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1.

0 Abstract
Water cooling tower laboratory was conducted to perform heat and mass balance on the
system. The effects of the process variables were observed on the exit temperature of water.
This experiment had several parameters that can be adjusted to observe the effects on the
evaporation of water. The parameters are flow rate of water, temperature, power of heater,
relative humidity and flow rate of air and cooling load. For this experiment, we had selected
the blower as the constant parameter while water flow rate and heater power as the variable.
Thus, the equation of steady flow which are energy and mass balances were used in order to
provide an insight on the amount of heat transferred between phases under different
conditions. The power transfer was calculated from this experiment of cooling load for 0.5
kW, 1.0 kW and 1.5 kW.

2.0 Introduction
The SOLTEQ Basic Cooling Tower Unit (Model: HE152) has been designed to show
students the construction, design and operational characteristics of a modern cooling system.
The unit resembles a full size forced draught cooling tower and it is actually an "open
system" through which two streams of fluid which in this case air and water pass and in
which there is a mass transfer from one stream to the other. The unit is self-contained
supplied with a heating load and a circulating pump. Once energy and mass balances are
done, then students will be able to determine the effects on the performance of the cooling
tower by several parameters which are temperature and flow rate of water, relative humidity
and flow rate of air, and cooling load.
Packing characteristics column which is optional (A, B, C, D) are available for
SOLTEQ Basic Cooling Tower Unit (Model: HE152). The column is designed to assist
study of water and air conditions at three additional stations (I, II and III) within the column.
This enables driving force diagrams to be constructed and the determination of the
Characteristic Equation for the Tower. (Experimental Manual, Water Cooling Tower;
MODEL: HE 152)

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The experiment is started with the general start-up procedure. The column C had been
chosen in conducting this experiment to observe and determine the objectives. For the first
experiment, the water flowrate will be the constant value which is 2.0 LPM, while the power
of heater as variable parameter for 0.5 kW, 1.0 kW, and 1.5 kW. This is to determine the
change of temperature for each power supply. Then, for the second experiment, we had
chosen different water flow rate as the variable parameter which in value of 1.0 LPM, 2.0
LPM, and 2.5 LPM, while the heater as a constant value at 1.0 kW. This was conducted to
determine the heat load, Q and cooling range, T.

3.0 Aims
To observe the different ranges cooling load and inlet temperature of water cooling
tower.

4.0 Theory
The cooling range means the difference between the water temperature at entry to and exit
from the tower. Then, the cooling load is the rate at which heat is removed from the water.
This may be expressed in kW, Btu/h or k Cal/h. The quantity of fresh water which must be
supplied to the water circuit to make good the losses due to evaporation and other causes is
called make-up. Drift or carry is droplets of water which are entrained by the air stream
leaving the tower. Over packing or fill means the material over which the water flows as it
falls through the tower, so that a large surface area is presented to the air stream. Approach to
wet bulb means the difference between the temperature of the water leaving the tower and the
wet bulb temperature of the air entering.

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Basic principles consider the surface of a warm water droplet or film in contact with an
air stream. The first consider an air stream passing over the surface of a warm water droplet
or film. An assumption had been made which that if the water is hotter than the air, then the
water temperature will be cooled down by radiation, conduction and convection, and
evaporation. The radiation effect is normally very small and may be neglected. Then, the
conduction and convection depend on the temperature difference, the surface area, air
velocity, etc. The effect of evaporation is the most significant where cooling takes place as
water molecules diffuse from the surface into the surrounding air. During the evaporation
process, the water molecules are replaced by others in the liquid from which the required
energy is taken. (Experimental Manual, Water Cooling Tower; MODEL: HE 152)

Evaporation from a Wet Surface


The rate of evaporation from a wet surface into the surrounding air is determined by the
difference between the vapor pressure at the liquid surface, which is the saturation pressure
corresponding with the surface temperature, and the vapor pressure in the surrounding air.
For the final is determined by the total pressure of the air and its absolute humidity. In an
enclosed space, evaporation can continue until the two vapor pressures are equal, which is
until the air is saturated and at the same temperature as the surface. However, if unsaturated
air is constantly circulated, the wet surface will reach an equilibrium temperature at which the
cooling effect due to the evaporation is equal to the heat transfer to the liquid by conduction
and convection from the air, which under these conditions, will be at a higher temperature.
Then, the equilibrium temperature will reach by the surface under adiabatic conditions, which
is in the absence of external heat gains or losses, that called the "wet bulb temperature". In a
cooling tower of immeasurable size and with a sufficient air flow, the water leaving will be at
the wet bulb temperature of the incoming air. The difference between the temperature of the
water leaving a cooling tower and the local wet bulb temperature is an indication of the
effectiveness of the cooling tower. The "Approach to Wet Bulb" is one of the important
parameters in the design, testing, specification, and selection of cooling towers. For the
conditions within a cooling tower packing are complex due to the changing air temperature,
humidity and water temperature as the two fluids pass through the tower usually in a counter
flow. (Experimental Manual, Water Cooling Tower; MODEL: HE 152)

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To understand the working principle and the performance of a cooling tower, a basic
knowledge of thermodynamic is important. There is a brief review on some of the
thermodynamic properties. At the triple point (i.e. 0.00602atm and 0.01C), the specific
enthalpy of saturated water is assumed to be zero, which is taken as datum. The specific
enthalpy of saturated water (hf) at a range of temperatures above the datum condition can be
obtained from thermodynamic tables. The specific enthalpy of compressed liquid is given by
p p sat
h=hf + v f )
The correction for pressure is negligible for the operating condition of the cooling tower;
therefore, we can see that h hf at a given temperature. The specific heat capacity (Cp) is
defined as the rate of change of enthalpy with respect to temperature which often called the
specific heat at constant pressure. For the purpose of experiment using bench top cooling
tower, we may use the following relationship:
h=C p T
and
h=C p T
Where Cp = 4.18 kJ.kg -1 (Experimental Manual, Water Cooling Tower; MODEL: HE 152)

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5.0 Apparatus
7

1
s
2
3
4

5
10
6

Figure 5.0-1: Parts Identification and Equipment Set-up of Bench Top Cooling Tower

1
2
3
4
5

Orifice
Water Distributor
Packed Column
Flow Meter
Air Blower

6
7
8
9
10

Receiver Tank
Differential Pressure Transmitter
Make-up Tank
Control Panel
Load Tank

Stopwatch
Deionized water

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6.0 Procedure
General Start-up Procedures
1) Valves V1 to V6 were checked to ensure it were closed and valve V7 is partially
opened.
2) The load tank is filled with distilled or deionized water. It is done by first the make-up
tank was removed and then the water was poured through the opening at the top of the
load tank. The make-up tank was replaced onto the load tank and the nuts lightly
tightened. The tank was filled with distilled or deionized water up to the zero mark on
3)
4)
5)
6)

the scale.
Distilled or deionized water was added to the wet bulb sensor reservoir to the fullest.
All appropriate tubing was connected to the differential pressure sensor.
The appropriate cooling tower packing was installed for the experiment.
Then, the temperature was set point of temperature controller to 50C. The 1.0 kW

water heater was switched on and the water heated up until approximately 40C.
7) The pump was switch on and the control valve V1 was slowly opened and the water
flowrate was set to 2.0 LPM. A steady operation was obtained where the water is
distributed and flowing uniformly through the packing.
8) The fan damper was fully opened, and then the fan was switched on. The differential
pressure sensor is giving reading was checked when the valve manifold is switched to
measure the orifice differential pressure.
9) The unit was let ran for about 20 minutes, for the float valve to correctly the level in
the load tank was adjusted. The makeup tank was refilled as required.

Experiment 1
1) Temperature set point of temperature controller was set to above 45C. The 0.5kW
water heater was switched on.
2) The pump was switched on and the control valve V1 was slowly opened and the water
flow rate was set to 2.0LPM.
3) After 15 minutes, T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, and T6 were obtained from control panel.
4) To measure the differential pressure across the orifice, valves V4 and V5 were opened
while valves V3 and V6 were closed.
5) Then, to measure the differential pressure across the column, valves V3 and V6 were
opened while valves V4 and V5 were closed.
6) The step was repeated from (1-5) for different heater power 1.0 kW and 1.5 kW.
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Experiment 2
1) Temperature set point of temperature controller was set to above 45C. The 1.0kW
water heater was switched on.
2) The pump was switched on and the control valve V1 was slowly opened and the water
flow rate was set to 2.0LPM.
3) After 15 minutes, T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, and T6 were obtained from control panel.
4) To measure the differential pressure across the orifice, valves V4 and V5 were opened
while valves V3 and V6 were closed.
5) Then, to measure the differential pressure across the column, valves V3 and V6 were
opened while valves V4 and V5 were closed.
6) The step was repeated from (1-5) for different water flow rate 1.0LPM and 2.5 LPM.

General Shut-Down Procedure


1) Heaters were switched off and the water was let to circulate through the cooling tower
2)
3)
4)
5)

system for 3-5 minutes until the water cooled down.


The fan was switched off and the fan damper was fully closed.
The pump and power supply were switched off.
The water in reservoir tank was retained for the following experiment.
The water completely drained from the unit if it is not in used.

7.0 Results
Experiment 1

Heater
Column C
Water flow rate = 2.0 LPM
Blower: Fully opened
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Heater (kW)
Air inlet dry bulb, T1(C)
Air inlet wet bulb, T2(C)
Air outlet dry bulb, T3(C)
Air outlet wet bulb, T4(C)
Water inlet temperature, T5(C)
Water outlet temperature, T6(C)
Different pressure (Pa)
Dp orifice
Dp column

0.5
30.7
26.9
26.6
27.7
30.1
26.4
5
69
64

1.0
31.3
27.6
29.2
30.1
34.5
28.2
4
67
63

1.5
31.1
27.4
30.8
32.0
38.0
28.8
3
66
63

1.0
32.4
28.2
29.5
30.5
41.9
27.5

2.0
32.1
28.0
29.5
30.6
35.0
28.5

2.5
31.8
27.9
29.5
30.5
33.8
28.6

Experiment 2

Water flow rate


Column C
Heater = 1.0 kW
Blower: Fully opened

Water flow rate (LPM)


Air inlet dry bulb, T1(C)
Air inlet wet bulb, T2(C)
Air outlet dry bulb, T3(C)
Air outlet wet bulb, T4(C)
Water inlet temperature, T5(C)
Water outlet temperature, T6(C)

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Different pressure (Pa)


Dp orifice
Dp column

17
70
53

3
68
65

3
65
68

8.0 Calculations
Experiment 1
Water flow rate constant = 1.0 LPM
Variable: heater
Change in temperature for each power supply, = water inlet temperature, T5
T (cooling range)

water outlet temperature, T6

Power = 0.5 kW
T = T5 T6
= 30.1 -26.4
= 3.7 C
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Power = 1.0 kW
T = T5 T6
= 34.5 28.2
= 6.3 C

Power = 1.5 kW
T = T5 T6
= 38.0 28.8
= 9.2 C

Experiment 2
At water flow rate = 1.0 LPM
Cooling range, T = water inlet temperature, T5 water outlet temperature, T6
= 41.9 27.5
= 14.4 C
m=1.0

L
kg 1 M
1
M
L 60 s

= 0.0167
Heat load, Q mCp T

0.0167

kg
4.186 14.4
s

= 1.0046 kW
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Water Flow Rate (LPM)


1.0
2.0
2.5

Heat Load, kW
1.0046
0.9070
0.9070

Cooling Range, C
14.4
6.5
5.2

9.0 Discussion
The SOLTEQ Water Cooling Tower (Model: HE 152) is used to run this experiment. This
experiment was conducted to study the effects of variables changes on the temperature of the
water. There are three variables that will affect the water temperature which are heater power,
water flow rate, and the blower. For this experiment we were focused on the heater power and
water flow rate as the changing variable in different experiment, meanwhile the blower was
set as constant which is fully opened for both experiments. For every change in heater power
energy and water flow rate, the time interval for the process to occur is 15 minutes. This was
to ensure that the system is in steady state operation.
Heat is transferred from a body with a higher temperature to lower temperature. As for
this cooling tower experiment, there is need to produce a product which has a lower
temperature which is cooler than the media being used for the transfer of heat in the system.
For the water cooling tower, the temperature of the outlet water can be lower than the
temperature of the cooling air. The cooling of the hot water was in the form of forced
convection by which ambient air was blown over the hot water.
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Water in the cooling tower is cooled by the process known as evaporation. In the
process, heat energy is being transferred between the water and air which having different
temperature. As the energy in the water molecules is transfer to the air flowing through the
water, the bond of the water molecules becomes weaker then it will slowly evaporate to the
air. This was proved from the result of this experiment, which the water outlet temperature is
lower than the inlet temperature. It can be seen from the results section above on experiment
1 and 2. The example on experiment 1 for 0.5 kW; water outlet=26.4C, while water
inlet=30.1C. The fill is used in order to increase the time contact of the water and the air
flowing in the system.
From the data obtained at the end of the experiment, the changes in heater power has
affect the energy being transferred within the system and surrounding. Larger heater power
may cause higher temperature in water. Then, in this experiment, the temperature of the water
is assumed higher than the air flowing through the system without considering the changes in
heater power. For the example, based on results from the experiment 1 for 1.0 kW, the value
of water inlet=34.5C, while air inlet dry bulb=31.3C and air inlet wet bulb=27.6C.

In experiment 2, we had determined the effect of cooling range, T based on the


differences of water flow rate. From the calculation, the experiment had showed higher water
flow rate will cause the decreases cooling range. For example, water flow rate: 1.0 LPM, 2.0
LPM and 2.5 LPM, while cooling range: 14.4C, 6.5 C and 5.2 C. Other than that, we also
had determined the heat load, kW based on the differences value of water flow rate. From the
calculation, the heat load value: 1.0046 kW, 0.9070 kW and 0.9070 kW. Therefore, it can
prove that as the water flow rate increases the heat released decreases.

10.0

Conclusion

The laboratory water cooling tower is conducted to study the performance at differences
range of cooling load and inlet temperature of cooling tower. From the data obtained, we
have calculated the changes in temperature for each power supply for experiment 1 and the
cooling range and heat load for experiment 2. As the increases of power supply in experiment
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1, the temperature of cooling range in the cooling tower increases. Then, as the water flow
rate increases, the cooling range decreases which decreases the heat load. Hence, the
experiment has been a success since the objectives of the experiment were achieved and we
also have gained knowledge regarding to the water cooling tower operation.

11.0

Recommendations

In this experiment there are several recommendations that can be deduced to improve the
results of this experiment. First, the water that used in the unit only deionized water or
distilled water. Then, when using the tap water in the system, the impurities exist in the tap
water may cause the depositing in the cover tower and then lower the efficiency of the
cooling tower. Other than that, make sure there is no water in the pressure tubing for accurate
differential pressure measurement. When installing the cooling tower column or make-up
tank, the nuts must ensure not tighten too hard because it may cause the crack. Also, not too
tight lightly which can cause spilling of water out from the column. Furthermore, ensure that
the pressure of tubes for differential pressure measurement are connected correctly which
orifice pressure tapping point to V4, columns lower pressure tapping to V6, columns higher
pressure tapping point to V3 and V5 leave to atmosphere. Besides that, after completed the
experiment, ensure that the water inside the tower was cooled down first before draining it off
because if water still hot when draining off the water, the units efficiency will decrease.

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12.0 References
1) Richard M. Felder, Ronald W. Rousseau. (2005). Elementary Principles of Chemical
Process, 3rd Ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
2) Frank P. Incropera, David P. Dewitt, Theodore L. Bergman, Adrienne S. Lavine. 2007.
Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer, 6th Ed. John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd.
3) http://www.me.iitb.ac.in/~matrey/PDF's/cooling%20tower.pdf
4) Experimental Manual, Water Cooling Tower; MODEL: HE 152

13.0

Appendices

Figure 13.0-1: Different packing in another column.

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Figure 13.0-2: Packed Column C with 200 m2/m3.

Figure 13.0-3: The control panel showed the data.

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