The new ShockWave fill’s enhanced vertical-flute design helps to narrow the typical compromise that choice of fill typically entails: cooling performance vs. fouling resistance. When the very first film fills were introduced, the industry was in awe of the compact performance they provided. Very large fill volumes, previously occupied by splash fills, could be shrunk drastically due to the greatly improved amount of heat transfer per unit of volume that film fills offered. Unfortunately, early film fill installations, especially in the large-scale electrical generation market, quickly brought to light a newly realized capacity for fouling and plugging. Over the decades that have passed since then, fill designers continue working to find new ways to bridge the gap between heat transfer and resistance to fouling.
For years, the premise has been that in order to have a fill that resists fouling, you have to accept that you are going to sacrifice thermal performance. ShockWave’s PowerCurve™ design helps you get more of both sides in that equation. A significant design feature of ShockWave is that it maintains a free and clear vertical sight path through the air travel depth of the pack. This is a key feature of vertical-fluted products, and it is something that is lacking on several other competitive products which are cross- and offset-vertical flute designs.
By harnessing the power of gravity, vertical-flute designs maximize water film velocities over the surfaces of a fill, thereby increasing the shear stresses on potential foulants on those surfaces. The increased shear stresses mean that foulants have a greater propensity to be washed away, resulting in reduced fouling. Fouling is also reduced in ShockWave due to the reduced overall surface area inherent in only having 12 sheets per foot (305mm) of pack width. The increased corrugation height of 1.0” (25.4mm) means that the passageways through the product are bigger and are less prone to blockage. Generally, this would presage the typical “performance trade-off” mentioned above, however, the enhancements built into the PowerCurve design actually rev up the performance well beyond what typical designs offer! In order to maximize the heat transfer capability of ShockWave, the design had to use everything available for heat transfer to its greatest potential: surface area for air/water interaction and allowing for the maximum amount of air to contact the water at its most opportune conditions.
The result of all of this is a fill that offers greater fouling resistance than cross-fluted and offset-fluted designs and cooling performance that is at least equal to, and often greater than, those cross-fluted and offset-fluted designs. For the most severely compromised water sources, traditional vertical-fluted fill designs can offer greater fouling resistance, with Brentwood’s VF3800 and VF5000 still holding the mantle of least fouling film fills offered.