Cooling towers are devices used to transfer heat or cool water for reuse. Their operation is quite simple. First, hot water is pumped in from an outside source into the cooling tower company and sprayed into the tower. The hot water flows over what is called a fill.
This allows water to spread to a larger surface and faster cooling. As the water flows down the fill, it comes in contact with air which causes evaporation. The water then falls back down the fill, where the incoming water cools it. The water is then recirculated through the system.
The most common type of cooling tower is the counterblow. This type has two fills on either side of the tower. One fill is above the other. Water travels up the top fill and down the bottom fill. It is cooled as it goes through each fill. The water is then returned to the system.
Another type of cooling tower is known as cross flow. This type uses only one fill. Water is sprayed across the entire width of the tower. It is then cooled while traveling across the fill. The water is collected at the end of the fill and recirculated.