You should pay attention to the cooling tower fan assembly as you consider the cooling tower design that you are going to have installed at your industrial complex. This article discusses some design features that can help to reduce the safety or maintenance issues that you will have once the cooling towers become operational.

Use of Carbon Fibre Couplings

Several fans are usually arranged in groups within the cooling tower. Such an assembly usually relies on couplings that link the different fans to the motor and gearbox that is operating those fans. Safety and maintenance issues usually arise when the couplings that were used rust due to the impact of water on the bearings inside those couplings. You can avoid such problems by asking the designer of your cooling towers to use carbon fibre couplings instead of steel couplings. Carbon fibre couplings are stiff and made from a single piece of material. This removes the need to install bearings within the assembly. Consequently, no bearing failures will occur if no bearings were included in the design of the cooling tower. This will reduce the downtime that would have occurred due to fan assembly failures.

Choose FRP Fan Blades

Fan blades in cooling towers can be made from several materials, such as wood, aluminium and fibreglass reinforced plastics (FRP). Each of these materials has its own strengths and drawbacks. For instance, wood may be affordable, but it quickly rots in a moist environment.  Ask the designer to use FRP fan blades instead of the other available materials. The FRP fan blades will offer you several advantages, such as greater durability and resistance to cracking. This will reduce the frequency of buying replacement blades for the fans in your cooling towers. Any failure will also be less risky because the blades are light. Such blades can easily be contained within the cooling tower once they break off.

Fix a Remote Accelerometer

The gearbox running the fans is often hard to access for routine inspection and maintenance. Consequently, problems are only detected once a failure inside the gearbox occurs. You can increase your chances of detecting any gearbox problem early by asking the designer of your cooling towers to install a remote accelerometer on the gearboxes. Such a device will alert you as soon as there are changes in the operational parameters of the gearbox. You will then schedule downtime in order to fix that problem before it causes a major failure within the cooling tower system.