Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Hydrodynamic Cavitation Pilot Study for Controlling Cooling Water Quality

A field study was conducted on a cooling-tower system at an automotive manufacturing facility to evaluate the performance of a VRTX hydrodynamic cavitation device for disinfection, scaling, corrosion, and heat-transfer efficiency.

Primary findings are:
The VRTX unit performed as well as the chemical program that it replaced in terms of bacterial control without adding any chemicals (including disinfectants). The bacterial count was maintained at ~104 cfu/mL over 2 months of the study.

The VRTX unit enabled the cooling system to be operated at a higher cycle of concentration (CoC) than that used during the chemical program, without adversely affecting pH, scaling, and corrosion. This increase in CoC is expected to lead to a decreased water usage.

The observed corrosion rates of copper and mild steel were either equivalent or better than those obtained during the chemical program, though corrosion of galvanized steel was appreciable. The use of the VRTX unit did not appear to adversely affect heat-transfer efficiency.

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