Cooling System Maintenance

The awareness and maintenance of a power converters water cooling system is very important from a longevity standpoint.  This includes water cooled rectifiers, DC choppers, induction heaters and any other power system which uses circulating water for cooling.  Most power supply problems encountered by end users ultimately resulted from water and cooling system related issues. 

 
 

Real examples of hose barb erosion and mineral deposits

The criticality of inspection

The cooling system, if left alone, will degrade over time. Water-cooled components are often energized or adjacent to sensitive electronic components. Water leaks can damage circuit boards, blow fuses and short out power semiconductors. Blockages in cooling systems may cause severe damage to work coils, inductors and other key components.

Several sources of cooling system problems include mineral deposits, blockages, loose hose clamps, breakdown of hose material, erosion of hose barbs, degraded tube connectors, cracked tubing, leaking bus tube fittings. 

Cooling water should be tested periodically for proper pH, conductivity, suspended solids and glycol content (if applicable). Failing to do so can result in unacceptable levels of solids, high conductivity and low (acidic) pH.

Replacing the hose and tubing every 3-4 years in a power converter is recommended to counter inevitable degradation.  Additionally, this gives the advantage of being able to determine condition of hose barbs, tube fittings and any ‘water targets’ that may be present. Our PM services always include inspecting for potential cooling system problems.


Acid flushing and descaling

It is recommended to acid flush the cooling system on a yearly basis to remove any buildup of mineral deposits.  Integral Power Technologies uses the product Rydlyme by Apex Engineering Products Corporation which is proven to quickly dissolve deposits without the risk of damaging system components.  This product safer to handle and use than other types of descalers and is very effective at restoring the cooling system to its original efficiency. 

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Our service engineers can flush multiple water circuits to identify and correct individual obstructions while reducing overall down-time.  After flushing, any residual Rydlyme is neutralized with water.

Refilling the system with water and/or glycol is simple and we will work with your personnel to ensure that all the requirements of conductivity or resistivity, pH, and glycol concentration are met in accordance with the manufacturers specifications.

If you are interest in learning more about the benefits of system descaling, or would like to learn more about our other maintenance programs, please call us at (440) 701-6022 or visit our CONTACT US page.


Real example of imbalanced cooling system

 
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Cooling system balancing

An improperly balanced cooling system can lead to overheating, failure-to-run conditions due to low pressure, and even premature erosion of cooling circuit components. System imbalances can happen anytime two or more power supplies are fed from the same cooling system. It occurs most often when installations with differing pressure drops are present on a shared circulating loop and is caused by a number of factors including differing pipe sizes, differing cooling branch lengths, and different equipment types or designs.

The solution is to balance the system by incorporating flow balancing valves or manipulating the existing shut-off valves to bring the different branch flows into equilibrium. Our service engineers understand this process and have helped many customers who experienced this problem after adding or upgrading their equipment.

You can find more information about cooling system balancing and what to look for in our technical blog.