Machinery with moving parts usually overheat when exposed to friction. The best way to cool these machines is using water coolant flowmeters. There are six types of cooling flow meters that allow operators to prevent breakages due to overheating.
You can choose one of the cooling systems to prevent overheating in your application. Each type of cooling flow meter has its pros and cons.
This article is meant to help you make an informed choice when buying and installing a coolant flow meter. Here are the six types of liquid flow metering systems:
- Closed-loop dry flowmeters
- Chilled water system
- Open-loop evaporative system
- Closed-loop dry system with trim cooling
- Closed-loop evaporative system
Liquid-to-Liquid Cooling Flow Meters
The simplest of all cooling systems is a liquid-to-liquid cooling flow meter. This type of flow meter uses well water to cool the Compressor.
It’s an ideal liquid flow metering system if you have well water laying around. The well water is used on the other side of an intermediate heat exchanger to cool off the Compressor.
Glycol and water are used on the other side as coolants. The heat exchanger doesn’t foul the heat exchanger from the intermediate heat exchanger. Fouling of the heat exchanger will happen on the well waterside.
The operator can take the intermediate heat exchanger apart and clean it. That will depend on whether the IH exchanger is picked in the right way. The most commonly used HI exchangers are shell & tube or plate & frame.
A coolant temperature of 5° above the plant cooling “water” is achieved when using a liquid-to-liquid cooling flow meter. The well water is 55° F. This type of cooling flow meter can supply a 60° F coolant to the load.
The L to L cooling flow meter is cheaper and easy to install, making it the preferred type compared to other cooling meters. It is also quite convenient because the user can install it inside or outside the plant.
Closed-Loop Dry Cooling Flow Meters
The closed-loop dry cooling system works the same way as a car radiator. Using an air-cooled fluid cooler, this type of coolant flow meter transfers heat to the closed-loop coolant fluid pumped through rows of finned tubes.
This type of coolant has other support components to help it with the cooling process. The parts include the pump and control skid, piping system, the fluid cooler, and a fan(s).
Heat is rejected in this type of coolant using ambient air installed outside. Coolant temperatures of 5° F to 10° F above the ambient dry bulb temperature are achievable when using this type of cooling flow meter.
It is affordable to use since the only parts that consume energy are the coolant pump and the fluid cooler fan/s. Undercooling or overcooling is prevented by thermostats that regulate the temperature of the cooling fluid.
The atmospheric condition where the fluid cooler operates is dirty. Therefore, it needs to be cleaned regularly. Fouling will take place due to seeds, wood, leaves, dirt, and debris. It is an ideal coolant flow meter because it is easily installed and used.
The operator can also control the low consumption of energy that this cooling system uses.
The maintenance activities needed in this type of cooling system includes checking the cooling fluid regularly, carrying out regular inspection, and regular lubrication.
The cons of using the closed-loop dry cooling flow meter is that it is dependent on the atmospheric dry bulb. This means that free clear air is needed for it to work efficiently.
Closed-loop Dry Cooling Flow Meter with Trim Cooling
What makes the closed-loop dry system with a trim cooler different from the closed-loop dry system is an added supplemental. Proper coolant temp is achievable in this type of cooling flow meter where the dry bulb is too high in summer.
The addition of a liquid-to-liquid trim cooler makes it easier for the operator to use a water source to reduce heat to the needed set point.
A trim cooler is used to prevent overreliance on city water which is quite expensive. Another benefit of this type of cooling meter is that it cuts down the amount of wasted water that needs to be disposed of.
A cooling flow meter comes in many varieties. The aim of cooling flow meters is to regulate the surrounding temperature to ensure equipment functions at optimum levels.
This means that each application requires its own special type of cooling system. The manufacturer of the coolant system will give you guidance on which liquid flow metering system to install in your plant. Research on a reliable manufacturer before making a buying decision.