the life of the cooling tower.

Forced Draft Cooling Tower

Forced draft cooling tower installations are becoming increasingly more popular.  Cooling tower technology allows for a fan to be mounted on the top or bottom of a cooling tower.  Cooling towers with top mounted fans are called “induced draft” cooling towers and cooling towers with bottom mounted fans are called “forced draft” cooling towers. 


Forced Draft Cooling Tower

Forced Draft Cooling Tower


Induced draft cooling towers frequently employ a fan, coupling, gear box, drive shaft and motor at the top of the cooling tower.  This equipment is used to induce air from the bottom air inlet louvers up through the fill media.  This location accelerates wear and tear of the equipment because it is exposed to the elements (sun, rain, snow, etc.), and is positioned in the hot, corrosive exhaust airstream.  This makes the mechanical equipment difficult, expensive, time-intensive and dangerous to maintain. 

Forced draft cooling towers have the mechanical equipment at the bottom of the tower.  This location allows the equipment to operate in the cool, dry intake airstream protected from the elements.  This location makes the equipment accessible from ground level so it is easy, inexpensive, less time consuming and much safer to repair while enjoying substantially increased life expectancy of the mechanical equipment.

Cooling Tower Legionella

Cooling tower Legionella is an ever increasing concern, especially in many HVAC scenarios such as hospital cooling towers, university cooling towers, and other like applications where the cooling tower exists among a large population. There are six events that must ensue in order for a Legionellosis case to occur: (1) An environmental reservoir must exist; (2) multiplication to high cell counts must occur; (3) there must be a mechanism to disseminate bacteria; (4) the disseminated strain must be virulent; (5) infection must occur at susceptible site on a host; and (6) the host must be susceptible.

Being reservoirs of water and dust, all cooling towers can potentially harbor Legionella sp. bacteria thereby satisfying event (1). Events (4) through (6) are beyond the control of cooling tower manufacturers and operators. Thus we have events (2) and (3) in which to exert a protective influence. The environmentally friendly and operator friendly design of the Tower Tech Modular Cooling Tower™, especially when combined with a judiciously administered and monitored biocidal treatment regimen, effectively addresses events (2) and (3).

Learn more about how to avoid cooling tower Legionella by visiting our white paper:

FRP Cooling Tower Structures

FRP cooling tower structures have become increasingly more popular over the past 20 years. Historically, galvanized metal for small to mid-sized applications and wood for mid to large-sized applications had the dominant role in cooling tower structures. Due to environmental, aesthetic, dependability and life expectancy concerns, many users have turned to alternate materials of cooling tower construction such as FRP.

FRP Cooling Tower

FRP Cooling Tower

Galvanized metal and wood structures have posed serious environmental concerns due to the harmful chemicals that can leech out into the cooling tower blow down. The corrosive nature of the materials can become unsightly, require maintenance and repair, and result in reduced life expectancy of the cooling tower.

FRP cooling tower structures are not corrosive and therefore improve environmental friendliness and aesthetics while significantly improving life expectancy with little to no maintenance required. FRP cooling towers include hand laid up, injection molded and pultruded methods of construction. Hand laid up is less popular due to the difficulty of getting consistent fiber distribution, which can result in fiber bloom and degradation concerns. Injection molded FRP is popular for keeping a low price with smaller HVAC applications. Pultruded FRP is the material of choice for mid and large size applications due to the structural integrity of the structure.

Most pultruded FPR cooling towers will have an initial investment 30% greater than that of galvanized metal or wood. However, the benefits to the environment, lack of required maintenance, improved aesthetics and dependability, and significantly improved life expectancy offer a solid ROI.

Rental Cooling Tower

Rental cooling tower options began appearing in the 1980’s with portable cooling towers and then modular cooling towers in the 1990’s. Today there is a booming rental cooling tower industry worldwide. Some companies choose a rental cooling tower because the need for additional cool water is not permanent and they are able to fund the project from their operational budget instead of capital budget.

Today many power plants are faced with increased pressure to preserve minimum water temperatures from the lake or river they use for cool water due to environmental impact of the water life. During the hot summer months these return water temperature restrictions can significantly reduce the amount of energy a plant can produce. A rental cooling tower helps the power plant to keep the water temperature below the required level so they can operate at full capacity all summer long. Other users of cooling towers can also benefit from augmented cool water during the summer months to positively impact their process.

Rental Cooling Tower

Rental Cooling Tower

Other applications of rental cooling towers are to ensure your HVAC or industrial process facility has the cool water it needs during a retrofit, repair or replacement of an existing cooling tower. Since a cooling tower operates much like the radiator on a car, when there is no cool water, there is no process. A rental cooling tower can truly save millions of dollars in lost revenue from a plant shut down.

Whether you are facing temporary incremental heat load, a cooling tower retrofit, planned maintenance, or even an emergency shut down, being familiar with what rental cooling tower options exist can be a life saver in the event of an emergency.