Cooling Towers in India, as we all know, are used to reject waste heat to the surrounding atmosphere by using water that is cooler or of lower temperature. Almost all business houses, power plants and industries in India require cooling towers. Around 27 suppliers of Cooling Towers in India exist in order to help run air-conditioning plants.

Cooling towers in India therefore have a major role to play in the HVAC &R industry. Several firms specialising in providing Cooling towers to power plants and Industries have entered in to foreign collaborations to enhance the structural and thermal design of this important device.

The Current State

Depending on the heat rejection methods, cooling towers can be classified as Dry cooling towers, Wet cooling towers and Fluid Coolers or Closed Circuit Cooling towers. Cooling Towers in India are mostly wet cooling towers. These are based on the evaporative cooling method. In this the working fluid and the evaporative fluid is usually water and are always the same.

The wet type cooling towers in India use splash packing made of primarily three materials, wood, asbestos and RCC. The rest of the world however has started on the use of PVC as a material used for splash packing in addition to RCC and wood. This is yet to be found in the large wet cooling towers installed or about to be installed in Indian industries. Small towers in India, however, do use plastic or PVC film packing.

Based on the kind of air flow inducted for rejecting the waste heat, cooling towers can be classified as natural draft and induced (mechanical) draft towers. Cooling Towers in India report a maximum capacity of 40,800m3/hr for natural draft towers and 37,130m3/hr for induced draft towers.

Depending on the direction of air-water flow, cooling towers have been categorized into counter-flow and cross-flow designs. Cooling towers in India are seen in both these designs depending upon the industry needs.

Areas of Improvement

Manufacturers of Cooling Towers in India are comfortably positioned to provide industries with relevant manufacturing or constructional facilities. They have been able to independently manufacture facilities that meet the emerging demands in the cooling tower industry. However, there is still one area of dependency which needs to be worked on.

Manufacturers of Cooling towers India are heavily dependent on foreign tie-ups and associations to deliver effective thermal and structural designs of cooling towers. The focus should be indigenising the whole approach similar to what they have followed for manufacturing the components. They should be exploring the possibility to approach Indian academic and research institutes to help them ideate and deliver effectively. An increasing number of collaborations should be signed in order to fructify this objective.

Future Growth Path for Cooling Towers India

The availability of adequate supply of water has not necessitated the need for dry cooling towers in India. However, with the growing number of Industries, it will soon become an imperative to explore the opportunities associated with setting up dry cooling towers. It is therefore ideal that Indian manufacturers start working on the need and feasibility analysis in order to be prepared for the move when required.

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