A Fortune 100’s headquarters in Houston, Texas was certified LEED Gold in 2008. While continued efforts have been made each year to improve energy and water efficiencies, the company identified the need for its cooling system to improve water conservation, energy savings and chemicals reduction. HydroFLOW electronic water conditioning was recommended for achieving these additive savings.
HydroTech Solutions initiated a 90-day demonstration, beginning April 26, 2016, that continues successfully as a monthly service.
About the Facility
The headquarters campus features two buildings; each with a 1,000-ton cooling tower situated on the rooftop. The cooling towers exhibited scale buildup on infrastructure, fill, and piping. The chiller units are opened for cleaning and inspection annually, with scale accumulation at entry sections.
Three cycles of concentration were allowed with conductivity set-point of 1,500 µS for blowdown. Despite a chemicals management program for the control of scale, bacteria and corrosion; the cooling towers continued to exhibit accumulated scale and numerous algae colonies.
The HydroFLOW Demonstration
HydroTech Solutions provided a 90-day demonstration of HydroFLOW electronic water conditioning for reducing scale and biofouling accumulation, optimizing the chemical program, and decreasing the amount of makeup water and blowdown disposal. IoT enabled sensors were installed to provide water quantities and quality in real-time on mobile devices and desktops.
A 12” HydroFLOW unit was installed on the return line from the chiller, without drilling or cutting pipes, or interrupting water circulation. As a part of the baseline data gathering process, HydroTech personnel removed scale to bare metal in several areas for future validation that HydroFLOW prevented new scale from forming, while removing existing scale.
Baseline data was collected for make-up water volume, sewer disposal volume, historic conductivity, total bacteria in the water, and water chemistry for reference when the demonstration was completed.
Chemicals were gradually reduced over a span of four weeks. Once it was confirmed scale and biofouling control was achieved with a combination of HydroFLOW and minimal chemical usage, cycles of concentration were increased gradually to 7.
Validated Cost Savings for the Company with IoT Sensors
The company’s goal of maintaining the cooling system within industry standards while reducing chemical and blowdown water usage was validated by internet-enabled (IoT) water meters and sensors that provide real-time operating data for analysis that validates performance and cost savings on mobile phones and desktops.
The Total Water Management program continues to deliver water and energy cost savings monthly, and the substitution of environmentally friendly chemistry allows safe water discharge for landscaping when the storage system is installed.
Data is accessible by the customer 24/7 and they apply analytics for procurement, operations and the environmental and sustainability team have valuable water conservation data to share in the Sustainability Report, as over 2 million gallons of water per year is conserved.
The comparison of scale and biological accumulation on equipment before and after the installation of HydroFLOW and the Total Water Management program is conclusive. No Scale or Bio accumulation despite being at 7 Cycles of Concentration, with a conductivity setpoint at 4,500 µS for blowdown, which is less than 10,000 gallons per month.
The monthly fee for the equipment, sensors, solid chemistry, real-time data and monthly reports are more than paid for by water conservation cost savings.
Total Water Management Benefits Include:
- Water cost savings of $2,500 per month
- Doubled Cycles of Concentration conserves ~250,000 gallons per month
- 50% Blowdown reduction, saving significant water disposal
- Non-hazardous chemistry, with a reduction of chemical use by 75%
- Prevention of scale formation throughout the cooling system
- IoT enabled sensors measure water quality and quantity in real-time
- Dissolved minerals crystallize and are removed by filtration
- Chiller tubes were free of scale deposits
HydroFLOW devices apply a pulsed frequency that travels throughout a water system and cause dissolved minerals to crystallize in the water so that they are filtered out. The crystals cannot attach, and hard scale is prevented from forming on pipes and equipment.
The ±150 kHz frequency also disrupts biofilm and bacteria, which minimizes biological loading in a recirculating water system, such as a cooling tower.
HydroFLOW is installed on the outside of a pipe of any material (plastic, metal, etc.) without cutting or modifications. Water can be used for longer cycles before disposal, with opportunities for reuse in irrigation or graywater systems which further conserves water and associated expenses.
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Chief Operating Officer
HydroTech Solutions, LLC
1019 North Henderson Blvd. #109
Fort Worth, Texas 76107