The use of ozone as a maintenance treatment for cooling towers has good potential for operation and maintenance savings in the Federal sector. A small amount of ozone acts as a powerful biocide that decreaces or nearly eliminates the need to remove quantities of water from the cooling tower in order to decrease the concentration of organic and mineral solids in the system. Ozone treatment can also reduce the need for chemical additives added to the cooling tower water.
In a properly installed and operating system, bacterial counts are reduced, with a subsequent minimization of the buildup of biofilm on heat exchanger surfaces. The resulting reduction in energy use, increased cooling tower operating efficiency, and reduced maintenance effort provide cost savings as well as enviromental benefit and regulatory compliance with respect to discharge of wastewater from blow down.
Cooling towers associated with chillers for air-conditioning are good candidates for ozone applications. Ozone may be a corrosion stimulant rather than an inhibitor, and this can be a factor in some circumstances. Nevertheless, it is easier to combat corrosion in a clean sysetm than in that is biologically and mineralogically fouled.