System Condenser Water

Image provided by Ferris State University

Together with chilled water systems, condenser water systems are used remove heat energy from a building or process.  While chilled water systems are used to absorb heat energy from within a building or process, condenser water systems are used to remove that heat energy from the building and reject it to the atmosphere.

The most common method of rejecting heat uses a cooling tower which is located outside of the building. In these systems, also known as “tower water systems”, water heated by the chiller is pumped to the top of the tower and is allowed to cascade down like a waterfall over a porous media to a sump located at the bottom of the tower. Air is drawn through porous media using a fan, causing the water to cool. The cooled water is then returned to the chiller to absorb more heat energy and repeat the cycle. In essence, the condenser water system connects the chiller to the cooling tower through supply and return piping. Water cooled in the tower is “supplied” to the chiller, which adds heat to the water and “returns” it to the tower. 

Because tower water systems are open to the atmosphere, the water is prone to contamination and must be chemically treated.  Such systems will include the normal pumps and valves, and will also include a chemical treatment station.

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