In the 1900s the development of the Cooling Tower industry was really led by the requirements of the power and process users. But, with the growth of the HVAC market, these needs changed and towers evolved that were much more in-line with what we’re used to today.
For commercial air conditioning the emphasis moved to producing more compact designs to fit within the space restrictions that were often characterised by commercial buildings. After the Second World War the US market in particular saw a real growth in need for air conditioned premises which meant cooling tower demand increased. These HVAC type installations tended to be in urban, populated areas so things like noise became of concern. Construction materials changed too – wood was too much of a fire risk in these built up areas. These towers needed to be very different to their predecessors that had been used in very industrial applications.
By the end of the 1950s Industrial Cooling Towers were becoming factory assembled, constructed of galvanised steel (for protection from corrosion) and centrifugal fans reduced noise levels. Space requirements became even less of an issue in the 1960s as design innovation saw the cold water basin and fan sections combined into one piece. Towers were smaller and lighter than ever before and component parts were more accessible. Whilst the principles remained the same, the towers of this era were vastly different to those of the 1800s.