Cooling Towers – Glossary Of Terms

When researching and purchasing equipment it’s important to understand the common terminology related to cooling towers. 

Here is a list of common cooling tower engineer terms.

Who is Marley Flow Control?

Marley Flow Control are industry leaders and have been in operation since 2002. Our level of expertise and wealth of knowledge has allowed us to work with some of the country’s largest businesses and corporations. Marley Flow Control’s team of highly experienced engineers offer several services for a range of industries, including:

  • Cooling tower manufacture and maintenance
  • Flow control engineering
  • Large-scale fan manufacturing
  • Laser alignment
  • Facilities maintenance 


Laser alignment

A way of measuring misalignment between two or more shafts. It is the most accurate and efficient way to monitor and test the alignment of machine parts.

Read Top 7 benefits of laser alignment


When a shaft moves or changes position from the collinear axis of rotation, preventing the equipment from running efficiently.


When two lines are positioned as though they were one line.


A shaft is a long piece of metal, usually circular in cross-section, in a machine that turns and transmits power or movement to another part of the device.

Shaft alignment

Positioning two or more machines so that their rotational centrelines are colinear at the coupling point.

Coupling point or coupling alignment

A device used to connect two shafts together to transmit power.


An enclosed system that increases or reduces speed. It does this by transmitting mechanical energy to an output device.

Dial gauge

One of the first and most common measuring tools used to build engines, dial gauges are used to measure deck clearances, crankshaft thrust and alignment.

Straight edge

A tool used for drawing straight lines. They are also used for checking the straightness and flatness of machine parts.

Vibration issues

When a turbulent flow contacts a flexible wall, this causes a vibration. These vibrations can then cause several issues in a machine such as:

  • Increased wear and tear
  • Vibration issues
  • Reduced performance and lifespan
  • Premature seal and bearing failure.


A connector, usually a support, that permits the connected machine parts to rotate or move in a straight line.


Refers to all pipework in a machine – for example, straight pipes, elbows, T pieces, and flanges.

Cooling tower

A specialised heat exchanger that allows water and air to combine to cool hot water. During this process, small amounts of water evaporate, lowering the water temperature that circulates through the tower.

The purpose of a cooling tower is to reduce the temperature of the circulating hot water from the condenser or machine to be used again in the boiler or to cool your process equipment.

Read Cooling tower services – types of cooling towers


A device used in heat transfer systems. A condenser is used to condense a gaseous substance onto a liquid for cooling.


A closed vessel in which a fluid, most likely water, is heated or vaporised. This hot water or steam is then used for domestic or commercial heating.


Product or service that is designed, supplied, built or installed fully complete and ready to operate.


A mechanical device that increases the gas pressure by reducing its volume – much like a pump.

Emergency or standby generator

A back-up electrical system that operates automatically. In a power outage, an automatic transfer switch starts the generator, moving the electrical load to the generator itself.

Water reticulation system

A series of water distribution networks that are collected and treated before being distributed to a client or consumer.


Device, man-made or natural, that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a liquid by opening, closing or partially obstructing various passageways.

Fuelling systems

Made up of a fuel tank, pump, filter and injectors or a carburettor, the fuelling system delivers fuel to an engine as it is needed.


A device that moves fluids, both liquids and gases, by mechanical action. Pumps usually do this by converting electrical energy to Hydraulic energy.

Fill media or wet deck surface

A method used in cooling towers to increase the surface area of the tower. The bigger surface allows for more water-to-air contact, which increases evaporation.

Surface area

The sum of all the areas of all the surfaces, on a 3D or solid object.

Centrifugal fan

A mechanical device for moving air or gasses in a direction at an angle to the incoming fluid.


Type of vaporisation that occurs on the surface of a liquid as it changes into a gas phase.

Heat transfer

The flow of heat, otherwise known as thermal energy, due to temperature fluctuations and the resulting temperature changes.

Airflow generation

A method of converting thermal or fluid energy into mechanical energy.


When a refined metal is naturally converted to a more chemically stable form – such as oxide, hydroxide, or sulphide. This process gradually destroys the metal.


A flow of pollutant in the form of vapour or smoke that is released into the air.

Drift rate

The emitted percentage of the circulating water flow rate through a cooling tower.


An organic compound mainly used in antifreeze and polyester fibres.

About Marley Flow Control

Marley Flow Control is a one-stop-shop that can handle your cooling tower needs – including removal, installation and maintenance.

Australian owned and operated, we are a well-known and trusted brand that offers a high level of expertise and an extensive range of products that are ready to order.

We are also the only company that offers a full turnkey solution for your cooling tower needs.

Today, Marley Flow Control has contracts with Brookfield Global Integrated Services and Spotless to perform maintenance tasks on fuel storage facilities for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Along with the ADF, we are the preferred provider of cooling tower repair and maintenance services to several high-profile companies. Find out how we can use our engineering experience to help find the right solution for your business needs. Contact us here for a free quote.