TG Cooling Systems in Power Plants

This page provides a closed user group myVGB, committee and panel members can sign in.


This Working Panel was established in 2008 and is until now dealing mainly with aspects of approval, design and operation of cooling towers and its respective states of technology, as there are:

  • Basic approvals for the design of cooling systems under consideration of the IPPC-Guideline 2008/1/EG (91/61/EG)
  • Evaluation of materials and products of the cooling fill (including preventative fire protection and fire behavior)
  • Automated operation modes/in Winter
  • Design data for the structural design (e.g. operation temperature effects due to process-relating differing operation modes)
  • "Best Practice" concerning new erections and maintenance (with system consistency in case of exchanging parts)
  • Special problems in conjunction with sound attenuating baffles
  • Consequences and considerations (avoidance/reduction) of recirculation effects within groups of cell cooling towers
  • Types of cooling systems (cell-, large cooling towers; continuous-/once-through-/circuit-/mixed cooling) and criteria for utilization
  • Specifics for flue gas discharges via cooling towers (i.a. measuring concepts/measuring spots for emissions, discharge procedures for the vapor-/flue gas-condensate etc.)
  • Amendment of the IPPC-BREF-Document "Industrial Cooling Systems"
Further tasks are the surveillance of new techniques to increase the efficiency of cooling systems and of changes in type and design of cooling towers, which are forced by change of regulations, and investigations in hygienic aspects of cooling water and cooling tower operation.


  • Consultancy for optimization of operations & maintenance including cooling water treatment
  • Inspections and damage investigations at site and in the laboratory on cooling systems, turbine condensers and other heat exchangers

Current Topics

  • Due to changing regulations the trend in erection of new cooling systems goes from once-through-cooling systems and natural draught cooling towers towards hybrid cooling towers and cell cooling towers. The working panel observes and discusses actual projects with regard to design, erection, approval and operational experience. One special topic is the execution and evaluation of acceptance tests on hybrid cooling towers.
  • The project group “Microbiology in Cooling Systems” investigates in hygienically aspects of cooling water and of fume from cooling towers. One topic is the effect of short term outages on microbiology.
  • Other project groups are working on the revision of the
    • VGB-Guideline “Water Treatment and Use of Materials”
      VGB-R455Pe, First Edition 2000

and on a new standard for design and operation of cooling systems, which will replace the guidelines VGB-R135e "Planning of Cooling Towers" und VGB-R129 “Operation of Cooling Towers in Winter”.