Cooling tower is one of the most important equipments for a chemical plant. Due to its important role, some of people may do not care about cooling tower operating costs. They only emphasize on how to keep cooling tower in its best performance through out the year. They do not realize that they still have many chances to reduce their costs while keeping its performance.
Actually, you could calculate the overall cooling tower operating costs by breaking down its items one by one. The key point here is how to identify cost item. If you could identify them all, then you could calculate precisely cooling tower operating costs.
Cooling Tower Operating Costs in Detail
Understanding on how to calculate cooling tower operating costs will give you more chances to do cost reduction programs. You will see clearly which cost item having the biggest influence to the overall cost and from where you can start improving program.
Okay, now lets start to talk about each cost item of cooling tower operating costs:
- Water cost.
Initially, a certain volume of water should be provided as holding volume before cooling tower is operated for the first time. When it is started up, a make up water is required to replace loss water from cooling tower due to continues blow down, evaporation, wind-age lost, leakage and so on.
- Electric cost.
Cooling water pumps, make up water pump, fans and chemical injection pump are electric-powered equipments that continuously support cooling tower operation. And sometimes, mud pump or blow down pump is operated to discharge accumulated mud at the bottom side of cooling tower.
- Chemicals cost.
There are several types of chemicals used for cooling tower in order to keep water quality. They are corrosion inhibitor, scale control agent, slime control agent, microbiological growth control and sometimes acid or alkali to control pH of cooling water.
- Operator cost.
At least four operators are required to operate cooling tower 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They work in shift hour and their personal costs are higher than regular people.
- Consumable cost.
Consumable materials like hand gloves for chemical handling, plastic bucket and sampling bottles may also be included into cooling tower operating costs.
- Analysis and consultation costs.
In some companies, regular analysis of cooling water and make up water qualities are out sourced. This work is usually done together with consultation. But sometimes, both costs are provided for free by cooling water-chemical supplier.
- Reagents cost.
If cooling water and make up water analysis are done by yourself, this cost can be excluded from cooling tower operating costs. However, reagents for analysis should be included, including consumable materials for analysis works.
In conclusion, cooling tower operating costs calculation should consider all the above cost items. In some companies, maintenance cost is also included into this cost center. So in that case, cooling tower operating costs is an overall cost.
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