Cooling towers allow water to be cooled by ambient air through evaporation. They have two types of air flow, crossflow and counterflow. In crossflow towers, the air moves horizontally across the downward flow of water. In counterflow towers, the air moves vertically upward against the downward fall of the water.
THE factors affecting Cooling Tower performance are:
1. Dry bulb and wet bulb temperature of the air
2. Capacity C
5. Efficiency of contact between air and water
6. Heat load
Ambient wet bulb temperature is a condition measured by a device called a psychrometer. A psychrometer places a thin film of water on the bulb of a thermometer that is twirled in the air. After about a minute, the thermometer will show a reduced temperature. The low point when no additional twirling reduces the temperature is called the wet bulb temperature.
Cooling tower performance is related to ambient wet bulb conditions. Higher wet bulb temperatures occur in the summer when higher ambient and relative humidity occurs.
The measured wet bulb temperature is a function of relative humidity and ambient air temperature. Wet bulb temperature essentially measures how much water vapor the atmosphere can hold at current weather conditions. A lower wet bulb temperature means the air is drier and can hold more water vapor than it can at a higher wet bulb temperature.
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