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Timber Cooling Tower Vs.

Pultruded FRP Cooling Tower

Pultruded FRP cooling tower offers many advantages over timber cooling tower. A small compari-
son between the two is enough to highlight the difference between the two.

Criteria Timber Cooling Tower FRP Pultruded Cooling Tower

Commercial Timber presently available FRP is composite material having re-
is generally imported and is of species markable strength and other proper-
of low grade timber. It is from trees ties
Quality that are less than 10 years old. The
grain size has not fully matured as a
result of which the structural strength
is weak.
Though initial cost a little bit low, main- Though slightly expensive, mainte-
tenance is very expensive and fre- nance is very less and thus recovers
Cost of in-
quent. Water treatment for wood re- the extra cost. Downtime less
quired. These factors make it expen-
and running
sive in long run. Downtime for mainte-
nance is more
Operation More operation and maintenance re- Less operation and maintenance re-
and mainte- quirement for good running quired
Maximum length of single structural FRP sections are made by pultrusion
member presently available is up to 10 machines. Therefore required long
Lengths of ft. Consequently, numbers of joints are sections are available.
Members more. This leads to weakening of the
structure and vibration over a period
of time.
Wood contains cellulose and edible FRP made of fiberglass and resins be-
organic materials hence susceptible for ing neutral material, is not susceptible
growth of Algae/Fungi which causes for growth of Algae/Fungi. Algae can-
Decay due to
decay in wood. It is difficult to control not attach easily with the surface,
these fungi even with the best of the hence less slime.
preservative treatments once they are
established within the wood.
Chlorine used to reduce the slime There is no impact of acid/chlorine on
(Algae/Fungi) problem is responsible FRP
for corrosion and attacks lignin (natural structure. Special FRP materials can
wood adhesive) at ambient tempera- be used for corrosion resistance as
Decay due to
ture thereby reducing the service life per chemicals in the water.
Water qual-
of cooling towers. Acid used to control
pH in water causes decay of wood else
alkaline media decays lignin. Other cor-
rosive media cause more decay and
there is no option for resistance.
Timber Cooling Tower Vs. Pultruded FRP Cooling Tower (contd.)

Criteria Timber Cooling Tower FRP Pultruded Cooling Tower

Alternate dry Alternate dry and wet condition Not applicable for FRP as it is non
and wet and sunlight is ideal for slime hygroscopic.
condition (algae/fungi) development. Such
alternate wet and dry condition
cause tension in wood member.
Hence full shut down is not possi-
ble. Water has to flow even in
standby cell to avoid drying of
members. Plenum or other areas
suffer due to this
Installation Installation is prone to defects as it As FRP is easy to design, fabricate
depends on quality of timber fabri- and installation is easy and re-
cation. It is time consuming and quires less time. Project manage-
usually requires more skilled tech- ment used effectively
nicians. Project management be-
comes difficult
Repair and Replace- Repair and replacement cost is very Replacement is not required as
ment high due to decay of structural there is no such decay.

Material Availability Good quality wood used for timber FRP is easily available. Certification
cooling tower is not readily avail- of quality available. Quality ban be
able in India and has to be im- easily checked.
ported. Inferior quality timber im-
ported. Generally no certification
of quality available.
Life and disposal 5 years (with present wood qual- 20 Years, recycling processes avail-
ity), treated wood is environmen- able.
tally unsafe

Environmental Impact Vast cutting of wood is causing en- No adverse impact on environ-
vironmental disaster. Getting envi- ment.
ronmental clearance not easy