New Product Streamlines Cooling Tower Cleaning


JPMorgan International Plaza, located in Dallas, Texas, is a 1.2 million square foot office complex consisting of three high-rise office buildings. The four-year-old, multi tenant complex is managed by Wilcox Realty Group.

Keeping the buildings' cooling systems running at peak efficiency is critical not only for the comfort of the tenants but also for the bottom line. Cooling tower maintenance and cleaning was a time consuming job requiring the cooling tower and the chillers it sends chilled water to to be shut down for as much as eight hours at a time. This meant cooling tower cleaning had to be performed after hours resulting in overtime expenses and scheduling difficulties. In addition, it meant that all of the water and water treatment chemicals from the cooling tower basin had to be poured down the drain and replaced after each cleaning.

Dwayne Bratton, Chief Engineer for Wilcox Realty Group at JPMorgan International Plaza reports, "Problems that have been encountered include issues such as air balancing and pressurization issues and hydronic balancing. The 24 x 7 schedules that have been implemented by our largest tenant mandate that we adhere to the windows for maintenance that have been provided for engineering to perform any type of invasive maintenance or procedures." It is imperative that Bratton stay abreast of "commercial advancements in our area".

A new product introduced by Goodway Technologies Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut, makes it possible to clean cooling towers on line in a fraction of the time manual cleaning takes to perform. This product, the Model CTV-1500 Cooling Tower Vacuum is simple to use by only one operator and it is designed to quickly remove the debris that settles in the cooling tower basin, even the debris that gets under the fill.

"Products such as the Goodway CTV keep after hours maintenance to a minimum by allowing engineering to perform basin cleaning during normal business hours", said Bratton. "This keeps after hours labor fees and tenant down time to a minimum, as well as reducing HVAC system down time."

Some of the added benefits obtained by Wilcox Realty by using the CTV-1500 are the ability to clean the basins more frequently. This helps keep the chiller tubes cleaner longer allowing them to operate more efficiently. The result is savings on energy and equipment operating costs. It also minimizes under deposit corrosion of the metal surfaces of the basin. In addition, operators of the vacuum never need to come in contact with the biological contaminants in the basin (some operators complain of flu-like symptoms after manually cleaning out the basin). Water and treatment chemical savings are also realized with this new method. Says Bratton, "Wilcox Engineering is constantly striving to find new methods and technologies to keep maintenance tasks from being scheduled after hours or to keep invasive events to a minimum time frame. This also enables the properties to reap the rewards of reduced electrical and mechanical issues, increasing property savings."

"By investigating product purchases such as the Goodway CTV", Bratton continues, "preventive maintenance can be instituted in other facilities (24 x 7 or not) during normal business hours with little or no impact to their facility and can be utilized in many varied climates and conditions."