This is a brief history of Tower Tech, the industry's most innovative manufacturer
Who is Tower Tech?
Tower Tech is the global technology leader with more than 30 years in the cooling tower industry. With headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the company offers the most efficient, highest quality, lowest maintenance, and most environmentally friendly cooling towers in the world. Founded in 1985 by Mr. Harold D. Curtis, Tower Tech arguably has invested more resources in cooling tower research and development than any other company in its quest to eliminate the energy inefficiencies and the quality, maintenance and environmental problems common to conventionally designed cooling towers. The rich history of Tower Tech tells a true American success story.
The Tower Tech Modular Cooling Tower
While highly successful, the rental fleet's primary use was for emergency tower replacement and for additional cooling needs at peak demand during summer months. In 1991, Tower Tech decided to develop a new generation of cooling tower that would be radically different and better than other manufacturers' towers. Different alone was not sufficient impetus for a customer to justify the purchase of a manufacturer's new tower line. It was imperative that the design significantly improves upon the conventional design philosophy that permeated the cooling tower industry.
Flow Thru Basin
Another design shortcoming of 'conventional' cooling towers is their cold-water collection basins. These open basins tend to accumulate trash, are exposed to direct sunlight, and contain regions of stagnant water. In combination, these can lead to excessive sediment build-up and increase the need for algaecides and biocides. Tower Tech's enclosed, elevated-basin design is called a Flow-Thru Basin. This design feature eliminates most of the problems associated with conventional basins and removes the inefficient free-fall rain zone. Pump energy requirements were reduced, basin maintenance was virtually eliminated, and there was a reduction in algaecide use since the basin water was not exposed to sunlight. In addition, the Flow-Thru Basin significantly reduced the amount of dirt and trash that is typically blown into an open basin. The self-cleaning nature of the Tower Tech Flow-Thru Basin eliminated the build-up of sludge, common in stagnant regions of most towers. Bacteria, such as Legionella, can remain protected from chemical attack under this sludge.
To add flexibility to the modular design, a number of small fans were used instead of a few large fans. This made motor replacement less expensive and the increased number of fans for built in redundancy. If a motor fails the entire tower module stays in operation with minimal reduction in thermal performance. The performance of the new modular design was optimized by the installation of relatively small motors that were installed vertically (shaft down), and fans were direct-drive, which obviated the need for gear reducers, driveshafts, couplings, or pulleys.
While successful, the hand-laid tower proved too costly to manufacture. Extensive manpower was required to construct the tower and the reliance on man-made parts also made it difficult to maintain consistent tolerances. Also, the added cost of hand-laid fiberglass priced the tower on the high end of the market. To counter this fundamental drawback, the decision was made to change from a hand-laid fiberglass tower to a pultrusion fiberglass design.
Much of the success of the fiberglass tower can be attributed to the company’s decision to have the Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) certify thermal performance in 1993. An annual retest by CTI has maintained the certification continuously since 1993.
Lean Six Sigma Manufacturing
In 2001-02, Tower Tech adopted Lean Enterprise principles and implemented a company-wide quality management process. Product designs were further improved, non-essential assets were abandoned, and the manufacture of most component parts was outsourced. Senior management became deeply committed to the continuous improvement of products, processes, and people. Most Tower Tech associates have attended several Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma workshops and earned Six Sigma Black Belts, Six Sigma Green Belts, and received other industry recognition. All Tower Tech associates are encouraged to attend college and pursue other avenues of professional growth. And virtually all Tower Tech associates have attended Tower Tech University’s seven certification courses which emphasize cross-pollination of the company’s various work disciplines.
Today, Tower Tech manufactures TTXL and TTXR Series Modular Series Cooling Towers. These highly refined, premium fiberglass cooling towers have, as a standard offering, engineering certifications covering Zone 4 seismic restraint with OSHPD approval and the only cooling tower with 200MPH wind loading. Acoustic certifications are also available. Too, as with all Tower Tech Modular Cooling Towers produced since 1993, the thermal performance of all TTXL and TTXR Modular Cooling Towers is certified by the Cooling Technology Institute (CTI).
Tower Tech Today
Over the course of two decades, Tower Tech has grown from a small wooden cooling tower constructor to a mid-sized manufacturer that’s well known for offering innovative cooling towers that are easy to install and that offer ultra-low operating costs, excellent maintenance and safety characteristics, unmatched redundancy, and long service life. Tower Tech enjoys a niche in the comfort cooling market, process market, and co-generation market. The company’s revolutionary design has been accepted by numerous offshore companies who now promote Tower Tech technology in their respective countries and regions.
To date, Tower Tech and its international network of partners have sold more than 3,000 factory assembled modular cooling towers valued at more than $250 million.