Ultrasound Use In Cooling Towers

Industrial cooling towers are essential to maintaining controlled temperatures in many operations. Since these systems often use water or fluids, algae problems are common.

Historically, algae, along with biofilm formation can be a problem inside the cooling tower basin and on nearby grids. These types of growth can have a negative influence on the efficiency of the cooling tower and there is an ongoing concern for guarding against the formation of Legionella bacteria, which can contribute to Legionnaires disease in humans.

Interestingly, this bacteria, as well as many forms of algae grow better with the help of biofilm that forms in the cooling tower. Studies have shown that ultrasound in particular works very well to control this biofilm formation, and in doing so, it’s also provided a way to safely limit algae and unwanted bacteria from forming.

Before the advent of ultrasound technology for algae control, consistent use of biocides and chemicals like chlorine or sodium hypochlorite were required to treat for unwanted growths. The use of these chemicals can be reduced dramatically (some studies show by as much as 50%) when ultrasound is used to control biofilm development.

It should be kept in mind that ultrasound works best by interrupting the process in which biofilm forms.

It’s recommended that the installation of the device be placed in the sedimentation basin, and that the process is started after a high pressure wash and the removal of any existing biofilm.

This cleaning can take place several weeks after the intial installation which may allow for an easier clean up but ultimately the initial layer of biofilm will have to be removed for the best results. Once this is done, follow up wall cleanings will often be much simpler with just a simple water hose wash down being required.

Please contact us if you have additional questions regarding ultrasonic algae control in cooling towers.