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Control of water treatment in cooling towers

30th July 2015


The use of cooling towers is widespread across many industries and the water treatment process within these systems performs a crucial role which needs to be carefully controlled.

Cooling towers can be prone to issues such as scale build-up, corrosion and microbiological contamination, so installing a water treatment system to avoid these issues is crucial in maintaining an effective cooling process. Controlling all of the necessary sensors, valves and pumps requires a coordinated approach using multi-channel controllers to maintain the cooling system at its optimum level.

Process engineers, project planners and system engineers today increasingly face the challenge of on-demand and customer-specific automation of complex systems in less time. An integrated controller concept with pre-parameterised control system and defined information for the most common control valves and sensors offers many advantages in practice. This applies equally to OEMs and end users in industry, in the modernisation of existing systems or optimisation of existing processes.

Bürkert's Type 8619 multiCELL transmitter/controller is designed to cut processing costs in water treatment applications, providing one device for the direct connection of a wide range of sensors to measure parameters such as flow rate, pH, ORP, temperature and conductivity. In addition, the versatile multiCELL can also be configured as a Multipoint data logger with data storage on SD cards.

It is a highly versatile analysis measuring system comprising a fully-featured, modular base unit equipped with a large backlit display, user-friendly softkey controls, with two digital and frequency inputs, direct connections for various sensor types and two digital and analogue outputs that drive solenoid valves, control valves and actuators, - such as dosing pumps.

The high level of functionality included in the multiCELL unit can be expanded easily, by adding hardware and software modules. Depending on signal requirements, up to six pre-configured I/O boards can be added and software packages can be installed for further enhancements of the transmitter functions.

The advantage of this modular expansion facility is that multiCELL users only pay for the features which they actually require. Moreover, since the multiCELL provides a single transmitter across a wide range of applications, inventory and training costs are both minimised.

Though highly functional, the multiCELL can be operated easily and intuitively. The base for this is the large graphical display and the dynamically assigned function keys.

Clearly arranged menu and module structures allow easy configuration and setting of parameters as well as offering a high transparency for the functions in use. Four user views can be configured by the operator, which allows the user to design a view himself displaying a value arrangement which he likes to see simultaneously.

Control algorithms ensure that optimum process control is maintained at all times with minimal operator intervention. Chemical dosing pumps or control valves can be controlled via pulse, on/off or analogue signals, depending on the application in question. The adaptability and versatility of the multiCELL allows it to be integrated into a variety of applications, from the very simplistic to the more complex designs.

The process of designing, installing and commissioning the control apparatus for a water treatment application within a cooling tower system can be all the more complicated if a number of sensors and controllers are used from a variety of suppliers. In addition, more training will be required to ensure that both operators and maintenance engineers are familiar with the new control system.

By choosing an integrated system using products from one manufacturer the time required to complete the installation will be greatly reduced. During the manual parameterisation of the individual components, the technician frequently is confronted with differing operating concepts of different manufacturers – which increases the time needed for commissioning and also presents an additional source of potential errors.

The Bürkert Type 8619 multiCELL transmitter/controller delivers just such compatibility when used with the wide range of sensors, flowmeters, pumps and control valves which has been designed with this application in mind. Maintaining precise control over the water quality within the cooling system ensures reliable performance of associated equipment, reducing down-time and maintenance costs.

video: 

multiCELL: Universal Transmitter and Sensor Controller









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