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1.

0 ABSTRACT/ SUMMARY
This Water Cooling Tower experiment is designed to familiarize the students with all the
processes that related to industrial force draught cooling tower. This experiment is to determine
the correlation of water to air mass flow ratio with increasing water flow rate. Other than that,
this experiment can investigate the cooling load effect, effect of different air flow rates by using
the blower, effect of the power required for the systems performance and also the effect of
different flow rates on the wet bulb approach. Therefore, estimate the evaporation rate of water
(water loss) for the tower. We had chose two different variables which are adjust the water flow
rates of 0.8, 1.2 and 1.6 liter per minute (LPM) and the different heater power of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5
kW. The results of the experiment study on heat and mass transfer coefficients in packing of wet
cooling towers.

2.0 INTRODUCTION
A cooling tower is a series of systems that are used to cool large structure or process. It can be
called as heat rejection device. The operation of cooling towers is when warm liquid is brought
into contact with saturated gas or air, part of the liquid evaporates and the liquid temperature
drops. Cooling tower is the cheapest way to cool large quantities of water. Function of packing in
cooling towers is to make the surface of air or water contact area as large as possible. Therefore,
when liquid is passed through the packing of a certain height where the air passes upwards
causing the evaporation, hence, the water stream is cooling. Air is passes through the packing by
forced-draft or induced draft fans by natural convection.
The cooling towers are simple in construction but with very complex heat and mass
transfer processes occurred. Determination of the heat and mass transfer mechanism for the
counter flow of water and air in direct contact with partial evaporation of water has a theoretical
and practical significance in establishing the basic equations of heat and mass transfer and in
developing the methods for its solving. In order to close the system of differential equations,
relations for transport coefficients is obtained and global variations of transport quantities have
been used during the solution of the problem.
Water circuit:
Pumped the warm water from the load tank to the control valve and water flow meter to
the column cap and measure the temperature is T5, the water is spreads over the plates, a large
thin film of water is exposed to the air stream. The water is cooled by largely evaporation of a
small portion of the total flow during the water passes through the packing. The cooled water
falls from the lowest packing deck into the basin and the temperature is measured (T6). And then
passes into load tank where it is reheated before recirculation.
Air circuit:
The air from the atmosphere enters through the blower which can control by the damper
settings. The blower discharges into the distribution chamber and the air passes wet and dry
sensors which the temperatures is measured, T2 and T1 respectively before enters the packed
column. As the air flows through the packing, the moisture content increases and water is cooled.
2

The air is then discharged to the atmosphere via the air measuring orifice and further wet and dry
bulb sensors which measure the temperatures, T4 and T3 respectively.
Air is passes upward through the wet packing under the action of the blower. The change
of dry bulb temperature is smaller than the change of wet bulb temperature has been seen. This is
because the air leaving is almost saturated (Relative Humidity 100%), therefore the increasing
in the moisture content of air is due to conversion of water into steam. The flow through the
column can be observed at the transparent casing.

3.0 AIMS
i)

To reduce the temperature of utility cooling water to allow its reuse in heat
exchangers.

ii)

To determine the correlation of water to air mass flow ratio with increasing water
flow rate.

iii)

To determine the cooling load effect, effect of different air flow rates and effect of
different flow rates on the wet bulb approach.

iv)

To estimate the evaporation rate of water (water loss) for the tower.

4.0 THEORY
The operation of cooling tower is the first law of thermodynamics which is the
conservation of energy. What is conservation of energy? Conservation of energy is the energy
that enters the system is equal to the energy that exit from the system. The energy cannot be
created or destroyed. Based on this experiment the hot water is entering the cooling water and
the hot water is cooling from temperature 1 to temperature 2. The hot water that enters the
cooling water is energy.
The cooling of the hot water was in the form of forced convection which is the ambient
air is blown over the hot water and exited the system in difference temperature. The temperature
for both water and air is recorded and the energy balance is formed. The equation is
H = U + PV (1)
Where
H: enthalpy
U: internal energy
P: pressure
V: volume

H = H out

..(2)

Where H = 0
Equation (1) use to calculate the enthalpy and equation (2) is the method to conduct the
energy balance for air entering and leaving the system where

H= H H out

Since the air at low pressure, it assume as the ideal gas and the enthalpy change is
calculated by using the equation :
H=C p T .(3)
4

Where :
H = change of enthalpy
C p =

specific heat at constant pressure

T = change of temperature
As the specific heat relation does not take into the percent of water in the air, the
psychometric chart is used to determine the enthalpy change between the entrance and exit of the
cooling water. The dry bulb and wet bulb temperature of the inlet and outlet air is needed to
reference the psychometric chart which measured by the sling psycho meter. An energy balance
can be conducted on the system when the enthalpies for both inlet and outlet water and air are
known.

5.0 APPARATUS
Water Cooling Tower HE152

6.0 PROCEDURES
General Start-Up Procedures
1. The valves V1 to V6 was ensured closed and valve V7 was partially opened.
2. The load tank was filled with distilled or deionised water.
3. The make-up tank was filled with distilled or deionised water up to the zero mark on the
scale.
4. Distilled or deionised water was added to the wet bulb sensor reservoir to the fullest.
5. The appropriate cooling tower packing was installed for the experiment.
6. All appropriate tubing was connected to the differential pressure sensor.
7. Then, the temperature set point of temperature controller was set to 45C. The 1.0kW
water heater was switched on and the water was heated up until approximately 40C.
8. The pump was switched on and slowly the control valve V1 was opened and the water
flow rate was set to 2.0 LPM. A steady operation was obtained where the water is
distributed and flowing uniformly through the packing.
9. The fan damper was fully opened, and then the fan was switched on. The differential
pressure sensor is giving readily was checked.
i.

To measure the differential pressure across the orifice, valve V4 and V5 was
opened; valve V3 and V6 was closed.

ii.

To measure the differential pressure across the column, valve V3 and V6 was
opened; valve V4 and V5 was closed.

10. The unit was left to run for about 20 minutes, for the float valve to correctly adjust the
level in the load tank. The makeup tank was refilled as required.
11. Now, the unit was ready for use.
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Experiment Procedures
1. The cooling tower were prepared and started with according to general start-up
procedures.
2. The system was set under the following conditions and allowed stabilizing for about 15
minutes.
Water flow rate

: 1.6 LPM

Blower

: Fully opened

Column Installed

: Column B

3. After the system stabilizes, a few sets of measurements were recorded and then the mean
value for calculation and analysis were obtained.
Temperature (T1-T6)
Orifice differential pressure (DP1)
Heater Power (Q1)
Pressure drop across packing (DP2)
4. The tests with three different sets of heater (0.5 kW, 1.0 kW, 1.5kW) were repeated
without changing the water flow rate, blower and column.
5. The steps 2 and 3 were repeated for three different sets of water flow rates (0.8 LPM, 1.2
LPM, and 1.6 LPM) without changing the blower, heater and column.

General Shut-Down Procedures


1. The heaters were switched off and the water was left to circulate through the cooling
tower system for 3-5 minutes until the water cooled down.
2. The fan was switched off and the fan damper was fully closed.
3. The pump and power supply were switched off.
4. The water in reservoir tank was retained for the following experiment.
5. The water was completely drained from the unit if it is not in used.

7.0 RESULTS
Variable: Heater
Column: B
Water Flow Rate: 1.6 LPM
Blower: Fully Open
Description
T1
T2
T3
T4
T5
T6
Heater Power
Dp Orifice
Dp Column

Unit
C
C
C
C
C
C
W
Pa
Pa

0.5

Heater (kW)
1.0

1.5

27.1
25.3
24.8
24.7
30.2
24.8
425
109
21

27.6
25.3
25.7
25.0
33.4
25.7
795
107
22

27.9
25.4
27.1
26.3
38.2
27.1
1204
106
20

Variable: Water Flow Rate


Column: B
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Heater: 1.0 kW
Blower: Fully Open
Description

Unit

T1
T2
T3
T4
T5
T6
Heater Power
Dp Orifice
Dp Column

C
C
C
C
C
C
W
Pa
Pa

0.8

Water Flow Rate (LPM)


1.2

1.6

27.9
25.4
26.1
25.5
37.7
24.8
807
107
20

28.2
25.4
26.6
26.1
36.3
25.6
813
107
19

27.6
25.3
25.7
25.0
33.4
25.7
795
107
22

8.0 CALCULATIONS
COLUMN B
Water Flow Rate = 1.6 LPM
Blower = Fully open
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Change in temperature for each power supply:


Power = 0.5 kW,
T =T 5 ( inlet )T 6 (outlet)
T =30.2 C24.8 C

5.4 C
Power = 1.0 kW,
T =T 5 ( inlet )T 6 ( outlet )
T =33.4 C25.7 C
7.7 C

Power = 1.5 kW,


T =T 5 ( inlet )T 6 ( outlet )
T =38.2 C27.1 C

11.1 C

COLUMN B

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Power = 1.0 kW
Blower = Fully open
Change in temperature for each power supply:
Water Flow Rate = 0.8 LPM,
T =T 5 ( inlet )T 6 (outlet)
T =37.7 C24.8 C

12.9 C
Water Flow Rate = 1.2 LPM,
T =T 5 ( inlet )T 6 ( outlet )
T =36.3 C25.6 C
10.7 C

Water Flow Rate = 1.6 LPM,


T =T 5 ( inlet )T 6 ( outlet )
T =33.4 C25.7 C

7.7 C

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9.0 DISCUSSION
SOLTEQ Water Cooling Tower (Model: HE 152) is used to run this experiment. Cooling
Tower experiment is about the determination of the correlation of water to the air mass flow ratio
with increasing water flow rate. It also about the investigation of the cooling load effect, effect of
different air flow rates and effect of different flow rates on the wet bulb approach
In this experiment, there are four variables that can be chosen that are heater,
condition of blower, water flow rate and type of column. Hence, we have chosen the heater and
water flow rate for both of the test we have conducted. To control heater, we have adjusted toggle
at the control panel up until the power that we have determined. We have chosen for the
condition of the blower to fully open, partially open or fully closed. For the water flow rate, we
adjusted the valve at the orifice meter to the flow rate that we want. There are four types of
column can be used along the experiment but we only use column B for both of the tests.
For the first test, we kept constant the water flow rate at 1.6 LPM and fullyopened blower throughout the test. The experiment was tested at the heater with power of 0.5kW,
1.0kW and 1.5kW. For every change in heater power energy, the time interval for the process to
occur is 10 minutes. This is to ensure that the system is in steady state operation. From the
experiment, we can see that the temperature change for each power supply is increasing with the
increment of the power.
For the second test, we set the heater at 1.0kW and fully-opened blower throughout the
test. The test was conducted at the water flow rate of 0.8LPM, 1.2LPM and 1.6LPM. From the
experiment, we have determined that the temperature change for each water flow rate is
decreasing with the decrement of the flow rate.
In the cooling tower, water is cooled by the process known as evaporation. In the
process, heat energy is transferred between the water and air which having different temperature.
It can be prove from the result of this experiment, whereby the water outlet temperature is lower

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than the inlet. For example, the water outlet in the first test is 27.1

while the water inlet is 38.2

. The tower inner structure is filled with fill that is arranged in the form of labyrinth. It is used

to increase the time contact of the water and the air flowing in the system.
Moreover, the precaution is important to attain the accurate and good results. For this
Cooling Tower experiment, make sure to close immediately all the valves that are opened after
taking the reading because the surrounding air will affect the composition of the air humidity in
the equipment. Next, the wet bulb sensor must be always dipped in the distilled water in order
for the equipment to work properly. The volume of water in the load tank must always be more
than half of the tank to avoid the heater from overheating.

10.0 CONCLUSION
For the column B with power supply 0.5kW, fully-opened blower, the change in
temperature of the inlet and temperature outlet is 5.4C which is the least. As compared to the
previous change in temperature, the power supply of 1.5kW produce the highest temperature
difference which is 11.1C. For the lowest water flow rate of 0.8 LPM, the change in temperature
of the inlet and outlet is the highest which is 12.9C. Meanwhile, for the highest water flow rate
of 1.5 LPM, the change in temperature is the lowest which is 7.7C. From both of the experiment
conducted, we can deduce that, the higher the power supply, the bigger the temperature
difference between the inlet and outlet. The higher the water flow rate, the smaller the
temperature difference between the inlet and outlet.

11.0 RECOMMENDATIONS
There are some recommendations regarding to this cooling tower experiment. Firstly, for
the water cooling tower HE152 only distilled water or deionised water can be used instead of tap
water. This is because the impurities that exist in tap water may cause the depositing in cover
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tower. Secondly, constantly make sure that no water is in the pressure tubing for accurate
differential pressure measurement. Thirdly, the general start-up and general shut-down
procedures must be done before and after the experiment to avoid the unit damage. Then, the
valve cannot be opened for a long time when the pressure across the orifice and column are taken
because the air will lost and it will affect the reading. Lastly, all the tubing must be installed
properly to avoid the leakage during the experiment.

12.0 REFERENCE
1. What is cooling tower? on 1st Oct from http://www.irvindelapaz.com/wpcontent/uploads/Cooling-Tower-Lab.pdf
2. Water and air circuit in cooling tower on 3rd Oct from
http://user.engineering.uiowa.edu/~expeng/laboratories/lab1/Lab%201b.pdf
3. Cooling Tower from http://www.me.iitb.ac.in/~matrey/PDF's/cooling%20tower.pdf
4. http://www.tech.plym.ac.uk/sme/ther305-web/Cooltwrs.PDF
5. Yunus A. C. and Michael A. B. (2011) Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach. 7th
ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
6. Manual laboratory experiment

13.0 APPENDIX

15

Water Cooling Tower HE152

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