Ozone for Cooling Towers Water Treatment

In this article you’ll learn more about the use of ozone in cooling tower water treatmentOzone in industry means a chemical-free solution and also a cost reduction in procedures. When it comes to cooling towers disinfection methods, it doesn’t have a difference.

If you want to learn more about how ozone means cost reduction, just scroll down!

Cooling tower water must be treated to limit the growth of mineral and microbial deposits that can reduce the heat transfer efficiency of the cooling tower.

Ozone is a strong disinfectant and an interesting alternative for the chemical biocides in cooling tower water treatment.

In the prevention and control of legionnaires disease (legionella) causing microbes, ozone has taken an eminent roll.

The main advantages of ozone water treatment disinfection procedure in cooling towers over the traditional chemical water treatment disinfection method are in the water and energy savings that can be made, caused by the reduction/elimination of chemicals used.

Associated Savings

The use of an ozonation system in free cooling towers entails, in addition to the benefits comprising, represent significant savings to the levels of:

  • Reduction of water consumption;

  • Reduction of consumables;

  • Reduction of anti-scaling and anti-corrosion agents;

  • Reduced maintenance costs;

  • Remove the costs of chemical biocides storage and transport;

  • Reduction of energy consumption due to the increased efficiency of the cooling operation.

Solution Ozone Applications Cooling Towers Chart Image
(Unit: $USD)

More than the reduced savings in chemical disinfection for cooling towers, the use of ozone as a maintenance treatment for cooling towers has good potential for operation and maintenance savings because, a small amount of ozone acts as a powerful biocide that decreases or nearly eliminates the need to remove quantities of water from the cooling tower in order to decrease the concentration of organic and mineral solids in the system.

The ozone applied to cooling towers associated with air-conditioning coolers is an excellent ally, as it eliminates bacteria, fungi and viruses, including legionella, in a very effective way and without leaving any residues, however, ozone can be a corrosion stimulant rather than an inhibitor which may imply optimization of the system in order to combat corrosion thereby ensuring a clean system rather than a biologically and mineralogically contaminated system.

According to a study carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy Federal Technology Alert at the Lockheed Martin Facility’s premises, in Florida, , where they compared the operating costs of cooling towers with the traditional (chemical) system and with ozone treatment, we can conclude that annual costs are reduced by one-quarter of the initial value. This represents a reduction from $ 198,168 to $ 57,415 per year, two values that stand out are relative to the operational costs (labor) and the costs with the power consumption.


  • Ozone is produced on-site, this means that it does not requires storage of dangerous chemicals;

  • Environmentally friendly treatment, facilitating regulatory compliance;

  • Disinfectant with a high efficiency level (a residual ozone concentration of 0.1 to 0.2t ppm is, in most cases, very effective to keep the cooling tower and the cooling circuit clean);

  • Ozone requires no additional disinfectants, micro-organisms cannot get resistant to ozone after prolonged use of ozone;

  • Ozone is 3,125 times more germicidal than chlorine;

  • Insignificant buildup of disinfectant or disinfectant byproducts. Ozone does not leave any chemical residues or disinfectants, at the end of its cycle, ozone decomposes again into oxygen;

  • Eliminates the use of chemicals (except for pH balancing). Ozone does not change the pH;

  • Ozone is effective in a wide pH range;

  • Destroys all types of micro-organisms instantly;

  • Very effective in removing biofilms;

  • Very effective against Legionella, due to good biofilm removal capacities;

  • Low corrosion rates in the system. Reduces the corrosion rate of metals, including copper heat exchangers, because there are no chlorinated compounds;

  • Ozone decomposes organic waste through oxidation;

  • Reduced permit costs for discharge of treated water to environment;

  • Low maintenance costs;

  • Lower operational costs and in many cases a lower overall cost;

  • Lower energy costs, because the increasement of the heat transfer efficiency of the chiller, increasing the cooling operation efficiency;

  • Safe and easy in use;

  • Effective for mussel growth;

  • Minimizes condenser fouling;

  • And much more.

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