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Filter Keeps Cooling Tower Free of Debris

Osram Sylvania's Towanda, Penn., plant is the company’s largest factory. Plants such as this run process cooling towers 24/7 to remove heat from cooling-tower water used to supply cool air for facility occupants and equipment.



For 60 years, Osram Sylvania has supplied powder technology, high-temperature metallurgy, and inorganic chemistry used in manufacturing lighting products, automotive and electronic parts, and defense systems.

Osram’s Towanda, Penn., plant is the company’s largest factory. Plants such as this run process cooling towers 24/7 to remove heat from cooling-tower water used to supply cool air for facility occupants and equipment.

Contamination and debris were fouling the closed-loop recirculation system in the plant’s cooling tower. The system mixes air and water, which allows contaminants to transfer to the inline filtration system.

Airborne materials were blocking the inline filtration system, causing an automatic shutdown of the processing system. Osram needed to call maintenance personnel daily to clean the strainers.

Before speaking with EM Cahill Co., an HVAC service provider, Gary Wilcox, production supervisor for Osram, considered adding a costly chemical additive to the loop to prevent contaminants from plugging the in-line strainer.

After evaluating the site, EM Cahill recommended attaching Permatron Corp.’s PreVent® equipment-protection filters to air-inlet louvers. The cost of the media and installation would pay for itself through reduced maintenance costs and process uptime.

Process cooling cycles include continuous water trickling down within the tower – close to the air-intake louvers – a key consideration for technicians installing the filters. Ice can block airflow in cold weather. But EM Cahill developed a steel holding-frame system to position filters away from the area in which the water can freeze.


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