Air conditioning and refrigeration equipment requires less energy to power the turbines and the compressors with cold water2. The colder the water in chemical plant processes, the more efficient the condensation process and the greater the volume of saleable product yielded at lower cost. The hot water in power generation stations produces an energy penalty which deprives the facility of power sales. Poor vacuums and higher back pressures on turbines, due to insufficient cooling water, require additional energy to produce design kilowatts, which reduces profits.
After the cooling tower has been erected, proper operation and maintenance is required to yield full unit production. With poor maintenance, the towers can lose appreciable performance. To emphasize the amount of actual dollar loss by a malfunctioning cooling tower, the calculations are enumerated further on. A deficient (low-bid nominal) cooling tower plus improper maintenance can mean tower performance loss, which could amount to as much as 5°F added to cold water temperature. What does 5° in cold water temperature from a cooling tower mean to an operating unit?