Water Collection Trough System

Water Collection Trough System

Technology Description

A cost-effective, highly efficacious trough assembly for collecting and removing drops with minimal air-side pressure drops for use in evaporative heat exchangers or cooling towers. The innovation reduces water consumption and required fan power. The elimination of a rain zone reduces the required pumping power. The system can be used in both wet-cooling towers and evaporative air-cooled heat exchangers.

Water drops falling under the influence of gravity from the fill of a cooling tower or from a tube bundle of an evaporative heat exchanger system impinge on inclined capture plates of the trough assembly, each capture plate having an associated trough into which water is directed.As there is usually air flow in the opposite direction, some water may become directed towards the back of a capture plate. Each capture plate further includes a deflection plate extending from an upper region thereof capable of intercepting such droplets.The deflection plate prevents water from contacting the back of the capture plate, and the water is directed into an adjacent trough or capture plate.

Target Industries

Manufacturers, suppliers and industries making use of wet-cooling towers and evaporative air-cooled heat exchangers.

Unique Features/Benefits

  1. The trough system can be implemented in hybrid (dry/wet) dephlegmators for steam power plants, which require highly effective water collection systems.
  2. Lower pressure drop reduces fan power consumption.
  3. Eliminates cooling tower rain zones thus reducing pumping power consumption.
  4. An effective water collection system reduces damage and maintenance of fans and drives.
  5. Water collection effectiveness is maximised.
  6. Minimal pressure drop.
  7. Inexpensive to manufacture when compared to existing systems.

Innovation Status

The effectiveness of the technology was demonstrated at a test facility.

The technology is protected by the following patents:

  1. European Patent Nr. EP3069094 in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom;
  2. South African Patent Nr. 2016/03207;


Principal Researchers

Prof H.C.R. Reuter,Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University

Prof D.G. Kröger, Emeritus Professor and Senior Researcher, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University 


Available for licensing



Ian van Zyl


Registered IP