Article | June 27, 2018

Who Turned Up The Heat? What You Need To Know About Biofilms And Heat Transfer

Source: LuminUltra Technologies Ltd.

By Brad McIlwain, LuminUltra

Rooftop cooling water systems

Whether you work at an oil refinery, power plant, or in an office building, chances are you owe your comfort to a cooling tower. These engineering marvels are responsible for keeping your process fluids cool, turbines spinning, and even your work environment comfortable by transferring heat from water to air. Of course, where there is water, there will be microorganisms. Bacteria, fungi, and algae can thrive under the warm and humid conditions commonly found in cooling systems. Bacteria are particularly problematic, as they can attach and form biofilms on the surfaces of heat exchange systems, limiting their ability to transfer and reject heat from the water.