Business and institutions can significantly reduce cooling tower water use and save on their water, wastewater and energy bills by making operational and water treatment changes. To help these customers save water and money, Austin Water offers rebates of up to $100,000 under its “Bucks for Business” Commercial Rebate Program for water treatment and other systems that increase water efficiency or replace the use of potable water.
Operational changes include installing conductivity controllers, makeup and blowdown meters, overflow alarms, and drift eliminators.These measures are now required for new and upgraded cooling tower installations as well as a minimum of five cycles of concentration when drinking water is used.
Additional savings can be achieved by installing water treatment or other systems to increase water use efficiency by reducing makeup and blowdown water necessary when contaminants build up in the water. These systems include:
corrosion, algae and scaling inhibitors, such as water softeners, sulfuric acid, ozonation and biocides;
side stream filtration using rapid sand, cartridge, or cyclonic filters that help remove solids; and
the reuse of high quality facility process water or AC condensate
Water savings that may result from increasing cycles of concentration are illustrated in the chart below:
Systems that replace or reduce the use of cooling water including multi-split, variable refrigerant volume, and geo-thermal systems are also eligible for rebates. Energy conservation measures that reduce load on cooling towers may also be eligible for a rebate from Austin Energy.
Austin Water also offers a cooling tower evaporative loss credit program that further reduces wastewater bills.