Cooling tower screens, also referred to as water, or sump screens, play a critical role in preventing debris from damaging the components of industrial cooling towers.  If debris is able to reach the pump and impede the flow of water, temperatures in the operating unit will increase and performance will suffer or require shut down of the operating units.  When this occurs the cooling tower pump motors will use more energy to meet adequate flow levels, which can often result in premature equipment failure and costly downtime.  This is why quality, high-performing cooling tower screens are so important to the operation and longevity of all operating unit systems.

A cooling tower draws in airborne debris like seeds, leaves, insects, and more.  This debris can cause damage to the cooling tower’s pumps and other components if allowed to enter the system.  Cooling tower screens, or filters, prevent this debris from compromising the cooling tower.  There are different types of screens.  Depending on the size and scope of your cooling tower system and facility, and how much debris accumulates in and around it, a traveling sump screen can offer more protection and less maintenance than a traditional static screen.

A traveling cooling tower screen uses a mesh screen that can be rotated as needed to capture and remove debris within a cooling tower.  Stationary screens remain in place and eventually accumulate a build-up of debris and need to be cleaned.  Traveling screens can easily replace stationary screens and mitigate the costly downtime that is required to clean and maintain static filters.

Traditional fixed screens, even in double or parallel units, allow debris to enter the pump suction pits, thereby damaging pumps and fouling downstream exchangers. Although commonly thought to be a maintenance function, the fouling of exchangers from foreign debris can be minimized considerably with the simple installation and usage of our user-friendly and maintenance-free traveling sump screen.

The type of cooling tower screen filter you select will largely be based on a handful of varying factors.  You should consider the amount of debris you anticipate, the size of that debris, and the time and resources that you have available for maintenance and cleaning.  Based on this information you will know if your system is better served with a static water screen, a trash rack, or a traveling water screen.

Static water screens, or stationary cooling tower screens are typically the most commonly employed filter type for cooling tower systems.  This type of screen is the most effective for an infrequent accumulation of debris.  These screens can range in size and the mesh openings can be specified based on the amount of water that is required for the cooling tower.

Similar to static water screens, trash racks are designed to hand heavier and more frequent debris accumulations.  This type of screen uses a coarser filtration that allows it to capture heavier and larger types of debris.  If a cooling tower system sees large items, high velocity, or enhanced stress in terms of debris, a trash rack may be necessary to prevent damage and other issues.

Traveling water screens are designed to reduce maintenance and cleaning.  These filters offer automated or manual screen rotation that provide periodic cleaning, therefore they require little to no attention from plant employees.  Traveling water screens offer an efficient and effective to mitigate debris within a cooling tower system.

Replacement of a double or single fixed screen is as easy as removing the fixed screen as required in the normal cleaning process and installing the new traveling sump screen which is custom designed and built to simply slide down into your existing tracking system. Simply add water (approximately 40 psi) for the backwash system and your new screen is operational.

The traveling sump screen has many applications which are traditionally accomplished by inefficient fixed screens such as:

  • Cooling Tower Sumps
  • Waste Water Pre-filtration
  • Storm Water Pre-filtration
  • Product Recovery
  • Fire Water Intakes

With the “Vari-Flow” Traveling Sump Screen, you will never pull or remove any screen again for cleaning. Instead, simply rotate the 360° belt and turn on the spray bar backwashing debris into collection pan.  Because traveling screens require little to no maintenance, you can save time and money knowing that your cooling tower is protected from debris and performing at an optimum level.

The Vari-Flow system offers several advantages over traditional fixed screens that can enhance your cooling tower system’s performance, durability, efficiency, and reliability.

  1. Keeping exchangers free from debris.
  2. Never having to pull or remove another fixed screen for cleaning.
  3. Ease of operation with a simple “back-flush” system requiring only one (1) operator and approximately minutes to completely clean the screen.

The Vari-Flow system’s line of cooling tower screens can be installed in any rectangular installation point.  There are over 20 different sizes of screen mesh openings that allow you to exclude virtually any debris sizes that affect your downstream operation.

Product recovery such as plastic fines, pellets and other materials may be captured at any point in a rectangular area. Vari-Flow sump screens can be easily converted to capture particles in the “micron” range with the addition of pre-filter belts.