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Title:
METHOD FOR REDUCING THE CONSUMPTION OF FRESH WATER IN A PAPER MILL BY MEANS OF A COOLING TOWER AS WELL AS A COOLING TOWER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1997/044523
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention concerns a method for reducing the consumption of fresh water and energy in a paper mill. In the method fresh water is passed into the paper mill for various needs, and a cooling tower (100) is utilized, by whose means the water that has been heated in the papermaking process is cooled. All fresh waters or a substantial proportion of the fresh waters of the paper mill are introduced into the process through the water system of the cooling tower. Further, the invention concerns a cooling tower, in which there is/are an inlet/inlets (10) for passing the water (Win) to be cooled into the cooling tower (100), nozzles (13) or equivalent for dispersing the water that was passed in and that is to be cooled onto heat transfer faces, filler pieces and/or filler plates (15), which disperse the water to be cooled so as to increase the contact area between the water and the cooling air, an outlet/outlets (17) for passing the cooled water (Wout) out of the cooling tower (100), as well as blowers (23) for blowing the cooling air (Ain } Aout) through the cooling tower (100). The cooling tower (100) is composed of cooling modules (301...30N), each of which comprises the elements (10...23) mentioned above, and the number (N) and the height of said cooling modules (301...30N) have been chosen in accordance with the requirement of cooling capacity, and that said cooling modules (301...30N) have been interconnected mechanically in parallel and connected selectively and optimally in view of the flow (Ain } Aout) of the cooling air and of the flow (Win } Wout) of the water to be cooled.

Inventors:
Heikkil�
Pertti, Pettersson
Henrik, Sipil�
Ilkka, Saarinen
Markku, Gartz
Rainer
Application Number:
PCT/FI1997/000310
Publication Date:
November 27, 1997
Filing Date:
May 22, 1997
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VALMET CORPORATION.
International Classes:
D21F1/66; F28C1/02; F28C1/14; F28F25/08; (IPC1-7): D21F1/66; F25B39/00
Foreign References:
US4638855A
US4913710A
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Claims:
Claims
1. A method for reducing the consumption of fresh water and energy in a paper mill, in which method fresh water is passed into the paper mill for various needs and in which method a cooling tower (100) is utilized, by whose means the water that has been heated in the papermaking process is cooled, characterized in that, in the method, all fresh waters or a substantial proportion of the fresh waters of the paper mill are introduced into the process through the water system of the cooling tower.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that cooling water is passed from the cooling tower (100) into the cooling devices and condenser devices (99) in the water system of the paper mill, and an adjustable proportion of the warm water obtained from the outlets of the condenser devices (99) of the evaporation system (76) and/or cooling devices in said water system is recirculated into said cooling tower (100) in order to be cooled.
3. A method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that an adjustable proportion of the cold cooled water coming out of the outlet of the cooling tower (100) is passed, together with a flow of an adjustable amount of cold fresh water, into said condenser devices (99) of the evaporation system (76) in the water system and/or to the cooling devices so as to constitute cooling water.
4. A method as claimed in any of the claims 1 to 3, characterized in that an adjustable proportion of the warm water obtained from said condensers (99) and cooling devices is returned and mixed into the feed of warm water passing into the cooling tower (100).
5. A method as claimed in any of the claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the water that has been heated in the condensers (99) and/or cooling devices is passed into a buffer storage tank (2) for warm fresh water, from which tank a certain amount is used for fresh water requirements of the paper mill.
6. A method as claimed in any of the claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the warm water coming from the condenser devices (99) or cooling devices in the water system is stored together with other warm waters coming from the paper mill in the buffer storage tank (2).
7. A method as claimed in any of the claims 1 to 6, characterized in that said cooling tower (100) is provided with an adjustable cooling capacity, by whose means the use of cold and warm water is regulated so that the usage of fresh water and its overflow into the sewer can be minimized.
8. A cooling tower, in which there is/are an inlet/inlets (10) for passing the water (Win) to be cooled into the cooling tower (100), nozzles (13) or equivalent for dispersing the water that was passed in and that is to be cooled onto heat transfer faces, filler pieces and/or filler plates (15), which disperse the water to be cooled so as to increase the contact area between the water and the cooling air, an out¬ let/outlets (17) for passing the cooled water (Wout) out of the cooling tower (100), as well as blowers (23) for blowing the cooling air (Ain → Aout) through the cooling tower (100), characterized in that the cooling tower (100) is composed of cooling modules (30j ...30N), each of which comprises the elements (10...23) mentioned above, and the number (N) and the height of said cooling modules (30, ...30N) have been chosen in accordance with the requirement of cooling capacity, and that said cooling modules (30j ...30N) have been interconnected mechanically in parallel and connected selectively and optimally in view of the flow (Ain → Aout) of the cooling air and of the flow (Wjn → Wout) of the water to be cooled.
9. A cooling tower as claimed in claim 8, characterized in that between the modules (30) there is a partition wall, in which case different water flows can be kept apart from one another.
10. A cooling tower as claimed in claim 8 or 9, characterized in that above the nozzle pipes (13) in the cooling modules (30) there is a drop trap (14), which prevents the air from flowing directly upwards, whereby the drop size of the water to be cooled becomes sufficiently large and the drops cannot pass out along with the air.
11. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 10, characterized in that around the blowers (23) in the cooling modules (30) there is a sound attenuator and/or a sound insulation element (19,19'), which, besides insulating the noise, secures that the air passing into the cooling tower (100) consists of colder air taken from below the cooling tower (100).
12. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 11 , characterized in that above the drop trap (14) in the cooling modules (100) there is a sound attenuator (18).
13. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 12, characterized in that in the cooling modules (30) there are guide plates (16) which guide the air upwards also at the sides and thus prevent suction of the air downwards at the sides by an ejection effect.
14. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 13, characterized in that the height of the space filled by the filler pieces or plates ( 15) in the cooling modules (30) has been dimensioned so as to obtain the necessary contact time between the water (W,n → Wout) to be cooled and the cooling air (Aιn → Aout).
15. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 14, characterized in that the blowers (23) in the cooling modules (30) are provided with regulation of the speed of rotation, with a twospeed motor, and/or with propellers with adjustable blades so as to regulate the cooling capacity of the cooling tower (100).
16. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 15, characterized in that the measures of the horizontal section of the cooling modules (30) have been arranged invariable, and that the cooling capacity of the cooling modules (30) has been chosen by choosing the measures of the height of the cooling modules (30).
17. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 16, characterized in that water to be cooled is passed into the cooling tower (100) inside a pipe (138) or a system of pipes, in which connection direct contact between the cooling medium and the medium to be cooled is avoided (FIG. 8B).
18. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 17, characterized in that the cooling modules (30) are identical with one another.
19. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 18, characterized in that the cooling modules (30) are elements whose outer mantle is substantially shaped as a rectangular prism and which have been arranged to be joined together mechanically side by side with the larger vertical sides placed against one another.
20. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 19, characterized in that an air blower (23) has been connected to the lower portions of the vertical side walls of the cooling modules (30), and that, in the bottom end of the cooling modules (30), there is a bottom part (20), which collects cooled water and which is provided with an exhaust connection (17) or connections for the cooled water.
21. A cooling tower as claimed in any of the claims 8 to 20, characterized in that the cooling tower (100) is composed of a number of mechanically interconnected cooling modules (30), in which the passages for the water (Win → Wout) to be cooled have been connected one by one and/or in groups to different intake points for water to be cooled, and/or that different outlet connections (17) for the waters to be cooled in different cooling modules (30) have been connected selectively one by one or in groups to different outlet connections for cooled water (Wout) to be passed to different places as selectively chosen based on temperature and/or on degree of purity and/or on some other property.
Description:
Method for reducing the consumption of fresh water in a paper mill by means of a cooling tower as well as a cooling tower

The invention concerns a method for reducing the consumption of fresh water and energy in a paper mill, in which method fresh water is passed into the paper mill for various objects of use and in which method a cooling tower is utilized, by whose means the water that has been heated in the papermaking process is cooled.

The invention also concerns a cooling tower, in which there is/are an inlet/inlets for passing the water to be cooled into the cooling tower, nozzles or equivalent for dispersing the water that was passed in and that is to be cooled onto heat transfer faces, filler pieces and/or filler plates, which disperse the water to be cooled so as to increase the contact area between the water and the cooling air, an outlet/outlets for passing the cooled water out of the cooling tower, as well as blowers for blowing the cooling air through the cooling tower.

In the prior-art paper mills, an abundance of fresh water is needed for cooling and for washing requirements in the wire part and in the press section and for dilution in the pulp preparation plant.

Fresh raw water is usually cold and fresh (non-salt) surface water, which is taken from rivers or lakes. This raw water must be purified chemically before use. Raw water is used, among other things, as supplementary water as well as for washing requirements in the production of pulp and paper, and it must be heated before use.

As is well known, the production of pulp and paper consumes an abundance of thermal and electric energy, which is transferred into the circulation and cooling waters. The major part of the thermal energy that is lost is first in the form of steam, which is condensed by means of cold fresh water in condensers. A certain

proportion of thermal energy is transferred to warm water in pulp and paper mills through various indirect heat exchangers. Of the warm water obtained from conden¬ sers and heat exchangers, just a part ends up in useful use, and the excess amount passes into the sewer. Owing to changes in the production of paper, the consumption of cold and warm fresh water varies, which causes changes in the properties of different waters, such as in temperature and pH, resulting in uneven quality of pulp and paper. Cooling waters that flow into biological treatment have a negative effect on the efficiency and costs of the treatment of the outgoing process and waste water.

As is known from the prior art, the heated cooling water coming from condensers and heat exchangers is recirculated into an air cooling tower, in which the evaporat¬ ing water is lost into the atmosphere. The outlet water from the cooling tower passes back into the condensers and heat exchangers. The evaporation and the growth of micro-organisms that take place in the cooling tower have the effect that chemical treatment, purification, and exchanging of the water are necessary in order to maintain the cooling efficiency.

The cooling tower is a heat exchanger for cooling of water, which cooling, as a rule, takes place by means of a direct contact between the cooling air and the liquid to be cooled. The cooling takes place so that the water is allowed to flow over a contact face as large as possible at the same time as this face is cooled by means of cooling air, which is introduced from outside the tower. The contact face consists of filler pieces and/or sets of plates in the cooling tower, and the function of said pieces or plates is to maximize the contact face between the cooling air and the water to be cooled. The principle of operation is primarily based on what is called "evaporative cooling", because the relatively high enthalpy of vaporization of water provides a relatively high takeoff of energy from the water phase even if the evaporation is not particularly abundant.

From the prior art, cooling towers are known which operate with a natural draught or with a cross-flow or counter- flow principle. Mostly the cooling towers are

provided with blowers. When the cooling requirement is higher (larger flows of water), smaller units are often connected in parallel into larger units.

The principal object of the method subject of the present invention is reduction of the consumption of fresh water in a paper mill.

The present invention also concerns a novel cooling tower, whose objective is to be particularly well suitable for carrying out the method of the present invention. However, it should be emphasized that the cooling tower in accordance with the present invention is also suitable for use in other method and process environments, besides those in accordance with the present invention.

In connection with the method of the invention, when the cooling tower of the invention is applied, the principal object of the equipment invention is, as is that of the method of the invention, to minimize the usage of fresh water in the paper mill.

The prior-art cooling towers have involved certain drawbacks, whose elimination is an object of the equipment invention of the present patent application. The draw¬ backs of the prior-art cooling towers have included the poor suitability of their constructions and operation for variations in the cooling capacity. Further drawbacks are also the large size, in particular the height, of the cooling tower and its appear¬ ance that disturbs the environment, as well as noise, mist and other emission drawbacks. The noise drawbacks are particularly emphasized in such prior-art cooling towers in which, for circulation of the cooling air, a large propeller placed in the top portion of the cooling tower is used, whose noise attenuation is difficult or even impossible.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a cooling tower whose cooling capacity can be regulated within quite wide limits in order to meet the requirements imposed by the particular application.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a cooling tower whose detrimental effects on the environment can be minimized. In view of achieving this objective, the invention is supposed to provide a cooling tower which produces less noise and less emissions of drops and mist, compared with the prior art, and which can be constructed so that its height is lower than in the prior art in view of reducing the drawback in respect of the landscape.

It is a non-indispensable further object of the present invention to provide a cooling tower whose cooling capacity can, owing to the modular construction, first be dimensioned in accordance with the requirement of capacity at each particular time, and additionally so that the capacity can be later, if needed, increased or even reduced and/or be decentralized in the paper mill to the vicinity of the points at which requirement of cooling occurs, without expensive changes in construction.

It is a non-indispensable further object of the invention to provide a cooling tower whose connections in respect of the circulation of the cooling waters can be arranged optimally, and in which said couplings can also be changed later readily in compli¬ ance with the requirements of operation at each particular time.

In view of achieving the objectives stated above and those that will come out later, the method invention is mainly characterized in that, in the method, all fresh waters or a substantial proportion of the fresh waters of the paper mill are introduced into the process through the water system of the cooling tower.

On the other hand, the cooling tower in accordance with the invention is mainly characterized in that the cooling tower is composed of cooling modules, each of which comprises the elements mentioned above, and the number and the height of said cooling modules have been chosen in accordance with the requirement of cooling capacity, and that said cooling modules have been interconnected mechan- ically in parallel and connected selectively and optimally in view of the flow of the cooling air and of the flow of the water to be cooled.

Even though, above and in the following, a cooling tower is spoken of, this does not necessarily mean a high and narrow construction, but owing to the present invention the cooling tower can be favourably made as quite a low construction which does not disturb the surrounding landscape.

Preferred embodiments of the invention have the characterizing features stated in the sub-claims.

As examples of particularly advantageous environments of application of the present invention, reference is made to the applicant's FI Patent Applications Nos. 962176 and 962177 filed at the same time with the present patent application.

In the following, a number of different preferred exemplifying embodiments of the invention will be described, but in this connection it should already be emphasized that a cooling tower in accordance with the present invention does not necessarily always include the characteristic features described in the following, at least not all of them at the same time.

The invention is applied preferably in a paper mill in which the circulations of water are arranged so that the circulations are closed fully or partly and the wash waters from the fabrics and other devices in the paper machine as well as the waters drained from the paper web that is being produced are collected selectively based on the place or origin of the waters, and that at least part of said collected various waters are cleaned by means of cleaning systems of their own, and the cleaned waters are circulated to applications of reuse suitable from the point of view of their washing potentials in the papermaking process, in which connection a paper mill is provided that requires a smaller amount of fresh water.

In the cooling tower, water is cooled which has been heated in condensers and heat exchangers. The water system of the cooling tower is connected with the rest of the water circulation in the paper mill in order to minimize the usage of fresh water.

By means of the present invention, a novel, low-noise cooling tower construction is provided, which operates by means of air blowing, which possesses wide possibil¬ ities of connection and regulation, and by whose means the temperatures and quantities of the water to be cooled and of the cooling air and water can be taken into account. The requirement of cooling in the tower can be reduced by into the cooled water coming out from the cooling tower introducing the desired/necessary quantity of cold fresh water.

It has been estimated that an optimally arranged use of cooling water and fresh water in accordance with the present invention reduces the burdening of the environment considerably and is more advantageous than abundant use of fresh water with the resulting abundant need of cleaning.

Since the cooling tower in accordance with the invention is of modular construction, its cooling capacity can be dimensioned originally, and always be changed later, in compliance with the requirements of the environment of operation. The modular construction in accordance with the invention also permits different alternatives of connection and circulation of the water to be cooled, in view of producing an optimal cooling effect in each particular case. Owing to the modular construction, the cooling tower can be made easy to service, of low height, and to meet even strict environmental requirements in respects of appearance, emissions and noise. The modular construction of the cooling tower also permits the use of applications of a decentralized cooling system.

The cooling tower in accordance with the invention has been constructed so that it produces little noise. In view of reducing noise, noise attenuators and/or insulators are used at the intake side and in the top portion of the cooling tower. If necessary, the cooling tower can also meet very strict noise elimination requirements, for example L_ (1 m) = 65 dB(A). Sound insulation plates also prevent mixing of warm moist exhaust air with the intake air, which mixing would reduce the efficiency of the tower. The cooling tower has low emissions of air, water, and chemicals.

By means of a cooling tower in accordance with the invention, a good regulation capacity is achieved by arranging the cooling air blowers so that their speed of rotation is adjustable or by using two-speed blowers and/or blowers with adjustable rotor blades.

The cooling tower is freely standing and of solid construction and requires little space, and it can be made wide if it desirable to have a cooling tower of lower height, which is less visible.

It is a particular characteristic of the cooling tower in accordance with the invention that it is made of prefabricated elements, i.e. the cooling tower is composed of so- called modules. Thus, its construction can be made flexibly as of the desired size and dimensioned in compliance with the available space. The cooling modules are preferably composed of standardized wall elements, which are made, for example, of SS 2343 acid-proof stainless steel and which elements are joined together by means of bolt joints and sealing material. The height of the module is dimensioned in compliance with the desired requirement of cooling efficiency. The height and width are also variables from the point of view of the cooling capacity.

Generally speaking, in connection with cooling towers, a notion of what is called "approach temperature" is spoken of, which means the difference between the wet temperatures of the cooled water and the incoming air. The smaller this difference is, the more efficient is the cooling tower. The modular construction in accordance with the invention permits the use of smaller steps in increasing the capacity of the cooling tower when attempts are made to reduce said difference in temperature, so that this can be carried out with lower investment costs.

The operation of the cooling tower is also more reliable than in the prior art, because of the smaller units, and it can be serviced more easily than in the prior art, because its top portion includes detachable drop separator elements. The walls are provided with openings for cleaning and servicing. They also include the interior

parts of the water jet pipes, which can be disassembled readily. The sound attenuators and insulators can be removed easily from the intake side of the blowers.

By means of the cooling tower in accordance with the invention, the cooling capacity can be regulated in three different ways as necessary:

1) by means of the number and/or dimensioning and/or locations and/or connec¬ tions of the modules; the higher the number of modules used, the higher is the capacity that is obtained;

2) by means of the dimensioning of the layer of filler pieces it is also possible to regulate the capacity, for with higher constructions of filler pieces a longer contact time and, thus, more efficient cooling are achieved;

3) the air blowers are provided with regulation of the speed of rotation, or they are two-speed blowers, and when several blowers are used, they can be regulated on/off and/or for different speeds, whereby the cooling can be affected;

4) by regulating the quantity of fresh water, in which connection, correspon¬ dingly, the quantity of cooling air is regulated, or the other way round.

In the following, some preferred exemplifying embodiments of the invention will be described in detail with reference to the figures in the accompanying drawings, the invention being, however, not supposed to be confined to the details of said figures.

Figure 1 is a schematic illustration of the part of the papermaking process and its water circulations with which the cooling tower is connected.

Figure 2 is a sectional view of a cooling tower in accordance with the invention taken from the end of the tower.

Figure 3 is an end view of a cooling tower in accordance with the invention.

Figure 4 is a sectional view of a cooling tower in accordance with the invention, showing the modular construction of the tower.

Figures 5A and 5B show two exemplifying embodiments of a filler piece usable in a cooling tower in accordance with the invention.

Figure 6A is a front view of a preferred embodiment of a wall element in a cooling module in accordance with the invention.

Figure 6B is a horizontal sectional view taken along the line B— B in Fig. 6A.

Figure 6C is a vertical sectional view taken along the line C— C in Fig. 6A.

Figure 7A illustrates a detail DET.X in Fig. 2.

Figure 7B is a horizontal sectional view taken along the line A— A in Fig. 4.

Figure 8A is a sectional view of a cooling tower in which the cooling is based on a direct air-water contact.

Figure 8B shows a preferred embodiment of a cooling tower in accordance with the invention provided with a closed circulation of water.

As is shown in Fig. 1, fresh water is introduced into the water circulation of the cooling tower 100 in the paper mill along the duct 1. The rejects from the waters cleaned in the paper mill are brought along the duct S into the tank 97 to be fed into the evaporators 76. The rejects are removed from the evaporators 76 along the duct 98, and the clean water passes through the condensers 99 into the cooling tower 100. The concentrates from the condenser 99 or condensers are passed away along the duct 56. The clean condensate from the evaporators 76 is passed along the duct 80

into the warm water tank 87. The steam from the evaporators 76 passes into the condensers 99, to which cooling water is passed from the cooling tower 100. The temperature of the cooling water is regulated by means of the regulator 54. The water that became warm in the condensers 99 is passed into the top portion of the cooling tower 100 along the duct 101.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention as shown in Fig. 1, after the cooling tower 100 fresh water is passed into the warm water tank 2 for fresh water along the duct 102 through condensers 99. From the warm water tank 87 water is passed through the heat exchanger 88 into the hot water tank 89 along the duct 13' , for example, to be used as jet water in the press section and in the wire part. The surface level regulators 103 and 104 in the tanks 2 and 87 operate jointly so that the supply of water into the tank 87 is secured. Any excess amount of warm water is passed to other uses. Part of the fresh water is, however, also passed directly into the warm water tank 87 along the duct 1.

Figs. 2 to 7 are detailed illustrations of a preferred exemplifying embodiment of the construction of a cooling tower 100 in accordance with the invention. The water W in to be cooled is passed in along the ducts 10. The water to be cooled is sprayed down through the nozzles 13. Above the nozzles 13, there is a what is called drop trap 14, by whose means passage of the cooling air directly upwards is prevented in order that the drops of the water to be cooled should become large enough and not pass out along with the air. The drop trap 14 can be disassembled readily out of the way for servicing operations. The water to be cooled runs down along the filler plates and/or pieces 15, by whose means a maximally large contact face is provided between the water W in → W out to be cooled and the cooling air A in → A out . The height of the space occupied by these filler plates or pieces 15 can be dimensioned so that a sufficiently long contact time and, thus, a sufficiently efficient cooling effect are obtained. The cooled water W out comes out through the duct 17. In the cooling tower, at the outlet of the cooling air A out , there is a noise attenuator and, moreover, sound insulation elements 19, 19' , which are fitted at the sides of the cooling tower. The sound insulation elements 19, 19' also ensure that the cold air A in

comes from below, and thereby access of heated and moistened air back into the circulation A in → A out is prevented. The function of the bottom basin 20 is to collect the cooled water after the cooling. The reference numeral 21 denotes the wall and support constructions of the cooling tower. The blowers by whose means the cooling air A in is blown into the cooling tower are denoted with the reference numerals 23.

In Fig. 3 the cooling tower is shown as an end view. The water W in to be cooled is passed in along the ducts 10. The cooling air A in is blown into the cooling tower by means of blowers 23. Fig. 3 also shows the air guide plates 16, by whose means air is guided upwards. The cooled water W out is passed out through the duct 17. Further, Fig. 3 shows the additional sound attenuator 18 and the sound insulation elements 19, 19', which are fitted at the sides of the cooling tower. The figure also shows the support constructions of the walls of the cooling tower, which support constructions are denoted with the reference numeral 21.

Fig. 4 shows the modular construction of the cooling tower in accordance with the invention. As is shown in Fig. 4, the cooling tower is composed of six mutually identical cooling modules SO^ . JOg, which are interconnected mechanically with the larger vertical faces against one another. The modules 30 j N (N = 6) are elements of the shape of a rectangular prism, each of which includes two blowers 23 in the lower portion of the shorter vertical wall. The modules 30 j ...30 N are connected in parallel both in respect of the cooling air flow A in → A out and in respect of the water flow W in → W out to be cooled. In respect of the water flow to be cooled, different connections are also possible, and the water to be cooled can be passed into the different modules 30 j ...30 N from different sources, and the water flows W out to be cooled can be passed to different applications of use depending on their quantities and temperatures. Also, different operational blocks can be arranged in the cooling tower by connecting one or several elements 30 in parallel in order to cool different flows of water. Thus, the modular construction in accordance with the present invention permits a large variety of different cooling capacities and selective cooling and passing further of different water flows, depending on the requirements of use.

Between the modules 30 there can be a partition wall, in which case the different water flows can be kept apart from one another.

Figs. 5 A and 5B show two exemplifying embodiments of filler pieces and plates 15 usable in a cooling tower in accordance with the invention. In Fig. 5A, the water to be cooled flows down along the wave-shaped faces of the filler plates 15, and the liquid film thus formed increases the cooling contact face. The idea of the filler pieces shown in Fig. 5B is to disperse the water to be cooled, by means of its complex component faces, into smaller drops in order to increase the contact face.

Figs. 6A...6C illustrate a wall element 128 of a cooling tower module 30, which element is made, for example, of acid-proof stainless steel. The reference numeral 129 denotes a flange joint for a blower 23. Figs. 6A...6C show support construc¬ tions 21 of the cooling tower 100. Fig. 6B is a vertical sectional view taken along the line B-B in Fig. 6A. The elements 130 are made, e.g. , of 2...3 mm thick acid- proof stainless steel or equivalent by bending. The element 130 includes, for example, a flat-bar rigidifier 21a. Fig. 6C is a sectional view in the plane C-C indicated in Fig. 6A. The reference numeral 131 denotes the bolt holes for the flange joint, for example, for fixing of sound attenuators. Fig. 6C also shows the angular section profile 132 fixed to the element 130 wall by welding.

Fig. 7A illustrates the detail DET.X indicated in Fig. 2. In this figure the connecting flange 135 of the intake pipe 10 of the water W jn to be cooled and the connecting flange 128 of the nozzle pipe connected to the pipe 10 are shown. In the way shown in Fig. 7A, the jet nozzles 13 for the water to be cooled have been connected to the nozzle pipe, which nozzles spread the water to be cooled onto the filler plates and/or pieces 15 placed underneath. Fig. 7A also shows a preferred embodiment of a drop trap placed above the intake pipe 10, which trap comprises a labyrinth-like structure.

Fig. 7B is a horizontal sectional view taken at the point A- A shown in Fig. 4. Thus, the figure shows the vertical joint between the side walls of adjacent cooling tower modules 30 n and 30 n+ 1 , at which joint the side flanges 136 of the wall elements are

placed one against the other and are connected together by means of a bolt joint 137. Between the flanges 136, the vertical separation wall between adjacent modules is also placed, if such a wall is used. By means of this wall, the water and air flows of adjacent modules 30 n and 30 n+ 1 are separated. The joint shown in Fig. 7B must be tight, and, if necessary, sealing material, such as silicon, rubber, etc. , is used in said joint.

Fig. 8 A shows a cooling tower in which there is, in the way known from the prior art, direct contact between the cooling air A in → A ou[ and the water W in -» W QUt to be cooled. The water W in to be cooled comes in along the duct 10, and the cooled water W out is passed out along the duct 12. The cooling tower shown in Fig. 8A can be used in the method in accordance with the invention, for example in the environ¬ ment illustrated above in Fig. 1.

Fig. 8B is a highly schematic illustration of a preferred cooling tower in accordance with the invention provided with a closed circulation of water. The water W in to be cooled is passed inside the pipe 138. Raw water is passed into the cooling tower along the duct 11 ", which water is used to keep the outside faces of the pipes in the cooling tower moist. In this embodiment, direct contact between the cooling air A in → A out and the water W in → W out to be cooled is avoided. By means of this cooling tower, the water to be cooled can be kept cleaner.

In the following, the patent claims will be given, and the various details of the invention can show variation within the scope of the inventive idea defined in said claims and differ even to a considerable extent from the details stated above by way of example only.