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Dec 2016: Recent Jobs of Interest: Routine Clean and Fill Pack Performance Clean, Hastings Vic

December 23rd, 2016

Here’s some information about a large job that we completed last month.

Steel Facility, Hastings – December 2016

Summary: Routine Clean and Fill Pack Performance Clean
Asset: Superchill Cooling Tower


Last month we were engaged to address an under-performing cooling tower system. When we arrived at the site, we found an ageing fill pack that was heavily clogged with dirt. The fill pack had not been removed and cleaned for some time, and the tower was running at well under capacity.

Fill pack is generally not removed during routine cleaning and disinfection as it is a very time consuming process. It is done on an as-needed basis. As dirt builds up within the fill pack, heat rejection, cooling function and water coverage becomes impaired. Chemicals dosed to the system that are designed to slow corrosion and kill bacteria become less effective as they fail to reach all areas within the unit. Bacteria can go unchecked because areas within the fill pack become completely isolated from treatment, affecting water quality and increasing undesired microbial growth and corrosion rates. Supports that hold the fill pack as well as the structure of the tower are put under stress from the sheer weight of the blocks and can collapse resulting in loss of production and earnings.


In addition to the Routine Clean, a Performance Clean of the fill pack was conducted (sometimes known as a Superclean). This ensured that the tower would meet the demands of summer heat and cool down the adjoining systems effectively.

Note: This large job took three days to complete and involved the removal, cleaning and replacement of 500 blocks of fill pack. When new, a block of PVC fill pack (1.2m x 0.3m x 0.3m) weighs approximately 5 kg. When very dirty, they can weigh up to 30 kg each.

Our approach was:

  • We first carried out a Routine Clean and disinfection on the tower, including removal and cleaning of drift eliminators, and cleaning the basin.
  • The fill pack blocks were then removed for a full comprehensive clean (Performance Clean). The fill pack was removed block by block and pressure cleaned to remove all the dirt, following a standard disinfection and the addition of a bio-detergent to aid in the clean.
  • A vacuum truck and lifting equipment were also required to carry out the task safely.


Following the Performance Clean, the outcome is as follows:

  • The cooling tower now maintains the correct cooling capacity to the associated equipment
  • Drift loss is reduced and the overall legionaries disease risk is reduced
  • Correct air flow through the fill pack reduces power consumption and costs
  • Reduces chemical use, by reducing the dirt and biological load in the fill pack
  • The chance of a fill pack collapse due to structural failure has now been reduced

Note: We recommend that clients be aware of the condition of fill pack as it can become clogged with dirt in 3-5 years, depending on site conditions. This applies to all cooling towers, including but not limited to Aquacool, BAC, Coolboy, Lakeside, Temcell, Shinwa and Superchill.



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