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Training Session on Energy

Equipment

Cooling Towers
Presentation from the
Energy Efficiency Guide for Industry in Asia

www.energyefficiencyasia.org

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UNEP 2006
Training Agenda: Cooling Towers

Introduction
Types of cooling towers
Assessment of cooling towers
Energy efficiency opportunities

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UNEP 2006
Introduction

Main Features of Cooling Towers

(Pacific Northwest National Library, 2001) 3


UNEP 2006
Cooled water is needed for, for example, air conditioners,
manufacturing processes or power generation.
A cooling tower is an equipment used to reduce the temperature of
a water stream by extracting heat from water and emitting it to the
atmosphere.
Cooling towers make use of evaporation whereby some of the
water is evaporated into a moving air stream and subsequently
discharged into the atmosphere. As a result, the remainder of the
water is cooled down significantly.
Cooling towers are able to lower the water temperatures more than
devices that use only air to reject heat, like the radiator in a car, and
are therefore more cost-effective and energy efficient 4
Introduction

Components of a cooling tower


Frame and casing: support exterior
enclosures
Fill: facilitate heat transfer by
maximizing water / air contact
Splash fill
Film fill

Cold water basin: receives water at


bottom of tower
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Frame and casing. Most towers have structural frames that
support the exterior enclosures (casings), motors, fans, and other
components. With some smaller designs, such as some glass
fiber units, the casing may essentially be the frame.

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Fill. Most towers employ fills (made of plastic or wood) to
facilitate heat transfer by maximizing water and air contact. There
are two types of fill:
Splash fill: water falls over successive layers of horizontal splash
bars, continuously breaking into smaller droplets, while also
wetting the fill surface. Plastic splash fills promote better heat
transfer than wood splash fills.
Film fill: consists of thin, closely spaced plastic surfaces over
which the water spreads, forming a thin film in contact with the
air. These surfaces may be flat, corrugated, honeycombed, or other
patterns. The film type of fill is the more efficient and provides
same heat transfer in a smaller volume than the splash fill. 7
Cold-water basin. The cold-water basin is located at or near
the bottom of the tower, and it receives the cooled water that
flows down through the tower and fill. The basin usually has a
sump or low point for the cold-water discharge connection. In
many tower designs, the cold-water basin is beneath the entire
fill. In some forced draft counter flow design, however, the
water at the bottom of the fill is channeled to a perimeter trough
that functions as the cold-water basin. Propeller fans are
mounted beneath the fill to blow the air up through the tower.
With this design, the tower is mounted on legs, providing easy
access to the fans and their motors.
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Introduction

Components of a cooling tower


Drift eliminators: capture droplets in
air stream
Air inlet: entry point of air
Louvers: equalize air flow into the fill
and retain water within tower
Nozzles: spray water to wet the fill
Fans: deliver air flow in the tower
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Drift eliminators. These capture water droplets
entrapped in the air stream that otherwise would be lost
to the atmosphere.

Air inlet. This is the point of entry for the air entering a
tower. The inlet may take up an entire side of a tower
(cross-flow design) or be located low on the side or the
bottom of the tower (counter-flow design).
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Louvers. Generally, cross-flow towers have inlet louvers.
The purpose of louvers is to equalize air flow into the fill
and retain the water within the tower. Many counter flow
tower designs do not require louvers.
Nozzles. These spray water to wet the fill. Uniform water
distribution at the top of the fill is essential to achieve
proper wetting of the entire fill surface. Nozzles can either
be fixed and spray in a round or square patterns, or they can
be part of a rotating assembly as found in some circular
cross-section towers.

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Fans. Both axial (propeller type) and centrifugal fans are used in
towers. Generally, propeller fans are used in induced draft towers
and both propeller and centrifugal fans are found in forced draft
towers. Depending upon their size, the type of propeller fans used
is either fixed or variable pitch. A fan with non-automatic
adjustable pitch blades can be used over a wide kW range
because the fan can be adjusted to deliver the desired air flow at
the lowest power consumption. Automatic variable pitch blades
can vary air flow in response to changing load conditions.

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Training Agenda: Cooling Towers

Introduction
Types of cooling towers
Assessment of cooling towers
Energy efficiency opportunities

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UNEP 2006
Types of Cooling Towers

Natural Draft Cooling Towers

Hot air moves through tower


Fresh cool air is drawn into the
tower from bottom
No fan required
Concrete tower <200 m
Used for large heat duties
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The natural draft or hyperbolic cooling tower makes use of the
difference in temperature between the ambient air and the
hotter air inside the tower. It works as follows:
Hot air moves upwards through the tower (because hot air
rises)
Fresh cool air is drawn into the tower through an air inlet
at the bottom.
Due to the layout of the tower, no fan is required and there is
almost no circulation of hot air that could affect the
performance. Concrete is used for the tower shell with a height
of up to 200 m. These cooling towers are mostly only for large
heat duties because large concrete structures are expensive. 15
Air drawn across Air drawn up
Types
falling water
of Cooling Towers through falling
Fill located water
outside tower Fill located
Natural Draft Cooling Towers
inside tower

Cross flow Counter flow 16


(Gulf Coast Chemical Commercial Inc.) UNEP 2006
Types of Cooling Towers

Mechanical Draft Cooling Towers


Large fans to force air through
circulated water
Water falls over fill surfaces:
maximum heat transfer
Cooling rates depend on many
parameters
Large range of capacities
Can be grouped, e.g. 8-cell tower 17
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Mechanical draft towers have large fans to force or draw air
through circulated water. The water falls downwards over fill
surfaces, which help increase the contact time between the water
and the air - this helps maximize heat transfer between the two.
Cooling rates of mechanical draft towers depend upon various
parameters such as fan diameter and speed of operation, fills for
system resistance etc.

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Mechanical draft towers are available in a large range of
capacities. Towers can be either factory built or field erected
for example concrete towers are only field erected.
Many towers are constructed so that they can be grouped
together to achieve the desired capacity. Thus, many cooling
towers are assemblies of two or more individual cooling towers
or cells. The number of cells they have, e.g., a eight-cell
tower, often refers to such towers.

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Types of Cooling Towers

Mechanical Draft Cooling Towers

Three types
Forced draft
Induced draft cross flow
Induced draft counter flow

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UNEP 2006
Types of Cooling Towers

Forced Draft Cooling Towers


Air blown through tower
by centrifugal fan at air
inlet
Advantages: suited for
high air resistance & fans
are relatively quiet
Disadvantages:
recirculation due to high
air-entry and low air-exit
(GEO4VA) velocities
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UNEP 2006
Types of Cooling Towers

Induced Draft Cooling Towers


Two types
Cross flow
Counter flow
Advantage: less recirculation than forced
draft towers because the speed of exit air
is 3-4 times higher than entering air
Disadvantage: fans and motor drive
mechanism require weather-proofing
against moisture and corrosion because
they are in the path of humid exit air 22
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Types of Cooling Towers

Induced Draft Counter Flow CT


Hot water enters at the top
Air enters at bottom and exits at top
Uses forced and induced draft fans

(GEO4VA)

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UNEP 2006
Types of Cooling Towers

Induced Draft Cross Flow CT


Water enters top and passes over fill
Air enters on one side or opposite sides
Induced draft fan draws air across fill

(GEO4VA)
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UNEP 2006
Training Agenda: Cooling Towers

Introduction
Types of cooling towers
Assessment of cooling towers
Energy efficiency opportunities

The performance of cooling towers is


evaluated to assess present levels of
approach and range against their design
values, identify areas of energy wastage
and to suggest improvements. 25
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Assessment of Cooling Towers

Measured Parameters
Wet bulb temperature of air
Dry bulb temperature of air
Cooling tower inlet water temperature
Cooling tower outlet water temperature
Exhaust air temperature
Electrical readings of pump and fan
motors
Water flow rate
Air flow rate 26
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Assessment of Cooling Towers

Performance Parameters
1. Range
2. Approach
3. Effectiveness
4. Cooling capacity
5. Evaporation loss
6. Cycles of concentration
7. Blow down losses
8. Liquid / Gas ratio
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Assessment of Cooling Towers

1. Range
Hot Water Temperature (In)
Difference between
cooling water inlet and
outlet temperature:

Range
(In) to the Tower
(Out) from the
Range (C) = CW inlet Tower

temp CW outlet temp


Cold Water Temperature (Out)
High range = good
Approach

performance
Wet Bulb Temperature (Ambient)

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Assessment of Cooling Towers

2. Approach Hot Water Temperature (In)


Difference between
cooling tower outlet cold
water temperature and

Range
ambient wet bulb (In) to the Tower
(Out) from the
temperature: Tower

Approach (C) =
CW outlet temp Wet Cold Water Temperature
bulb temp (Out)

Approach
Wet Bulb Temperature
Low approach = good (Ambient)
performance
Although, both range and approach should be monitored, the
`Approach is a better indicator of cooling tower 29
performance. UNEP 2006
Assessment of Cooling Towers

3. Effectiveness
Hot Water Temperature (In)
Effectiveness in %

= Range / (Range +

Range
Approach) (In) to the Tower
(Out) from the
Tower
= 100 x (CW temp CW
out temp) / (CW in
temp Wet bulb temp) Cold Water Temperature
(Out)

High effectiveness = Approach


Wet Bulb Temperature
good performance (Ambient)

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UNEP 2006
Assessment of Cooling Towers

4. Cooling Capacity
Hot Water Temperature (In)

Heat rejected in kCal/hr


or tons of refrigeration
(TR)

Range
(In) to the Tower
(Out) from the
= mass flow rate of water Tower

X specific heat X
temperature difference
Cold Water Temperature
(Out)
High cooling capacity = Approach
good performance Wet Bulb Temperature
(Ambient)
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Assessment of Cooling Towers

5. Evaporation Loss
Hot Water Temperature
Water quantity (m3/hr) (In)
evaporated for cooling duty

Range
= theoretically, 1.8 m3 for (In) to the Tower
(Out) from the
every 10,000,000 kCal heat Tower
rejected
Cold Water Temperature
= 0.00085 x 1.8 x circulation

Approach
(Out)

rate (m3/hr) x (T1-T2) Wet Bulb Temperature


(Ambient)
T1-T2 = Temp. difference
between inlet and outlet water 32
UNEP 2006
Assessment of Cooling Towers

6. Cycles of concentration (C.O.C.)


Ratio of dissolved solids in circulating water to
the dissolved solids in make up water

7. Blow-Down Losses
Depend on cycles of concentration and the
evaporation losses

Blow Down = Evaporation Loss


(C.O.C. 1) 33
UNEP 2006
Assessment of Cooling Towers

8. Liquid Gas (L/G) Ratio


Ratio between water and air mass flow rates

Heat removed from the water must be equal to


the heat absorbed by the surrounding air

L(T1 T2) = G(h2 h1)


L/G = (h2 h1) / (T1 T2)

T1 = hot water temp (oC)


T2 = cold water temp (oC)
Enthalpy of air water vapor mixture at inlet wet bulb temp (h1)
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and outlet wet bulb temp (h2)
UNEP 2006
Training Agenda: Cooling Towers

Introduction
Types of cooling towers
Assessment of cooling towers
Energy efficiency opportunities

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UNEP 2006
Energy Efficiency Opportunities

The main areas for improving the


energy efficiency of cooling towers are:

1. Selecting a cooling tower


2. Fills
3. Pumps and water distribution
4. Fans and motors
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Energy Efficiency Opportunities

1. Selecting a cooling tower


Capacity
Heat dissipation (kCal/hour)
Circulated flow rate (m3/hr)
Other factors e.g. Range

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Energy Efficiency Opportunities

1. Selecting a cooling tower


Range
Range determined by process, not by system

Approach
Closer to the wet bulb temperature
= Bigger size cooling tower
= More expensive
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Energy Efficiency Opportunities

1. Selecting a cooling tower


Heat Load
Determined by process
Required cooling is controlled by the
desired operating temperature
High heat load = large size and cost
of cooling tower

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UNEP 2006
Energy Efficiency Opportunities

1. Selecting a cooling tower


Wet bulb temperature considerations:
Water is cooled to temp higher than wet bulb
temp
Conditions at tower site
Not to exceed 5% of design wet bulb temp
Is wet bulb temp specified as ambient (preferred)
or inlet
Can tower deal with increased wet bulb temp
Cold water to exchange heat 40
UNEP 2006
Energy Efficiency Opportunities

1. Selecting a cooling tower


Relationship range, flow and heat load
Range increases with increased
Amount circulated water (flow)
Heat load
Causes of range increase
Inlet water temperature increases
Exit water temperature decreases
Consequence = larger tower 41
UNEP 2006
Energy Efficiency Opportunities

1. Selecting a cooling tower


Relationship Approach and Wet bulb
temperature
If approach stays the same (e.g. 4.45 oC)
Higher wet bulb temperature (26.67 oC)
= more heat picked up (15.5 kCal/kg air)
= smaller tower needed
Lower wet bulb temperature (21.11 oC)
= less heat picked up (12.1 kCal/kg air)
= larger tower needed 42
UNEP 2006
Energy Efficiency Opportunities

2. Fill media
Hot water distributed over fill media
and cools down through evaporation
Fill media impacts electricity use
Efficiently designed fill media reduces pumping
costs
Fill media influences heat exchange: surface
area, duration of contact, turbulence

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Energy Efficiency Opportunities

2. Fill media
Comparing 3 fill media: film fill more
efficient
Splash Fill Film Fill Low Clog
Film Fill
Possible L/G Ratio 1.1 1.5 1.5 2.0 1.4 1.8
Effective Heat Exchange 30 45 150 m2/m3 85 - 100 m2/m3
Area m2/m3
Fill Height Required 5 10 m 1.2 1.5 m 1.5 1.8 m
Pumping Head 9 12 m 58m 69m
Requirement
Quantity of Air Required High Much Low Low
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(BEE India, 2004; Ramarao; and Shivaraman) UNEP 2006
Energy Efficiency Opportunities

3. Pumps and water distribution


Pumps: see pumps session
Optimize cooling water treatment
Increase cycles of concentration (COC) by
cooling water treatment helps reduce make
up water
Indirect electricity savings

Install drift eliminators


Reduce drift loss from 0.02% to only 0.003
0.001% 45
UNEP 2006
Energy Efficiency Opportunities

4. Cooling Tower Fans


Fans must overcome system
resistance, pressure loss: impacts
electricity use
Fan efficiency depends on blade
profile
Replace metallic fans with FBR blades (20-
30% savings)
Use blades with aerodynamic profile (85-92%
fan efficiency) 46
UNEP 2006
Training Session on Energy
Equipment

Cooling Towers
THANK YOU

FOR YOU ATTENTION

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UNEP 2006
Disclaimer and References

This PowerPoint training session was prepared as part of


the project Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction from
Industry in Asia and the Pacific (GERIAP). While
reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the
contents of this publication are factually correct and
properly referenced, UNEP does not accept responsibility
for the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and shall
not be liable for any loss or damage that may be
occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or
reliance on, the contents of this publication. UNEP, 2006.
The GERIAP project was funded by the Swedish
International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
Full references are included in the textbook chapter that is
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available on www.energyefficiencyasia.org
UNEP 2006