Calculating the tons for a cooling tower requires you to understand some basic information about it works. Calculate a ton of cooling load using this formula: Cooling load = 500(1 US gal/min)(10 degrees Fahrenheit)/12,000_._ A 1-ton chiller is equal to 12,000 British thermal units. This amount of heat could theoretically melt 1 ton of ice in 24 hours. A cooling tower's job is to reduce the temperature of water through refrigeration. It is used in manufacturing, electrical-power generation and massive air-conditioning systems.

Determine the water flow rate though the cooling tower. This number should be expressed as gallons per minute and is shown as letter q in the formula.

Determine the temperature difference between the water entering the cooling tower and the water exiting the cooling tower. This should be expressed in Fahrenheit and is denoted as dt in the formula.

Multiply 500 times the water flow rate, times the temperature difference, divided by 12,000 or 500 x q x dt/12,000. The result is the tons of capacity of the cooling tower.