What exactly is side stream filtration?
Side stream filtration is a method of cleaning water in a system that does not clean it all at once. In contrast to inline filtration, which runs continuous filtration on all water, side stream filtration cleans the water in segments (but continuously). This can be effective depending on the system's goals; for example, the force of the water flow and the most common contaminants will influence how a side stream filtration option works, as higher pressure will necessitate more robust components.
Open Loop Systems
Open-loop and closed-loop systems perform differently, regardless of whether side stream filtration is used. Process fluid enters the cooling station and flows over the warm areas in an open-loop system. The water used to cool the heated sections is now exposed to open air, which means it can become contaminated with any contaminants present in the environment or atmosphere.
Closed Loop Systems
Closed-loop systems, on the other hand, are not exposed to contaminants from the environment because the water that passes over the heated elements to cool them is contained within a closed "circuit" that prevents outside contact. This does not, however, preclude contaminants from entering the water.
Closed-loop systems are still susceptible to contaminants and solids as a result of corrosion, leaking, new construction, or the addition of new system components. These contaminants can cause additional erosion as well as wear and tear on metals, seals, valves, and any monitoring instruments in the system over time. Pollutants can also promote microbiological growth and reduce the efficacy of water treatment chemicals.
What is cooling tower side stream filtration?
Side stream filtration is a non-destructive water treatment process for cooling towers that does not interfere with tower operations. With a side stream filtration unit, you can effectively and efficiently remove particulate from the tower's circulating water without having to completely disconnect the system's water supply.
In this regard, side stream filters differ from other mechanical water treatment methods such as a filter press or clarifier. Side stream filters continuously work to keep your tower's water clean rather than waiting until it becomes too dirty for safe operations, allowing you to reduce unnecessary downtime.
This is especially important for cooling towers, whose water supply is frequently contaminated by drift contamination. Bacteria, dust, human hair, and airborne process waste – anything in the environment can be a problem. Because these harmful particles can and will enter the cooling tower, side stream filters ensure that they are filtered out in a timely manner and before they become a bigger problem.
Indeed, side stream filtration can help to reduce the risk of the top five cooling tower issues:
· Fouling and biofilm.
· Contaminants in the process, such as dust and dirt.
· Sump overflow and foaming.
How to Select a Side Stream Filtration System?
Choosing the right filter for your cooling tower will be influenced by the specific requirements of your application. These are some examples:
· Contaminants found in cooling tower water/environment
· The makeup water quality in the tower
· Any system-specific restrictions
· The chemical treatment programme at the tower
· Cooling tower count and size
· Rates of flow
Because these can have an impact on the requirements of your side stream filters, it is best to conduct a particle analysis on the water in your tower to determine exactly what you're dealing with. A good filtration specialist or supplier/manufacturer can assist with this.
Once you've determined your cooling tower's water treatment requirements, you're ready to select a side stream filter. When selecting a filter, the most important factors to consider are particle removal size, energy costs, modularity, and backwash requirements/costs.