The 2023 Cooling Technology Institute Annual Conference


The 2023 Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) Annual Conference for manufacturers, owner operators, and suppliers of heat rejection equipment (i.e. cooling towers, adiabatic coolers and dry coolers) was held Jan. 29 - Feb. 2 at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. This article will synopsize the event’s educational curriculum, share perspective from participating businesses and highlight products and services offered by a handful of firms present at the event’s trade show. 


Conference Sessions and Committee Work

The mission of CTI is to advocate and promote the use of all environmentally responsible commercial cooling technologies. Three committees make up CTI’s primary working groups - Engineering, Standards & Maintenance (ESM); Performance & Technology (P&T); and Water Treatment (WT). The conference featured over 35 presentations by recently published technical paper authors from the industry. To provide a feel for the technical depth covered in the conference, topics ranged all the way from; lightning protection of cooling towers; computer vision assisted condition assessment; condensation modeling of plume from a mechanical draft cooling tower and what went wrong with a mass balance calculation of evaporation. More topics included; footprint influencing factor analysis of polypropylene fill based on literature data; 95% recovery of cooling tower blowdown with advance reverse unit; and sizing of plume abatement coils.

The conference also produced water treatment panel discussions, fundamentals seminars, and the long-standing Ask-the-Expert Seminar. The panel was prompted, “How do you see the industry evolving in the next five years?” Responses ranged from automation, online sensors, better water treatment for lower quality water, faster build times for field-erected towers, to more water usage regulation citing coming regulations in southern Nevada. In the days prior, many attendees expressed how much they look forward to the audience engagement this seminar provides. The panel was even playfully heckled by the audience as this seminar was introducing new mobile application question submittal. 

Drew Manser (CTI), Dan Reith (EvapTech), Jamie Bland (Composite Cooling Solutions), Jim Baker (CTI Board of Directors and Treasurer, Galebreaker Industrial), Jack Bland (ChemTreat), Loraine Huchler, PE, CMC (MarTech Systems), Corey Baker (SPX Cooling Tech) and Gabe Ramos (Black & Veatch) on the Ask-the-Expert panel (left to right). 

At the introductory luncheon, the CTI Board of Directors provided updates on industry trends and recognized the efforts of long-standing CTI members.

Brandon Rees, Cooling Tower Depot and Jon Bickford Alliant Energy Oustanding Service Award.jpg
Caption: Brandon Rees, Cooling Tower Depot and Jon Bickford, Alliant Energy, receiving the Outstanding Service Award.

When asked about his experiences with CTI, Jon Bickford, Operating Crew Foreman from Alliant Energy shared, “That’s an easy one. I recently rebuilt my cooling tower system and couldn’t have done it without all the connections I’ve made at CTI who make my life easy. I’ve never been led astray.” Jalene Fritz, CTI Membership Committee and representing Tower Performance based in Houston, TX added, “Jon has been invaluable to CTI.”

Frank Foster, Tower Performance, receiving the Distinguished Leadership Award. 

Anthony DePalma receiving the Honorary Life Member Award. 

In the technical committee meetings, each committee advances its current efforts in the development of test codes and standards, and updates reopened test codes on five-year cycle reviews. “As an example, dry and adiabatic test codes are in progress, and we have reopened the air-cooled steam condenser and the evaporative condenser test codes,” said Scott Nevins, Vice Chair, P&T Committee and Director of HVAC, Cooling Tower Group with EVAPCO. 

CTI is welcoming new owners/operators, suppliers and equipment manufacturer members. “There are so many easy-access, educational resources at your disposal, as a member of CTI,” said Nina Woicke, Vice Chair of ESM, Freelance Engineer based in Cologne, Germany. 

“With the library of resources here for owner operators on technical standards and guidelines written by groups of experts, there’s so much information and so much to learn,” echoed Philip Poll, Vice President, OBR Cooling Towers

Many of the member equipment manufacturers, component suppliers and service suppliers exhibited during the trade show. With floor traffic busy, a few firms had an opportunity to share comments with press - shared here alphabetically.


Trade Show Roundup 

The Aggreko Cooling Tower Services (ACTS) rental fleet of evaporative, forced draft, counterflow cooling towers are equipped with multiple direct drive fans. ACTS works to help industrial plants recover from cooling tower malfunction, account for sudden variation in demand, and supply flows during planned system projects.

Travis Whaley and Billy Childers at the Aggreko booth (left to right).

Baltimore Aircoil Company’s Nexus Modular Hybrid Cooler eliminates the need for a separate heat exchanger or coil. Its iPilot Control System operates in energy saver, water saver or nexus mode depending on your needs. Advantages include a compact footprint, optional UV system for reducing bacterial growth, no need for permanent ladders or elevated platforms and more.

Frank Morrison, Dave Wall and Hussnain Yaser at the Baltimore Aircoil Company booth (left to right). 

Brentwood Industries displayed its engineered fill media and components for cooling tower applications. Shockwave, its most recent product introduction, is a thermally engineered advancement to standard vertical-fluted fills. An enhanced vertical flute orientation leverages the fouling resistance of vertical-fluted products with the thermal performance of high efficiency fills. Dylan Ziegler, Application Engineer, presented on his paper co-authored by Nina Woicke titled Lab Evaluation of Fill Component Flammability. This topic was the source of several questions and discussions during the Ask-the-Expert Seminar.

Dylen Ziegler, Ellen Duggan, Jason Zerbe, Vinessa Ferraro, Luis Almonte, Micah Rees, Scott Lucas and Ron Schumacher at the Brentwood Industries booth (left to right).

Eurovent offers certification programs for a wide range of heat rejection and air conditioning equipment in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Eurovent also partners with CTI for select certification programs. A European cooling tower manufacturer could request a CTI certificate for a product line after being certified by Eurovent, for example. Eurovent’s corresponding certification to the CTI STD-201RS is titled ECC OM-4-2017.

Ian Butler at the Eurovent booth. 

Flender Corporation exhibited its helical and bevel-helical gear units for cooling towers. Flender offers customer- and application-specific gear units for dozens of applications. It also displayed the DX500 monitoring solution for industrial gear units, providing owner/operators with remote temperature and vibration measurements, condition and alarm monitoring, data evaluation and diagnostics through the DS Assist mobile application.

Roger Thomas and Eli Jacobson at the Flender Corporation booth (left to right).

Galebreaker Industrial Solutions offers windscreens, CFD modeling, winterization screens, debris filters, plume abatement, recirculation screens and other solutions for air-cooled condensers, cooling towers, heat exchangers and oil rig platforms. Windscreen protection can help reduce mechanical damage, recover thermal deficiency and improve performance of a cooling tower. Galebreaker windscreens stabilize fan pressure, reduce dynamic fan blade loading, increases fan flow rate, reduces recirculation, and more benefits. Its debris filters stop organic and inorganic airborne matter from entering air inlets, prevents clogging of internal heat exchange components and reduce the bacteria populations and the water chemical treating requirements.

Jeff Ebert and Jim Baker at the Galebreaker Industrial Solutions booth (left to right).

Evaporative cooling towers produce visible white plumes due to the condensation of the water vapor they reject. Infinite Cooling displayed its WaterPanel proprietary technology capable of capturing water from cooling tower plumes. This water gets electrically charged using custom electrodes, then moved to a collection mesh on top of the cooling tower outlet. The plume is abated, and high-purity, recondensed water is recovered ready to be reused. The system uses little power, can be easily retrofitted into existing cooling towers and doesn’t affect plant operations.

TJ Jones and Maher Damak at the Infinite Cooling booth (left to right).

SPX Cooling Tech has representation on many CTI committees. Joseph Evans led a few ESM Committee meetings as a Vice Chair. Gary Stauffer with SPX also led the Cooling Tower Fundamentals Seminar.

Keith Smit, Joseph Evans, Mike Partington and Anthony Shank at the SPX Cooling Tech booth (left to right).

Structural Technologies offers evaluation and management of civil and structural infrastructure for industrial and power generation facilities, and offers specialized solutions for repair of cooling towers. Its condition assessment services for cooling towers offers a range of testing to identify root causes of problems and damage levels. Structural Technologies also offers specialty products for repairing and upgrading cooling tower basins, cathodic protection systems to stop corrosion, moisture control, concrete mixes and strengthening systems.

Bob Hall and Thomas Kline at the Structural Technologies booth (left to right). 

WEG displayed its W22 Cooling Tower NEMA Premium Efficiency Motors. The W22 is available from 1-100 HP, at 1,800, 1,200, 1,800/900 and 1200/900 RPM. Designed for operation in 100% humidity, available in totally enclosed fan cooled or totally enclosed air over configurations, and finished with internal and external epoxy paint, the W22 is built to withstand the most corrosive environments.

Bryan Richardson at the WEG booth. 

West Texas Cooling Tower Fabrication & Supplies discussed its huge selection of cooling tower equipment, maintenance and rebuild services. Its offering ranges from motors and gearboxes to pultruded fiberglass, nozzels, flow control valves, lumber, hardware and much more. Based in Plainview and Pearland Texas, West Texas Cooling Tower serves international and nationwide customers.

Mike Jalomo and Marcos Reyna at the West Texas Cooling Tower Fabrication & Supplies booth (left to right). 


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