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Cooling towers are a special type of heat exchanger that allows water and air to come
contact with each other to lower the temperature of the hot water [1]. This experiment was
conducted to perform energy and mass balance on the cooling tower system and to observe the
effects of one of the process variables on the exit temperature of water. There are several
parameters that can be adjusted to observe its effects on the evaporation of water. The parameters
are flow rate of water, relative humidity, cooling load and also temperature. In this experiment, we
choose water flow rate and heater power as variable. For first part of this experiment, when the
heater power increase, the temperature difference between inlet and outlet flow will increase.
While for part two, this can be concluded that the cooling rang will increase when the water flow
rate increase. Beside cooling range, heat load of the water also increases.


The cooling tower device is a heat rejection device which rejecting the waste hot air into
the atmosphere through the cooling of water stream to a lower temperature [8]. Cooling towers
may either use the evaporation of water to remove process heat and cool the working fluid to
near the wet-bulb air temperature or in closed circuit dry cooling towers, rely solely on the air to
cool the working fluid to near the dry-bulb air temperature. The cost for this process is
inexpensive and very dependable by removing a low amount of heat from the process.

In the industry, there are many types of the cooling tower that has been used in many
process and application such as Natural draft cooling towers and Mechanical draft cooling
towers [9]. The differences between the cooling tower can be acknowledge by understanding and
knowing how the water and air interact in open and closed cooling tower.

The experiment is done to study the principle of the cooling tower which the laboratory
cooling tower is a cooling tower unit from the commercial air conditioning system. It is used in
conjunction with the residential size water heater to simulate a cooling tower used to provide
cool water for an industrial used. In this experiment unit, the cooling tower process load is
provided by the water heater in the tank. The laboratory cooling tower allows for complete
control of the speed of the fan which is air blower used in cooling the warm water. The pump
used in the experiment is to return the cooled water to the water heater.

The experiment can be conducted to study the adjustment of the parameter which is the
water flowrate in litre per minute(LPM) and the heater power that will affects the amount of the
heat removed from the water provided to the water heater. Besides that, this experiment also
conducted to show the mass and heat transfer in the system with the mass and energy balance for
the closed system.


1. To determine the correlation of water to air mass flow ratio with increasing water flow
2. To determine the cooling load effect, effect of different air flow rates and also the effect
of different flow rates on the ‘wet bulb approach’.
3. To estimate the evaporation rate of water (water loss) for the tower.


Cooling tower experiment operates according to the First law of Thermodynamics. That is
the conversion of energy which energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy is transformed
from one form to another. It is said that energy that enter the system must exit the system as it can
diffuse through the system [2]. Hot water that enters the cooling tower contain energy.

Hot water is being cooled from temperature T1 to a temperature of T2. Then, the cooling
of the hot water was in the form of force convection 3 by which ambient air at T1 was blown over
the hot water and the air exit the cooling tower at temperature T2 [1]. The data for both entrance
and exit temperature was recorded. The main component of the energy balance is enthalpy. It is
defined as:


H = Enthalpy

U = Internal energy

P = Pressure

V = volume

This equation is used to calculate the enthalpy of the system. For this experiment we used
air and water as the fluid in the cooling tower. Enthalpy values can be obtained from
thermodynamics textbook. For example: Both initial and final temperatures of the input hot water
and output cool water were measured. The temperature in (T in) can be referred and enthalpy can
be recorded. The enthalpy of the output cooled water can be obtained and energy balance can be
conducted for the water. The equation below displays the general method to conduct an energy

∑ΔH in = ∑ΔH out

Where ΔH = Hin - Hout

The change in enthalpy for air can be determined from two methods. It can be treated as an ideal
gas since the air is at low pressure and the enthalpy change can be calculated through the use of
the following equation:


CP = Specific heat with respect to constant pressure.

As the water that enter the cooling water loses energy, the enthalpy of the water that enter
the cooling tower can be determined by using the enthalpy of saturated liquid water in a steam
table [3]. The enthalpy of the water comes out from the tower can be determined in the same way.
The change in enthalpy for the water is determined by

ΔHWater = ΔHWater-out – ΔHWater-in

The change in energy of the air can be determined using the same methodology as was used for
water. The enthalpy change is shown as

ΔHAir = ΔHAir-out – ΔHAir-in

However, the determination of enthalpy of air is more complicated than the determination
of the enthalpy values of the water stream. Theoretically, when the two values are added together,
the result should be zero. This can be shown by first law of thermodynamics where

ΔHWater = ΔHAir and ΔHWater + ΔHAir = 0


 Stopwatch
 SOLTEQ bench top cooling tower unit (model: HE152)

1. Orifice
2. Water distributor
3. Packing column
4. Flow meter
5. Receiver tank
6. Air blower
7. Make up tank
8. Differential pressure transmitter
9. Load tank
10. Control panel


1. The button of fan is opened.

2. Water pump is started and the flow rate to a desired value is adjusted.
3. The water heater is started and the inlet temperature to a desired value is setted up.
4. The wet bulb temperature and dry bulb temperature of outlet water is measured.
5. After waiting till 10 minutes, the steady state is obtained. The attainment of the steady
state is confirmed the constancy in the outlet temperature.
6. Air velocity is measured by anemometer.
7. The inlet and outlet temperature of air is measured.
8. Steps 2 to 7 by changing water flow rate or inlet temperature of water is repeated


Experiment 1


Column C

Water flow rate = 2LPM

Blower = fully opened

Heater (kW) 0.5 1.0 1.5

Air inlet dry bulb, T1 (°C) 27.4 28.5 28.8
Air inlet wet bulb, T2 (°C) 27.7 28.6 28.8
Air outlet dry bulb, T3 (°C) 24.4 27.0 28.8
Air outlet wet bulb, T4 (°C) 26.4 28.2 30.4
Water inlet temperature, T5 (°C) 28.5 32.4 36.4
Water outlet temperature, T6 29.6 26.3 27.4
Heater power (W) 416 795 1196
Dp orifice (Pa) 74 71 71
Dp column (Pa) 71 65 64

Experiment 2

Water flow rate

Column C

Heater = 1.5kW

Blower = fully opened

Water flow rate (LPM) 0.8 1.2 1.6

Air inlet dry bulb, T1 (°C) 28.9 29.1 29.0
Air inlet wet bulb, T2 (°C) 28.6 28.4 28.2
Air outlet dry bulb, T3 (°C) 28.0 28.2 28.0
Air outlet wet bulb, T4 (°C) 28.6 29.9 29.9
Water inlet temperature, T5 (°C) 47.6 40.8 37.8
Water outlet temperature, T6 25.5 26.1 26.3
Heater power (W) 1221 1196 1235
Dp orifice (Pa) 73 190 191
Dp column (Pa) 55 59 63


Experiment 1

Water flow rate constant = 2LPM

Variable: heater

Change in temperature for each power supply, ∆T (cooling range)

= water inlet temperature, T5 – water outlet temperature, T6

Power = 0.5 kW

∆T = T5 –T6

= 30.8 – 29.6

= 1.2

Power = 1.0 kW

∆T = T5 –T6

= 32.4 – 26.3

= 6.1

Power = 1.5 kW

∆T = T5 –T6

= 36.4 – 27.4

= 9.0

Experiment 2

At water flowrate 0.8 LPM = 0.013 kg/s

Cooling range, ∆T = water inlet temperature, T5 – water outlet temperature, T6

= 47.6 – 25.5

= 22.1 °C

Heat load Q = mCp∆T

= 0.013kg/s x 4.186 x 22.1°C

= 1.203 kW

At water flowrate 1.2 LPM = 0.0204 kg/s

Cooling range, ∆T = water inlet temperature, T5 – water outlet temperature, T6

= 40.8 – 26.1

= 14.7 °C

Heat load Q = mCp∆T

= 0.0204kg/s x 4.186 x 14.7 °C

= 1.255 kW

At water flowrate 1.6 LPM = 0.0272 kg/s

Cooling range, ∆T = water inlet temperature, T5 – water outlet temperature, T6

= 37.8 – 26.3

= 11.5 °C

Heat load Q = mCp∆T

= 0.0272kg/s x 4.186 x 11.5 °C

= 1.309 kW

Water flow rate (LPM) Heat load (kW) Cooling range, °C

0.8 1.203 kW 1.2
1.2 1.255 kW 6.1
1.6 1.309 kW 9.0


From this experiment, the instrument was used in this experiment is Water Cooling
Tower HE152 unit. Cooling tower is called as a rejection device as it operated by removing heat
from water to a lower temperature by evaporation process through the units [4]. The removal
heat that occur in the cooling tower is called the latent heat of vaporisation. There are two main
objectives of this experiment which are investigating the effect of different the power of heater
toward cooling range of cooling tower and investigating of the effect of cooling range toward
different water flow rate.

There are several terms in principle of cooling tower we should know before starting the
experiment. As cooling tower have their own energy efficiency which are cooling range,
approach, heat load and wet-bulb temperature [5]. The higher energy efficiency can be achieved,
the great performances of cooling water is designated.

First, cooling range. The meaning of cooling range is the difference in temperature
between the hot water that entering the tower and the cold water leaving the tower [5,6]. Next,
the energy efficiency of cooling tower is approach. Approach means the difference between the
temperature of the cold water leaving the tower and the wet-bulb temperature of the air [5].
Establishment of the approach fixes the operating temperature of the tower and is a most
important parameter in determining both tower size and cost [5]. Others are heat load and wet-
bulb temperature. Heat load is the amount of heat to be removed from the circulating water
within the tower to maintain the temperature [7]. Heat load can be calculated by using water
circulation rate (gpm) times the cooling range times 500 and the formulae is expressed in
BTU/hr [5]. Heat load was calculated to determine the tower size and cost [5]. Besides wet-bulb
temperature is the lowest temperature that can be reached by the water theoretically in the
evaporation process [5,6]. Wet-bulb temperature also is used to determine the selection of the
cooling tower and it is measured by using psychrometer [5].

In the first experiment, the objective is to investigate on the effect of different the power
of heater toward cooling range on cooling tower. There are three different values of power of
heater which are 0.5 kW, 1.0 kW and 1.5 kW. The different power of heater we used, give the
different result in cooling range which are 1.2˚C, 6.1˚C and 9.0˚C. Thus, the first experiment
shows that the increasing the value of heater power will increase the temperature of cooling
range in cooling tower by constant the air blower with fully opened and constant the water flow
rate by 2.0 LPM.

In the second experiment, the objective of the experiment is to investigate the effect of
cooling range by using different water flow rate. There are three water flow rate we used in this
experiment which are 0.8 LPM, 1.2LPM and 1.6LPM by keeping the air blower fully opened and
the power of heater in constant rate. In this experiment, it shows that the increasing of water flow
rate will increase the degree of cooling range.

Thus, the selection of value of heater power and water flow rate in cooling tower is very
important to maintain the good performance. The great of cooling range shows that the higher
the efficiency of the cooling tower can perform to cool down the hot water entering the cooling


As a conclusion, the experiment is successfully conducted as the objective of this

experiment is achieved. For the first part of the experiment, it can be concluded that when the
heater power is increase, the temperature difference between inlet and outlet flow will increase.
For part two, it can be concluded that when the water flow rate increase, it will also increases the
cooling range of the water. Beside the cooling range, the heat load of the water also increases.


To ensure that the result obtained is precise, the experimental work must be run for about
20 minutes. This is because the reading of temperature and pressure drop will take time to become
constant. After 20 minutes, the cycle of the water in the cooling tower will become fixed so the
reading will be more precise.

Besides, the temperature of the water in the load tank must be 40 degree Celsius and above
to secure the reading of the water when it is cools down accurate. Then, the range of temperature
of cooling water will become big and we can see different clearly.

In addition, this experiment is an open-ended experiment, so student must consult and

know how to use the equipment before doing the experiment to avoid error and problem when
doing the experimental work. The variables for this experiment will be decided by the student.


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Accessed: 24 March 2017]
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3. Marley (2015), Featured Content, [Date accessed:
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tower-need-to-be-focused-when/ , [26/3/2017, 6.36 p.m.]

6. , [26/3/2017, 8.00 p.m.]

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8. [27/3/2017]
types/ [27/3/2017]