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Marco Hurtado, Meras Water Solutions       Industrial Division Manager

The water that runs through evaporative condensers has one of the most important jobs in your facility. It keeps your stored goods fresh and safe; it ensures that packing and distribution moves along with minimal interruption, and it does so with little involvement from you – for a short amount of time at least.

Whether you know it or not, that water may be harboring issues not immediately obvious. These issues, when left unaddressed, translates to more waste and less efficiency. Studies show that as little as .005 inches of scaling on the surface your ammonia coils increase the energy required to transfer heat by 5%. This number compounds linearly, forcing your systems to work harder as contaminates grow. Slowly but surely, your most important asset can become a costly headache.

Identify water that is working against you, rather than for you? Submitting a water sample to a professional lab for analysis is a great way to know exactly what you are up against. You can also assess the general condition of your own water. These simple steps are the first in the right direction.

  1. Visual: Look at your system. Is there any obvious scaling or slime on the heat exchange surfaces? Can you spot algae beginning to bloom? Discoloration or murkiness is a sure sign there is an impending issue.
  2. Odor: Biofouling may have a distinct if faint smell. A musky or spoiling-like odor often accompanies other signs that there may be hidden microfouling.
  3. Touch: Water riddled with impurities, such as biofouling, often has a soft, scummy feel to it. A simple swipe across the surface of the tank can give you a ton of insight.
  4. Performance analysis: Dip slides are a simple tool that can reveal a huge amount of information. These small, economical slides are dipped into the water and placed in an 86-degree environment for 48 hours. They then give you HPC readings and a general observation of the bacteria your system is harboring. Contact Meras water solutions to schedule a technician to perform this analysis for you.

Let us say that you have assessed your water and it has unacceptable levels of minerality and/or microfouling. If your water displays characteristics that can lead to scaling, it may be time to re-evaluate your chemical program and the setting established for your controller. For many, the solution to biofouling is to load your system up with bleach or other biocides and hope that, this time, you caught it before the fouling got out of control. Many facilities do exactly this every summer when temperatures rise and bacteria begins to take hold, making shocking your system a normal procedure for some.  

By looking at the science behind your system, technicians can stop this cycle in its tracks – completely negating the need for extreme treatments that eventually lead to system failure due to biocide-resistant bacteria and corrosion. To accomplish this, they track data on your system regularly and anticipate your system’s unique patterns. In turn, you will see heightened heat transfer and less disruption to your operations.

Your water should never be your enemy.  Instead, trust its care to experts. We are here to ensure that it is working for you and with you, every step of the way.  

Resources: https://www.awt.org/resources/seed-program/water-careers/science-of-scaling/

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