Efficient heat transfer in evaporative cooling towers is essential for optimal performance. A cooling tower's performance is determined by many factors, among which is a proper tower fill. The fill medium is installed inside the tower to increase the contact surface area and contact time between air and water for improved heat transfer. There are two common types of fill media, splash fill and film fill. But what's the difference between the two? More so, how do you choose the best one for increase efficiency and optimal performance? Read on to find out.

Splash fill

Splash fill consists of layers of horizontal bars or slats. When the warm water hits the surface of these bars, it spreads, breaks, and forms small droplets. As more droplets are formed, there is increased contact between air and water, which accelerates the rate of cooling and evaporation. Splash fill media were traditionally made from wood, but modern designs make use of PVC. PVC is more efficient as it facilitates better heat transfer.

Splash fill is ideal for use in industries which generate poor quality or dirty water.  As the water is broken up to form small droplets, there is no medium in which dirt and debris can be caught and trapped; therefore, the efficiency of the medium is not reduced.

Film fill

Film fill consists of closely placed thin sheets of PVC material with a flat, corrugated or otherwise textured surface. It creates a large surface area on which the hot recirculated water spreads forming a thin film in contact with air. It allows heat to evaporate at an accelerated rate and cools the water faster.

Film fill is ideal for cooling clean and quality water, as any debris in the water can build up in the film media and reduce its efficiency and overall performance of the cooling tower. However, you can get a film fill with wider flutes if your water is not clean.

Choosing between splash and fill film

Both splash and film fill are ideal for facilitating the evaporation and cooling process in a cooling tower. However, film fill media is more efficient in heat transfer as it creates a larger surface area, hence optimized performance. However, it is more susceptible to wear and tear due to constant exposure to water at very high temperatures.

If your cooling tower applications involve recirculating water with poor quality and high solids content, you may opt for splash fill media for better performance. Also, if water is generated at very high temperatures, you may consider splash fill media with metallic bars as film fill media will wear away prematurely.

Cooling towers are essential equipment in most manufacturing industries. With this knowledge, you can choose the right type of tower fill media for optimal performance and improved efficiency of your industry's cooling tower.