Filling options in cooling towers

Chapter two in the cooling towers components saga. Let’s face the types of filling elements, which is the component within which happens the cooling of water. It is possibile to divide the typology of filling systems in two large families, film filling and splash filling. As the name itself tells, in film filling water flows along the walls of the filling pack creating a water film, increasing thermal exchange surface for direct thermal transfer between the flowing film water and the air rising up in countercurrent. Splash filling provide instead the spreading of the water flow distributed by nozzles in many droplets, increasing that way the direct air/water thermal exchange surface.

Materials: both systems are made of plastic materials. Film filling can be in PVC or polypropylene, splash filling is usually realized in form of polypropylene grids.

Efficiency comparison: film filling offers a higher thermal transfer efficiency, thus at equal water load and thermal capacity a splash tower solution will be bigger and more expensive than a film tower. Otherwise, in case of dirty water, containing polluting particles and filaments, a splash filling is preferable because it won’t clog, while a film filling can easily get clogged requiring periodical maintenance or even the substitution of the filling packs in order to restore the cooling efficiency of the evaporative tower. If the maintenance interventions happen within intervals of years, a film filling system can be an affordable solutions still, but in case of a very dirty fluid to be cooled that leads to cleaning or substitution within days or weeks, a splash filling solution is the only one possible.