SAVING WATER WITH ADIABATICS

At the United Nations Water Conference held in New York in March, 2023, US corporations were urged to address water scarcity issues. Like many other countries in the world, the USA is increasingly prone to a lack of this precious resource as a result of severe environmental conditions. A vivid example can be found in the once mighty Colorado River, which provides water for 40 million people. It is currently flowing at some of the lowest levels ever seen, as a result of a severe drought that has afflicted the southwest of the US for decades.

When one of North America’s leading discount store companies decided to renovate the comfort cooling at its network of 24 distribution centres across the US, reducing water usage was a major consideration, together with cutting down on chemical use and energy consumption.

As a result, Neil Boucher, National Sales Manager for Güntner in the US, received a telephone call. “It was Gartner Refrigeration in Minneapolis,” he recalls. “They said they were doing this project for the company, who wanted to replace all their old existing cooling equipment with new water-saving and energy-saving adiabatics. They had been impressed by a previous project using Güntner adiabatic cooling systems with hydroBLU™ at a very hot environment in Texas, and they wanted to continue down that road.”

Case Study Dist Centre US Content

Boucher worked with Gartner and Frick-Johnson Controls on a strategy for this huge project. It was decided that the engine room of the cooling system for each site would be constructed as a skid package at Gartner’s main facility and then transported by road to its final destination. Frick-Johnson Controls acted as a one-stop shop for all the refrigeration components in each skid, including compressors, heat exchanger and welded ammonia pressure vessels. “These skids are gigantic,” says Jim Spade, District Sales Manager at Frick-Johnson Controls, who helped to ensure the equipment provided would fit perfectly inside the skid package. “They ship in two sections, each one about 13 feet wide and 50 feet long. The project is under way and we’ve already got one in situ in South Carolina and another in Florida. After that will come Oklahoma, Georgia and Utah.”

Once the skids arrive at each site, the two sections are joined together, and two Güntner High Density Ammonia Condensers are raised onto the roof and connected. They combine dry-cooling heat exchangers with hydroBLU™, Güntner’s pre-cooling system based on humidification pads. As long as the temperature in the cooling system doesn’t exceed a pre-set threshold, no cooling water is used. Once the threshold is passed, whether that’s due to a peak in load or the ambient temperature, humidification of the pads is activated. The end result is a huge reduction in water usage in comparison with other cooling towers.

“THE CUSTOMER REALISED THAT THEY COULD REDUCE THEIR WATER USAGE BY BETWEEN 60% AND 90%. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF WATER SAVED.”
NEIL BOUCHER NATIONAL SALES MANAGER, GÜNTNER

Boucher used the Güntner Product Selector software application to work out the best parameters for each installation on a year-round basis. This was based on local climate data, water and energy costs, and water availability. “We’re installing these units in different locations all over the country, with different conditions and climates. It meant I was able to give the customer confidence that capacity would always be met without an excessive strain on the system, whatever the conditions,” he says.

As well as saving water, the Güntner Condensers also require no chemical treatments. And they’re built to last. “Our Adiabatic Condensers and the stainless steel tubes will last for 30 years as long as they're serviced,” says Boucher.

“WATER USE IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE OF AN ISSUE FOR COMPANIES IN THE US. USING GÜNTNER HYDROBLU™ TECHNOLOGY ON THIS PROJECT WAS A GREAT WAY TO TAKE THE WATER COMPONENT OUT OF OUR CUSTOMER’S REALM OF CONCERN.”
JIM SPADE DISTRICT SALES MANAGER, FRICK-JOHNSON CONTROLS