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Preparing for the summer: CELdek Maintenance

In the northern hemisphere the summer is approaching quickly. But, is the evaporative cooling system ready for the job? Have the CELdek pads been cleaned? Was the gutter system, filters and distribution holes cleaned?

But why spending time to maintain and clean the pads? Well, proper cooling pad maintenance and cleaning can keep the system operating efficiently, while maintaining the livestock or greenhouse performance during the hot periods. Investing today in maintenance and cleaning will result in increased pad life and thereby cost savings.

The key aspects of pad cleaning and maintenance

Generally, the efficiency of the pads is threatened by two contaminants: Excessive mineral deposits (i.e. calcium, as water evaporates and crystallizes causing scaling) and Algae (i.e. when nutrients in the water and
air proliferate on the pad surface). Pad maintenance is important at regular intervals, at the beginning and at the end of the cooling season, and in some cases even weekly or even daily.

Before the cooling season starts

Inspect the pads, look for signs of shape alteration, gaps between pads, rodent damages or holes. If needed, the warped or damaged pads should be replaced. The first pad cleaning should be done to remove the gross dirt, dust

and scale build-up. If not done properly the pads will clog, resulting in reduced airflow through and decreased cooling.

The cleaning is done only when the pads are dry. That’s done by using a soft brush to gently remove the dirt, dust and debris. The movement must be in vertical motion along with the direction of the corrugation waves.

After brushing, the pump is started, with the fans off, to allow the remaining deposits to be washed off. The resulting recirculating water must be drained and replaced with fresh clean water, making sure to completely empty the water tank or bottom gutter.
Cleaning of the filters must also be done now, as clogged and dirty filters reduce the water flow by almost half.

Finally, the top part of the gutter system must be inspected. The most important thing to pay attention to is the water distribution holes, which must not be clogged or blocked by dirt. Secondly, the water jets must point upwards and the joints must not leak water.

After the cooling season starts

Weekly pad maintenance is recommended in order to keep the system up and running at high efficiency. Clean the water filters on the pipes, water tanks, etc.

Daily pad inspection is also recommended, looking for dry spots (end-to-end), proper water flow and structural integrity.

It is recommended to flush the debris off the pads by running the water for 10 minutes with fans off, prior to starting cooling each day.

When cooling is no longer needed, at dusk, the fans should continue to run with pump off, for about 30 min, in order to let the pads dry completely. By drying the pads each day, the risk of algae proliferation is mitigated. The indicator of properly cleaned pads is the static pressure reading, using the same number of fans.

Bleed-off

As only pure water evaporates from the pads, contaminants are left behind, accumulating and concentrating in the recirculation water tank. Bleed-off is the planned removal of the concentrated water and replenishment with fresh clean water. The rate depends on the system and local conditions but generally 12 liters/hour per linear meter of pad length (1 gallon/hour per linear foot). The bleed off can be done by using the side discharge or a solenoid valve (programmed and linked to farm controller).

Water distribution pipes

Depending on the type of gutters system with open or closed top, the water pressure must be checked on the distribution holes over the whole length. Cleaning and flushing the pipe regularly will also help to maintain the system clean and efficient.

Algae

Algae proliferates when light, nutrient and humidity are present. Common practices to avoid algae are to limit the light exposure of the pads (shade the pads) and using nutrient-free water. Using water from deep wells or public water supply is recommended. Ponds and shallow surface wells are generally rich in nutrients.

Mi-T-Edge, algae resistant coating

The CELdek pads are also available with black edge coating applied to the outer side of the pad, the one exposed to outside. This coating resists algae growth, increases the pad durability and extends pad life. The durability increase allows the pad to be washed and brushed without the risk of damage.

 

For more information, kindly get in touch with our experts using the contact form on the right.

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