Energy Conversion and Management 51 (2010) 1298–1303
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Energy Conversion and Management
journal homepage: www.elsevi er.com/locate/enconman
Thermal performance of cross ﬂow cooling towers in variable wet bulb temperature
Ebrahim Hajidavalloo ^{a}^{,} * , Reza Shakeri ^{b} , Mozaffar A. Mehrabian ^{b}
^{a} Mechanical Engineering Department, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran ^{b} Mechanical Engineering Department, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
article info
Article history:
Received 3 October 2008 Received in revised form 11 June 2009 Accepted 9 January 2010 Available online 4 February 2010
Keywords:
Variable wet bulb Cooling tower Mathematical model Thermal performance Impact separator
abstract
Cooling towers are widely used in most industrial units to reject waste heat to the atmosphere. Wet tow ers are usually designed to operate in hot and dry weather conditions with narrow range of wet bulb tem perature, but many cooling towers are required to operate in weather condition with large variation of wet bulb temperature which strongly affects the thermal performance of the towers. In this paper a con ventional mathematical model is used to predict the thermal behavior of an existing cross ﬂow tower under variable wet bulb temperature and the results are compared with experimental data in various operating conditions. Available ﬁll characteristic curve of the tower is obtained to estimate its departure from the design conditions. It is found that when the wet bulb temperature increases, the approach, range and evaporation loss would increase considerably. Variation of evaporation loss versus wet bulb temper ature was estimated. Finally the effect of placing an impact separator in front of air louvers on thermal performance of the tower is investigated.
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Cooling towers are the heat and mass transfer devices being in widespread use. Due to their important role, different kinds of cooling towers have been introduced to address the various de mands of industries. Different mathematical models have been developed to predict the thermal behavior of wet cooling towers. The ﬁrst practical model to describe the heat and mass transfer mechanisms in wet cooling towers was proposed by Merkel [1] . Using Merkel’s theory, most of the studies have paid more atten tion to analyze the counter ﬂow towers compared to the cross ﬂow towers. The reasons for the lack of studies on the cross ﬂow towers are the widespread use of counter ﬂow towers and also the difﬁ culty in the analysis of cross ﬂow towers as compared to the coun ter ﬂow towers. Snyder [2] applied the theory of heat exchanger design to calculate the driving force of a cross ﬂow tower in the same way as was used to calculate the mean temperature differ ence in a cross ﬂow heat exchanger and obtained the overall en thalpy transfer coefﬁcient. He assumed a linear relationship between the water temperature and enthalpy of saturated air. Zivi and Brand [3] solved the differential equations numerically using a nonlinear relationship between the water temperature and en thalpy of saturated air. Schechter and Kang [4] applied the Zivi and Brand’s method to more general operating conditions by rep resenting an exponential function to express the equilibrium rela tion between the water temperature and enthalpy of saturated air
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98 611 3738532; fax: +98 611 3369684. Email address: hajidae_1999@yahoo.com (E. Hajidavalloo).
01968904/$  see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi: 10.1016/j.enconman.2010.01.005
at a limited range. Baker and Shryock [5] proposed an integral solu tion based on Merkel’s theory. Poppe and Rogener [6] developed a new model for cooling tow ers which did not use the simplifying assumptions made by Mer kel. The critical differences between Merkel, Poppe and e NTU models were investigated by Kloppers and Kroger [7] . They con cluded that when the water outlet temperature is the only impor tant parameter to the tower designer, the less accurate Merkel and e NTU approaches can be used but when the heat transfer rates are concerned; they give lower values than that predicted by Poppe approach. Hayashi and Hirai [8] approximated the enthalpy of sat urated air by a ﬁrstorder equation with respect to the water tem perature, and applied the cross ﬂow heat exchanger calculations to obtain the overall enthalpy transfer coefﬁcient by using a chart. Inazumi and Kageyama [9] proposed a graphical method for calcu lation of the enthalpy driving force in a cross ﬂow cooling tower. Khan and Zubair [10,11] considered the effect of Lewis number and heat transfer resistance in the air–water interface and devel oped a detailed model for counter ﬂow wet cooling towers. Halasz [12,13] developed a general mathematical model to describe the thermal characteristics of all types of evaporative cooling devices. The main feature of this model is its nondimensionality which efﬁciently reduces the required parameters to analyze an evapora tive device. He then applied his model to predict the thermal behavior of wet cooling towers and compared the model results with an accurate model. Kairouni et al. [14] applied the Halasz’s model to predict the thermal performance of cooling towers in south Tunisia. Prasad [15] developed a numerical model for cross ﬂow wet cooling towers and applied the model to estimate the
E. Hajidavalloo et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 51 (2010) 1298–1303
1299
Nomenclature
A _{v}
surface area of water droplets per unit volume of tower,
_{m} 2 _{m} 3
speciﬁc heat of water at constant pressure, J kg ^{} ^{1} C ^{} ^{1} mass transfer coefﬁcient, kg m ^{} ^{2} h ^{} ^{1}
c _{w}
h _{m}
H enthalpy, J kg ^{} ^{1}
L length of the tower, m
m mass ﬂow rate per square meter of the tower, _{k}_{g} _{m} 2 _{h} 1
t temperature, C
x,y coordinates shown in Fig. 1
V
FC
_
volume of the selected tower, m ^{3} ﬁll characteristic = ^{h} ^{m} ^{A} ^{v} ^{V}
_
m
w
FR 
ﬂow ratio, water to air = 
Subscripts 

a 
air 
_{a}_{v} 
available 
db 
dry bulb 
i 
inlet 
o 
outlet 
s 
refers to saturated air 
wb 
wet bulb temperature 
w 
water 
_
m w
_
m a
departure of available ﬁll characteristics (FC _{a}_{v} ) of the packing of a multicell cross ﬂow cooling tower from their values at design state. In spite of vast application of cross ﬂow cooling towers in indus tries, there are limited investigations to address the effect of large variation of wet bulb temperature on the performance of this type of cooling towers and most researches are devoted to the counter ﬂow cooling towers. Moreover, since cross ﬂow cooling towers have large inlet area for air as compared to counter ﬂow cooling towers, therefore, more pollution, and the way of cleaning the air before tower is very important in this type of towers. This matter has not been discussed yet. In this study, the conventional Merkel’s model is used to ana lyze the thermal behavior of the tower at different wet bulb tem peratures for an existing cooling tower working in south of Iran and located in steel company in Ahvaz city. Ahvaz city has variable wet bulb temperature due to its closeness to the Persian Gulf in the Middle East. When the weather gets humid, the performance of cooling towers deteriorates considerably. Experimental test was carried out to validate the predicted results. Moreover, impact type separator is introduced as an effective way to prevent polluted and dusty air from entering the tower.
2. Mathematical modeling
Merkel’s model is used to investigate the behavior of the tower. The basic assumptions of this model are:
1. The heat transfer resistance of the liquid ﬁlm is negligible.
2. The mass ﬂow rate of water per unit cross sectional area of the tower is constant (neglecting the mass of evaporated water).
3. The speciﬁc heat of moist air at constant pressure is the same as that of dry air.
4. Lewis number for moist air is unity.
According to the Merkel’s theory, all the heat and mass transfer occurring at each point of the cooling tower can be treated as a
Fig. 1. A differential element of a cross ﬂow cooling tower.
single transfer process with enthalpy difference as the driving force. Unlike the analysis of counter ﬂow tower which is one dimen sional, the cross ﬂow tower must be treated as a two dimensional system because there are variation of temperature and humidity both in vertical and horizontal directions. Considering a differential element of a cross ﬂow cooling tower ( Fig. 1 ), the energy balance equation inside the tower is:
m _{w} c _{w} dt _{w} dx ¼ m _{a} dH _{a} dy ¼ h _{m} A _{v} dxdy½ H _{s} H _{a}
_
_
ð
1Þ
where, dxdy is the volume of the element, with its width assumed unity. Rearranging Eq. (1) results in the following set of PDEs for the variations of water temperature and air enthalpy throughout the tower:
_
m
w c w
@
t _{w}
@
y
¼ h _{m} A _{v} ð H _{s} H _{a} Þ
_
m
a
@
H _{a}
@
x
¼ h _{m} A _{v} ðH _{s} H _{a} Þ
The boundary conditions are:
t _{w} ðx; 0Þ ¼ t _{w}_{i}
H _{a} ð 0; y Þ ¼ H _{a}_{i}
ð
ð
ð
ð
2Þ
3Þ
4Þ
5Þ
The relation between water temperature and enthalpy of satu rated air [16] is:
2
H _{s} ¼ 4: 7926 þ 2: 568t _{w} 0: 029834t _{w}
3
þ 0: 0016657t _{w}
ð 6Þ
The governing equations (Eqs. (2) and (3)) in conjunction with Eq. (6) are coupled and nonlinear, which should be solved simul taneously. Finite difference technique is used to solve the set of governing equations to ﬁnd air and water properties in each point of the tower.
3. Tower speciﬁcations and required characteristic curve
Fig. 2 shows a schematic diagram of the cooling tower, it is a cross ﬂow cooling tower with three cells (six cell halves). The ﬁlls
are splash type with rectangular cross section and made from red wood. The design conditions of the tower are listed in Table 1 . The required characteristic curve (FC _{r} ) of the tower for speciﬁed
conditions is shown in Fig. 3 . In this ﬁgure two characteristic curves are drawn, one, which is used frequently, is based on the assumption that the inlet air is saturated at its wet bulb tempera ture (RH = 100%). The other one is based on real relative humidity of inlet air (RH = 22%). As the two curves almost coincide, assuming saturated inlet air is reasonable.
FC _{r}
1300
E. Hajidavalloo et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 51 (2010) 1298–1303
material doesn’t follow its design curve and it is required to be ob tained experimentally. Obtaining this curve has two main advantages:
1. Predicting the thermal behavior of the tower with varying
and m _{a} , which helps the user to ﬁnd the optimum operating point of the tower at present conditions.
2. Estimating the departure of FC _{a}_{v} from design conditions, this feature helps the user to ﬁnd the percentage of degradation of packing material, which can be used in maintenance program
_
m
w
_
of the tower.
Table 1 Design conditions of the selected tower.
Mass ﬂow rate of water 
3429734.6 
kg/h 
Mass ﬂow rate of air per fan 
1927932.5 
kg/h 
Inlet water temperature 
58.0 
C 
Outlet water temperature 
30.0 
C 
Wet bulb temperature of inlet air 
24.0 
C 
Expected evaporation loss 
5.0 
% 
Cell half dimensions Length 
5.5 
m 
Height 
9.6 
m 
Width 
12.0 
m 
2.5
2
1.5
m
a
Fig. 3. Required characteristic curves of the tower at two different conditions of inlet air.
4. Available ﬁll characteristic curve (FC _{a}_{v} )
In order to simulate the existing cooling tower, it is required to obtain the current ﬁll characteristic curve of the tower. Fill charac teristic is a nondimensional parameter in each wet cooling tower, which represents the overall potential of the ﬁll to cool water and is written as:
FC _{a}_{v} ¼ ^{h} ^{m} ^{A} ^{v} ^{V}
_
m
w
ð
7Þ
FC _{a}_{v} curves for different packing shapes and materials are ob tained by ﬁll suppliers using appropriate tests. After a length of service, the FC _{a}_{v} value of packing may diminish due to several rea sons, like ﬁll damage and water misdistribution. Therefore, the ﬁll
Available ﬁll characteristic curve for one cellhalf of the tower has been obtained using a numerical–experimental method described by Prasad [15] . He used measured values of t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{i}_{n} and t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{a}_{x} in order to predict FC _{a}_{v} of the tower, since these values are unique functions of FC _{a}_{v} for a given set of wet bulb and inlet water temperatures. For this purpose a set of experimental data at four various operating conditions of the selected tower has been obtained which is shown in Table 2 . In order to determine FC _{a}_{v} after a period of service, Eqs. (2) and (3) are used together with measured values of t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{i}_{n} and t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{a}_{x} . A twoway iteration is performed, one for adjusting unknown FR and the other for modifying unknown FC _{a}_{v} , until the computed results for t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{i}_{n} and t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{a}_{x} match with their respective measured values. Each of the temperatures t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{i}_{n} and t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{a}_{x} represent the average of a number of measurements recorded at equidistant points on outer and inner ends of the ﬁll bottom. Measurement at different values of FR, which itself is an unknown, and computing the corre sponding values using the developed computer program estab lishes current relationship between FR and FC. Available ﬁll
Table 2 Measured data at four operating conditions of the tower.
t _{w}_{i} ( C) 
t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{i}_{n} ( C) 
t _{w}_{o}_{,}_{m}_{a}_{x} ( C) 
t _{w}_{b} ( C) 
t _{d}_{b} ( C) 
FR 
FC 
55.0 
24.6 
29.3 
22.0 
37.9 
0.43 
2.20 
55.0 
26.1 
30.7 
21.0 
39.2 
0.47 
1.67 
55.0 
27.2 
32.2 
21.5 
41.8 
0.50 
1.45 
52.0 
28.3 
33.7 
23.0 
46.0 
0.60 
1.28 
FR =
.
m
w
.
m
a
Fig. 4. Available ﬁll characteristic curve for cellhalf.
E. Hajidavalloo et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 51 (2010) 1298–1303
1301
characteristic values obtained from the illustrated numerical experimental method are plotted against the respective FR for the tower in Fig. 4 . To estimate the percentage of degradation of packing character istic from the design condition, the current value should be com pared with the design value obtained from Fig. 3 . The design values are: FR _{r} = 0.587, FC _{r} = 1.92. From Fig. 4 , the available ﬁll characteristic at design ﬂow ratio (FR _{r} = 0.587) is FC _{a}_{v} = 1.285. So the degradation of the tower is about 33%.
5. Results and discussion
After ﬁnding the existing ﬁll characteristic of the tower, the per formance of the tower can be predicted at different conditions using the mathematical model. Variations of air enthalpy and water temperature through the packing are shown in Fig. 5 , which is in agreement with results re ported in [5] . Hot water at temperature of 58 C enters from the top and is cooled as it falls downward. The solid lines represent con stant water temperatures. Air with 24 C wet bulb temperature en ters from the left, across the OY axis, and is heated as it moves to the right. The dotted lines show constant air enthalpies in the tower. This ﬁgure shows that air and water properties vary in X and Y directions, contrary to the counter ﬂow tower where the properties only depend on Y direction. Table 3 presents the model predictions and experimental data from cooling tower at eight various operating conditions. The rela tive error of the model predictions when compared with experi mental results is less than 8%. Fig. 6 shows the model predictions and experimental data for water outlet temperatures. Having conﬁrmed the accuracy of the model and cooling tower characteristics, we can use the model to study the effect of other parameters on the performance of the existing cooling tower.
Table 3 Comparing the model predictions of outlet water temperature with experimental data at different wet bulb temperatures.
^{t} ( wb C) 
^{t} ( 
db C) 
^{t} ( wi C) 
^{t} ( wo,min C) 
^{t} ( wo,max C) 
^{t} ( wo,ave,exp C) 
^{t} ( wo,ave,Merkel C) 
Error (%) 
20.5 
44.0 
48.0 
24.2 
27.4 
25.8 
27.1 
5.05 

21.0 
36.0 
41.0 
24.5 
28.3 
26.4 
26.3 
0.49 

21.6 
44.0 
48.0 
25.0 
26.8 
25.9 
27.7 
6.76 

22.0 
42.0 
48.0 
24.7 
28.3 
26.5 
27.9 
5.29 

22.0 
42.0 
49.0 
24.1 
28.0 
26.0 
28.0 
7.67 

23.0 
40.0 
38.0 
25.2 
28.5 
26.9 
26.8 
0.13 

24.0 
38.0 
50.0 
26.4 
30.0 
28.2 
29.3 
3.82 

26.0 
38.0 
42.0 
29.1 
33.5 
31.3 
29.4 
6.22 
Water inlet temperature (°C)
Fig. 6. Comparing the model predictions of outlet water temperature with experimental data at different wet bulb temperatures.
Wet bulb temperature (°C)
Fig. 7. Effect of ambient air wet bulb temperature on the water outlet temperature of tower.
One of the most important parameters that should be consid ered in the design and operating of wet cooling towers in mixed weather conditions, like Ahvaz climate, is the effect of wet bulb temperature on tower performance. In Ahvaz climate, the maxi
mum dry bulb temperature in summer approaches 52 C, while the wet bulb temperature is moderately low, around 24 C. But sometimes this situation is changed and weather becomes humid
1302
E. Hajidavalloo et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 51 (2010) 1298–1303
with 100% relative humidity and wet bulb temperature reaches around 35 C. This large change in the wet bulb temperature has an important effect on the tower performance and the tower does not work efﬁciently. Fig. 7 shows the effect of wet bulb temperature on water outlet temperature at different FRs. The ﬁgure shows that increasing the wet bulb temperature will increase the water outlet temperature. The rate of increase is higher as the wet bulb temperature in creases. This means that the tower approach decreases as the
Wet bulb temperature (°C)
Fig. 8. Effect of ambient air wet bulb temperature on the evaporation loss of the tower.
Table 4 Effect of wet bulb on outlet water temperature at four hot summer days in Ahvaz.
2468
Y (m)
Fig. 9. Effect of wet bulb on water temperature distribution along the tower.
wet bulb temperature increases. This is in agreement with the same result reported for counter ﬂow cooling tower in [11] . Fig. 8 shows the effect of wet bulb variations on the evaporation loss of water at different dry bulb temperatures. This ﬁgure shows that increasing the wet bulb temperature, decreases the evapora tion rate of water considerably. It also shows that increasing the dry bulb temperature at constant wet bulbs, increases the evapora tion rate. The rate of increase in the evaporation rate at different dry bulb temperatures is almost constant as the wet bulb temper ature increases. Comparing these results with the evaporation loss data at design conditions ( Table 1 ), shows that the evaporation loss at design conditions is only consistent at dry bulb temperature of
42 C, which is not a good estimate for the tower, since the ambient
air temperature reaches to a maximum of 52 C with summer aver
age temperature of 46 C. The effect of wet bulb temperature on water temperature distri bution along the tower has been investigated at four hot summer days in Ahvaz and shown in Table 4 and Fig. 9 . The ﬁgure shows
12345
X (m)
Fig. 10. Effect of FR on air enthalpy variations across the cellhalf.
2468
Y
(m)
Fig. 11. Effect of FR on temperature distribution along the cellhalf.
E. Hajidavalloo et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 51 (2010) 1298–1303
1303
Fig. 12. Layer of dust scale on the body and packing of the tower.
Water inlet temperature (°C)
Fig. 13. Effect of impact separator on water outlet temperature of cooling tower.
that increasing the wet bulb temperature is more effective in the bottom section of the tower. Fig. 10 shows the effect of various FR on the air enthalpy across the tower, at design conditions. The ﬁgure shows that increasing FR will increase the air enthalpy at any position in the cooling tower. The effect of FR on water temperature along the tower has been shown in Fig. 11 . The ﬁgure shows that the temperature of water is increased when FR is increased. This can be explained from the fact that an increase in FR, means that more water should be cooled for a given tower volume. Therefore, one would expect that the surface area required both for convection and evaporation will be reduced, resulting in higher water outlet temperatures.
6. Effect of impact separator on tower performance
Many cooling towers working at polluted areas, suffer from scale forming as a result of entering considerable amount of dust
suspended in its immediate surrounding. Dust deposit on the inlet louvers and packings of cooling tower creates a thick layer of scale around these parts after a while as shown in Fig. 12 . In order to re duce entering dust and suspended solids in the tower, an impact separator was proposed to place in front of air louvers of the tower. High collection efﬁciency [17] , simple construction and low cost, stable operation, low pressure drop, and easy scale up are the ma jor attractions of impact separators for applications in cooling tow ers. The effect of putting a Ushaped impact separator with 5% reduction in air ﬂow rate, on the outlet water temperature of the tower has been shown in Fig. 13 . This ﬁgure shows that the impact separator has no important effect on increasing the outlet water temperature and may be used easily in front of the towers to ﬁlter dusty air.
7. Conclusions
A mathematical model is used to simulate the effect of any change in operating conditions of cooling tower, especially the wet bulb temperature, on the thermal performance of a cross ﬂow tower. Available characteristic curve for packing material has been obtained using a numerical–experimental method which provides an insight on the current performance of the tower. It is found that increasing the wet bulb temperature, at constant dry bulb, will de crease the approach, range and evaporation loss in the tower con siderably. The evaporation rate is increased as the dry bulb temperature increases and the rate of increase is almost constant at different wet bulb temperatures. An impact separator could be used as a reasonable solution to reduce the amount of suspended solids in the air without any considerable loss in the tower performance.
References
[1] Merkel F. Evporative cooling. Z Verein Deutsch Ingen (VDI) 1925;70:123–8. [2] Snyder NW. CEP Sympos Ser 1956:61–79. [3] Zivi SM, Brand BB. An analysis of the cross ﬂow cooling tower. Refrig Eng
1956;64:31–4.
[4] Schecheter RS, Kang TL. Ind Eng Chem 1959;51:1373–84. [5] Baker DR, Shryock HA. A comprehensive approach to the analysis of cooling tower performance. J Heat Transf 1961;83:339–49. [6] Popp M, Rogener H. Calculation of cooling process. VDIWarmeatlas; 1991. p. Mi 1–Mi 15. [7] Kloppers JC, Kroger DG. Cooling tower performance evaluation: Merkel, Poppe, and eNTU methods of analysis. J Eng Gas Turbines Power 2005;127:1–7. [8] Hayashi Y, Hirai E. Analysis of a multiunit co current cross ﬂow cooling tower. J Heat Transf 1974;3:67–74. [9] Inazumi H, Kageyama S. A successive graphical method of design of a cross ﬂow cooling tower. Chem Eng Sci 1974;30:717–21. [10] Khan JR, Zubair SM. Performance characteristics of counter ﬂow wet cooling towers. Energy Convers Manage 2002;44:2073–91. [11] Khan JR, Zubair SM. An improved design and rating analyses of counter ﬂow wet cooling towers. J Heat Transf Trans ASME 2001;123:770–8. [12] Halasz B. A general mathematical model of evaporative cooling devices. Int J Therm Sci 1998;37:245–55. [13] Halasz B. Application of a general nondimensional mathematical model to cooling towers. Int J Therm Sci 1999;38:75–88. [14] Kairouani L, Hassairi M, Tarek Z. Performance of cooling tower in south of Tunisia. Build Environ 2003;39:351–5. [15] Prasad M. Economic upgradation and optimal use of multicell cross ﬂow evaporative water cooling tower through modular performance appraisal. Appl Therm Eng 2003;24:579–93. [16] Stoecker WP, Jones JW. Refrigeration and air conditioning. New York: McGraw Hill; 1983. [17] De S, Lal AK, Nag PK. An experimental investigation on pressure drop and collection efﬁciency of simple platetype impact separator. Powder Technol
1999;106:192–8.
Molto più che documenti.
Scopri tutto ciò che Scribd ha da offrire, inclusi libri e audiolibri dei maggiori editori.
Annulla in qualsiasi momento.