HVAC Water Tower Controls

Temperature controls for refrigerating service are designed to maintain adequate head pressure with evaporative condensers and cooling towers. Low refrigerant head pressure, caused by abnormally low cooling water temperature, reduces the capacity of the refrigeration system.

Two systems of control for mechanical and atmospheric draft towers and evaporative condensers are shown in Figs. 14-23 and 14-24. The control opens the contacts when the temperature drops. These contacts are wired in series with the fan motor. Or they can be wired to the pilot of a fan-motor controller. Opening the contacts stops the fan when the cooling water temperature falls to a predetermined minimum value. This value corresponds to the minimum head pressure for proper operation. In the control system shown in Fig. 14-24, the contacts close on a temperature drop and are wired in series with a normally closed motorized valve or a solenoid valve. The contacts open the valve when low cooling temperature occurs. The cooling water then flows through a low header in the atmospheric tower. This reduces its cooling effect and the head pressure increases.

Float switches are used to control the level of water in the cooling tower. Automatic float switches provide automatic control for motors operating tank or sump pumps. They are built in several styles and can be supplied with several types of accessories that provide rod or chain operation and either wall or floor mounting. A sensor system may also be used. There are hundreds of sensor types. They usually sense the level of water by using two probes. When the water contacts the probes, it causes a small electrical current (at low voltages) to flow and energize a solenoid or relay that in turn causes the water to be turned off. When the level of water is below the two probes and a complete circuit is not available, the normally closed relay contacts are closed by de-energizing the relay. This causes the water solenoid to be energized. This allows makeup water to flow into the cooling tower until it reaches the point where the probes are immersed in water and the cycle is repeated.

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