Numerical simulation of solar enhanced natural draft dry cooling tower

Zou, Zheng, Guan, Zhiqiang and Gurgenci, Hal (2014) Numerical simulation of solar enhanced natural draft dry cooling tower. Solar Energy, 101 8-18. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2013.12.018

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Author Zou, Zheng
Guan, Zhiqiang
Gurgenci, Hal
Title Numerical simulation of solar enhanced natural draft dry cooling tower
Journal name Solar Energy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0038-092X
Publication date 2014-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.solener.2013.12.018
Volume 101
Start page 8
End page 18
Total pages 11
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• A 3-D model for solar enhanced natural draft dry cooling tower is developed.
• Partial blockage has adverse impact on performance if coverage ratio goes too low.
• 50% seems to be the limit for coverage ratio.
• Small heat exchanger panel units should be considered in SENDDCT design.
• 1-D model tends to underestimate cooling capacity when blockage is introduced.

A Solar Enhanced Natural Draft Dry Cooling Tower (SENDDCT) is an air-cooled hybrid cooling system that uses solar energy to enhance the cooling efficiency of natural draft dry cooling. In this paper, a three-dimensional numerical analysis was carried out using commercial software ANSYS FLUENT to investigate the effects of the introduction of a partial blockage on the cooling performance of the SENDDCT and to determine the upper limitation of increasing the solar collector size in the SENDDCT design with a fixed area of heat exchangers. In the simulations, the cooling capacities of SENDDCTs with the same geometric and operating parameters, such as the heat-exchanger areas and tower heights, except for different collector sizes and blockage ratios (the ratio of the blocked area to the area offered at the collector outer edge), were evaluated and a comparative analysis was performed. The results showed that for an SENDDCT with fixed heat-exchanger area, the upper limitation of increasing the solar collector size is that corresponding to a blockage ratio reaching 50%, above which the heat dump capacity of the SENDDCT decreases with a further increase in the solar collector size owing to vortices generated at the back of the heat exchangers reducing the effective heat transfer area. In addition, with a distribution of small-unit heat exchangers, this effect can be significantly reduced.
Keyword Geothermal power plants
Cooling tower modeling
Solar cooling
Natural Draft Dry Cooling Tower
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Communicated by: Associate Editor S.A. Sherif.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 07 Feb 2014, 14:20:20 EST by Zhiqiang Guan on behalf of School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering