Energy performance estimation of cooling towers
The goal of this project is to investigate and compare the performance of cooling towers using Effectiveness-NTU model and the empirical model of cooling towers. The process of achieving the goals includes: Developed both models of the cooling tower using the Effectiveness-NTU method, and empirical method for predicting the performance at the design and off-design conditions; Stated experimental protocols and gathered data on HVAC cooling towers on campus of the University of Alabama; Used collected data to validate the models; Compared results from models with real measurements and find the limitations of models; Applied known annual weather data to estimate the performance and energy consumption of cooling tower for a whole year; Recommended the approach for the best energy and heat performance of cooling towers. As a result, the Effectiveness-NTU model provided closer results than the empirical model. All data and specifications were measured and gathered from the experiment on the cooling tower on campus. However, the air mass flow rate and the temperature of the leaving air were not always possible to gather in different cooling towers, especially industry cooling towers. Therefore, both models were designed to predict mass flow rate, and temperature of the leaving air by applying air temperature and relative humidity. Further testing is required to validate the accuracy of the models because there was a limited control over the running status of fans and the experiments were not done in wintertime with lower entering air temperature. Validation of the models on another cooling tower is also essential. Additionally, the empirical model can be improved if there is a way to reset all 27 coefficients based on different cooling towers.