Performance Prediction and Validation of a Cross-Flow Wet Cooling Tower
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The steam turbine based large-scale thermal power plant needs cold water to be circulated in the steam condenser to carry away the waste heat of condensing from steam. The water becomes hot while circulating in the condenser which needs to be cooled in the cooling tower. The cross-flow cooling tower is most commonly used. The cross-flow cooling tower is a direct contact evaporative cooler, in which water and ambient air interact together to transfer not only heat but also the mass of water. The cooling tower is designed and tested under various environmental conditions. Analytical results for temperature and enthalpy variations of fluid are obtained using the Merkel equation. The equation stands well for the calculations of a cross-flow cooling tower. The experimental data is thoroughly validated with the analytical results. The experiments are performed at various L/G ratios (L = mass flow rate of water and G = mass flow rate of air) and at various environmental conditions. The L/G ratios taken for experimentation are 0.75, 1.0, 1.25 and 1.5. For higher L/G ratio at the same inlet conditions, the average outlet temperature of the water increases thereby reducing the temperature range. The maximum deviation obtained in experimental and analytical results for water temperature is 11.5% and that for wet bulb temperature of the air is 8.77%. During experimentation with the cross-flow cooling tower, the water temperature reduction of the order of 12°C is observed. However, in the real plant, it is about 9.5°C.
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