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Cooling Tower Demonstrator


• To determine the “end state” properties of air and water from tables or charts.
• To determine energy and mass balances using steady flow equation on selected
• To investigate the effect of cooling load on “Wet Bulb Approach”.
• To investigate the effect of air velocity on: (a) Wet Bulb Approach, (b) pressure
drop through the packing.


Cooling tower is a heat removal device that uses water to transfer process waste
heat into the atmosphere. Consider an air stream passing over the surface of a warm water
droplet or film. Assuming that the water is hotter than the air, then the water will be cooled
down by radiation, conduction, convection and evaporation. Radiation effect is normally
very small and may be neglected. Conduction and convection will depend on a lot of aspect
for example the temperature difference, the surface area, air velocity and others. Therefore,
the effect of evaporation is the most significant where cooling takes place as water
molecules diffuse from the surface into the surrounding air.

The water leaving will be at wet bulb temperature of the incoming air for a cooling
tower of infinite size with an adequate air flow. In order to calculate the effectiveness of
the cooling water, the difference between the temperature of water leaving cooling tower
and local wet bulb temperature, wet bulb approach, was used.
Figure 1 shows System A

Consider System A for a cooling tower as defined in Figure 1. It can be seen that for this
system, indicated by the boundary line,

• heat transfer at the load tank (Q) and possibly a small quantity to surroundings
• work transfer at the pump (P)
• low humidity air (𝑚̇𝐴 ) enters at point A
• high humidity air (𝑚̇𝐴 ) leaves at point B
• make-up water (𝑚̇𝐸 ) enters at point E, the same amount as the moisture increase in
the air stream

The mass flow rate of dry air is given by

𝑚̇𝐴 = 1+ × mass flow rate of air/vapour mixture

1 𝑥(1+ )
= 1+ × 0.0137√ 𝑣𝑎𝑏

= 0.0137√𝑣
𝑎𝑏 (1+ )

Where, 𝑥 = orifice differential, mm H2O

 = humidity ratio of mixture

From the steady flow equation,

𝑄 − 𝑃 = 𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡 − 𝐻𝑖𝑛

= 𝑚𝑎 ℎ𝑑𝑎 + 𝑚𝑠 ℎ𝑠 − (𝑚𝑔 ℎ𝑑𝑎 + 𝑚𝑠 ℎ𝑠 ) − 𝑚𝐸 ℎ𝐸


If the enthalpy of the air includes the enthalpy of the steam associated with it, and this
quantity is in terms of per unit mass of dry air, the equation may then be written as:

𝑄 − 𝑃 = 𝑚̇𝑎 (ℎ𝐵 − ℎ𝐴 ) − 𝑚̇𝐸 ℎ𝐸

The term 𝑚̇𝐸 ℎ𝐸 can usually be neglected since its value is relatively small.

Figure 2 shows System B

Lets redefine the cooling tower system to be as in Figure 2 where the process heat
and pump work does not cross the boundary of the system. In this case warm water enters
the system at point C and cool water leaves at point D.

Again from the steady flow energy equation, 𝑄 − 𝑃 = 𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡 − 𝐻𝑖𝑛 , where 𝑃 = 0.

𝑄̇ may have a small value due to heat transfer between the unit and its surroundings:
𝑄 = 𝑚̇𝑎 ℎ𝐵 + 𝑚𝑤 ℎ𝐷 − (𝑚̇𝑎 ℎ𝐴 + 𝑚̇𝑤 ℎ𝑐 − 𝑚̇𝐸 ℎ𝐸 )


𝑄 = 𝑚̇𝑎 (ℎ𝐵 − ℎ𝐴 ) − 𝑚̇𝑤 (ℎ𝐷 − ℎ𝐶 ) − 𝑚̇𝐸 ℎ𝐸

𝑄 = 𝑚̇𝑎 (ℎ𝐵 − ℎ𝐴 ) − 𝑚̇𝑤 (𝑡𝐷 − 𝑡𝐶 ) − 𝑚̇𝐸 ℎ𝐸

Again, the term 𝑚̇𝐸 ℎ𝐸 can be neglected.


i. Cooling Tower Demonstration Unit

ii. Distilled water
iii. Beaker (500 mL)

Droplet Arrester

Water Distributor

Column B

Makeup tank

Control Panel

Receiver Tank

Figure 3 shows the Cooling Tower Demonstration Unit used in this experiment
The cooling tower demonstration unit contains:

• Load tank:
o 9 Litres tank fitted with 0.5 kW and 1.0 kW heaters, totalling up to 1.5 kW
• Make-up tank:
• Pump:
• Air distribution chamber:
• Tower:
o Dimension of 15 cm × 15 cm × 60 cm.
o Fitted with 8 decks of inclined packing.
o Packing density of 110 m2/m3 for Tower A and 200 m2 /m3 for Tower B.
• Water circuit:
• Air circuit:
• Temperature sensors:
o T1 Dry Bulb Inlet Air Temperature
o T2 Wet Bulb Inlet Air Temperature
o T3 Dry Bulb Outlet Air Temperature
o T4 Wet Bulb Outlet Air Temperature
o T5 Inlet Water Temperature
o T6 Outlet Water Temperature
o T7 Make-up Tank Temperature
o T8 Hot Water Tank Temperature
• Differential pressure sensor:
o V5 remains open at all times
o Orifice differential pressure: open V4.
o Pressure drop across packing: open V3 and V6.

Experiment 1:

Temperature Heating
Water Pressure Power
Time T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 Level(mm) (Pa) (W)
5 24.2 22 27.7 26.5 30.1 24.4 24.1 255 92.5 935
10 24.4 22.1 26.9 26.3 30 24.3 24.3 222 92.5 934
Average 24.3 22.05 27.3 26.4 30.05 24.35 24.2 92.5 934.5
Pressure : 35 Pa
level: 285mm
load: 1.0kW
Air Flow Maximum

Table 1: Tabulation of Results for Experiment 1

Experiment 2:

Temperature Heating
Water Pressure Power
Time T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 Level(mm) (Pa) (W)

5 24.5 22.3 32.4 31.2 39 27.5 24.3 230 95 1380

10 24.5 22.4 30.9 29.9 36.5 26.7 24.3 198 95 1377
Average 24.5 22.35 31.65 30.55 37.75 27.1 24.3 95 1378.5
Pressure : 35 Pa
level: 285mm
load: 1.5kW
Air flow maximum

Table 2: Tabulation of Results for Experiment 2

Experiment 3:

Water Pressure Power
Temperature Level(mm) (Pa) (W)
Time T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7
5 24.6 22.5 31.8 31 37.2 27.8 24.3 230 260 920
10 24.5 22.4 28.7 28.1 33 25.9 24.4 195 260 917
Average 24.55 22.45 30.25 29.55 35.1 26.85 24.35 260 918.5
Pressure : 35 Pa
level: 285mm
load: 1.0kW
Air flow 50%

Table 3: Tabulation of Results for Experiment 3

Sample Calculation for Experiment 1

𝑑 = 𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑢𝑝 𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑘 = 7.4 cm = 0.074 m

𝑋 = 𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑝 𝑖𝑛 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑙𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑙 = 3.2 cm = 0.032 m
𝑡 = 10 min × = 600 s
𝜌 = 1000 kg/m3

𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐 𝑓𝑙𝑜𝑤 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒

𝑚̇𝐸 = × 𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦
𝜋𝑑2 𝑋 1
𝑚̇𝐸 = × ×𝜌
4 𝑡

𝜋(0.074)2 (0.032) 1
𝑚̇𝐸 = × × 1000
4 (600)
Make-up rate of water, 𝑚̇𝐸 = 2.2938 × 10−4 kg/s

Using the dry bulb and wet bulb temperature for point A and point B, from the
Psychrometric Calculator, the following reading is obtained,
At Point A (low humidity air / dry air entering the tower),
Dry Bulb Temperature: T1 = 24.2 ℃
Wet Bulb Temperature: T2 = 22.0 ℃

𝐻𝑢𝑚𝑖𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜, 𝜔𝐴 = 0.01577 kg/kg

𝑆𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑐 𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒, (𝑉𝑎𝑏 )𝐴 = 0.863155 m3 /kg
𝐸𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑙𝑝𝑦, ℎ𝐴 = 64.5713 kJ/kg

At Point B (high humidity air / air and steam mixture leaving the tower)
Dry Bulb Temperature: T3 = 27.3 ℃
Wet Bulb Temperature: T4 = 26.4 ℃

𝐻𝑢𝑚𝑖𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜, 𝜔𝐵 = 0.0215 kg/kg

𝑆𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑐 𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒, (𝑉𝑎𝑏 )𝐵 = 0.87967 m3 /kg
𝐸𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑙𝑝𝑦, ℎ𝐵 = 82.26819 kJ/kg

1 m H2 O
𝑥 = 𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 = 273.4091 Pa × + 10.33 m H2 O
9.80665 × 103
= 10.33943 m H2 O
At point A, dry air flow rate,

(𝑚𝑎̇ )𝐴 = 0.0137√
(𝑉𝑎𝑏 )𝐴 (1 + 𝜔𝐴 )

= 0.0137√
(0.863155)(1 + 0.01577)

= 0.046989kg/s

At point B, flow rate of air and steam mixture through the orifice (outlet) is given by,

𝑥(1 + 𝜔𝐵 )
(𝑚𝑎̇ )𝐵 = 0.0137√
(𝑉𝑎𝑏 )𝐵
(10.33943)(1 + 0.0215)
= 0.0137√

= 0.047471 kg/s

Mass Balance,

𝑚̇𝐸 = (𝑚𝑎̇ )𝐵 − (𝑚𝑎̇ )𝐴

The actual mass flow rate of make-up water

𝑚̇𝐸 = 1.5913 × 10−5 kg/s

The experimental result,

(𝑚𝑎̇ )𝐵 − (𝑚𝑎̇ )𝐴 = 4.82 × 10−4 kg/s

𝐴𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 − 𝐸𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒

𝑃𝑒𝑟𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝐸𝑟𝑟𝑜𝑟 = | | × 100 %
𝐴𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒
1.5913 × 10−5 − 4.82 × 10−4
=| | × 100 %
1.5913 × 10−5
= 96.7 %

Energy Balance,
by using steady flow equation,

𝑄 − 𝑃 = 𝐻𝑜𝑢𝑡 − 𝐻𝑖𝑛
= 𝑚𝑎̇ (ℎ𝐵 − ℎ𝐴 ) − 𝑚̇𝐸 ℎ𝐸

Where 𝑚̇𝐸 ℎ𝐸 𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑚𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑒𝑛𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑡𝑜 𝑛𝑒𝑔𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑖𝑡, 𝑡ℎ𝑢𝑠

𝑄 − 𝑃 = 𝑚𝑎̇ (ℎ𝐵 − ℎ𝐴 )

The actual power output,

𝑄 − 𝑃 = 934.5 − 40 = 884.5 W
The experimental result,
𝑚𝑎̇ (ℎ𝐵 − ℎ𝐴 ) − 𝑚𝑤 𝐶
̇ 𝑝( 𝑡6 − 𝑡5 ) = 1.9626 kW

𝐴𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒 − 𝐸𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒

𝑃𝑒𝑟𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝐸𝑟𝑟𝑜𝑟 = | | × 100 %
𝐴𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒
884.5 − 1962.6
=| | × 100 %
= 114.2961 %

Calculation Result for Experiment 1:

Point Poin Humidity

A Humidity Ratio 0.01577 kg/kg tB Ratio 0.0215 kg/kg
Specific 0.86315 Specific
Volume 5 m3/kg Volume 0.87967 m3/kg
Enthalpy 64.5713 Kj/Kg Enthalpy 9 KJ/Kg
X (orifice differential) 3 m H2O
Dry air flow 0.04698 Air & Steam 0.04747
rate 9 kg/s Mixture 1 kg/s
Mass Balance, 0.00048
ms 2
% Error (Mass)

Energy Balance
power result 1.962597 kW
% Error 114.2961
Table 4: Tabulation of Results for Experiment 1
Calculation Result for Experiment 2:

Point Point
A Humidity Ratio 0.016131 kg/kg B Humidity Ratio 0.027637 kg/kg
Specific Volume 0.86422 m3/kg Specific Volume 0.900914 m3/kg
Enthalpy 65.68947 Kj/Kg Enthalpy 102.5162 Kj/Kg
X (orifice differential) 10.340 m H2O
Air & Steam
Dry air flow rate 0.046951 Mixture 0.047049
Mass Balance, ms 9.81E-05
% Error (Mass) 85.52689

Energy Balance
power result 21.98563 kW
% Error 1497.797
Table 5: Tabulation of Results for Experiment 2

Calculation Result Experiment 3:

Point Point
A Humidity Ratio 0.016258 kg/kg B Humidity Ratio 0.026177 kg/kg
Specific Volume 0.864537 m3/kg Specific Volume 0.89476 m3/kg
Enthalpy 66.0656 Kj/Kg Enthalpy 97.30829 Kj/Kg
X (orifice differential) 10.357 m H2O
Air & Steam
Dry air flow rate 0.046978 Mixture 0.047216
Mass Balance, ms 0.000238
% Error 94.12858

Energy Balance
power result 1.467704 kW
% Error 64.14845
Table 6: Tabulation of Results for Experiment 3
wet bulb temperature vs total cooling load
Temperature (deg C) 3.5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6
Cooling Load (kW)

Graph 1: The relationship of wet bulb temperature vs total cooling load

Pressure Drop across packing vs Norminal

Pressure Drop across packing (Pa)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Norminal Velocity

Graph 2: The pressure drops across packing vs nominal velocity

Wet bulb approach vs Norminal Air Velocity
0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Graph 3: The relationship of wet bulb approach vs nominal air velocity.

Sample Calculation for Experiment 2

Experiment 2

Water flow rate: 2.0 LPM

Air flow: Maximum

Cooling load: 1.5 kW

For cooling load = 1.0 kW,

𝑊𝑒𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑏 𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑎𝑐ℎ

= 𝑜𝑢𝑡𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 – 𝑊𝑒𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑏 𝑖𝑛𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑎𝑖𝑟 𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒

= 𝑇6 − 𝑇2

= 24.35 ℃ − 22.05 ℃

= 2.3 ℃

For cooling load = 1.5kW

𝑊𝑒𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑏 𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑎𝑐ℎ = 27.1 − 22.35 = 4.75℃

Total cooling load (kW) Wet bulb approach (℃)

1.0 2.3

1.5 4.75

Table 7: Wet bulb approach at different cooling loads

Sample Calculation for Experiment 3

Experiment 3

Water flow rate = 2.0 LPM

Fan Capacity = 235 ft3/min

Cooling load = 1.0 kW

Dimension of tower = 15cm × 15 cm × 60 cm

Cross-sectional area of tower, A= 0.15m × 0.15m = 0.0225m2

At Air flow = 100%

235𝑓𝑡 3 0.0283𝑚3 1𝑚𝑖𝑛

𝐴𝑖𝑟 𝑓𝑙𝑜𝑤 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒, 𝑄 = × × = 0.1108𝑚3 /𝑠
𝑚𝑖𝑛 1𝑓𝑡 3 60𝑠

𝑄 0.1108𝑚3 /𝑠
Nominal Air velocity, V= = = 4.92 𝑚/𝑠
𝐴 0.0225𝑚2

From Table 1,

𝐴𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑤𝑒𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑏 𝑖𝑛𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑎𝑖𝑟 𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 , 𝑇2 = 22.05℃

𝐴𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑂𝑢𝑡𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒, 𝑇6 = 24.35 ℃

𝑊𝑒𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑏 𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑎𝑐ℎ = 𝑇6 − 𝑇2 = 24.35℃ − 22.05℃ = 2.3℃

At Air flow = 50%

0.1108𝑚3 /𝑠
𝐴𝑖𝑟 𝑓𝑙𝑜𝑤 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒, 𝑄 = = 0.0554 𝑚3 /𝑠
0.0554𝑚3 /𝑠
Nominal Air velocity, V= = 2.46 𝑚/𝑠
From table 3,

𝐴𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑤𝑒𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑏 𝑖𝑛𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑎𝑖𝑟 𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 , 𝑇2 = 22.45℃

𝐴𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑂𝑢𝑡𝑙𝑒𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒, 𝑇6 = 26.85 ℃

𝑊𝑒𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑙𝑏 𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑎𝑐ℎ = 𝑇6 − 𝑇2 = 26.85℃ − 22.45℃ = 4.4℃

Air flow 50% 100 %

Air flow rate(𝑚3 /𝑠) 0.0554 0.1108

Nominal air velocity (𝑚/𝑠) 2.46 4.92

Wet bulb approach (℃) 4.4 2.3

Pressure drop (𝑃𝑎) 225 57.5

Table 8: Nominal Air Velocity, Wet Bulb Approach and Pressure Drop at Different Air

A cooling tower is a specialized heat exchanger widely used in the industry. It

serves with a purpose of removing heat from the industrial power plant or process. In the
cooling tower, the air and water are brought into direct contact with each other in order to
reduce the water’s temperature (Marley, Nil). Therefore, a small amount of water is
evaporated, thus reducing the temperature of water being circulated through the cooling
tower. The objective of this experiment is to study the performance of water cooling tower
at different operating states by changing the cooling load and the flow rate. We will
determine the relationship between that particular variable and the performance of the
cooling tower. The experiment was repeated twice for an interval of 5 mins in order to get
an average reading for temperature from T1 to T7, pressure, water power and make-up
water supply level.

Experiment 1

In experiment 1, we were faxing the cooling load to 1KW and operating at

maximum flow rate. Psychrometric chart is a graphical representative f the psychrometric
process of air and it includes physical and thermal dynamic properties of air such as dry
bulb temperature, wet bulb temperature, air humidity, enthalpy and air density ( Autodesk,
Nil). Therefore, we are not only able to retrieve the information of air at various dry and
wet bulb temperature but also the air humidity ratio and specific volume of air inlet and
outlet from psychrometric chart. Theoretically, the relative humidity of outlet should be
higher compared to the inlet. This can be explained by the heat was removed out from the
water through evaporation process and water vapour will build up at the outlet stream
which leading to the increase of humidity. Meanwhile, the water from the make-up tank
will replenish the load tank in order to refill the cooling tower. We will be using the
equation below to calculate the make-up rate of water and the flow rate for both dry air and
air mixture with the steam respectively.
The mass and energy balance were able to verify by using the steady flow equation.
According the fundamental of Newton’s First Law of Thermodynamics, the energy are not
able to be created nor destroyed, it can only be converted from one form to another form
of energy. Therefore, the total energy output of the system should be equivalent to the input
of the system. However, the theoretical value (884.5 W) that we obtained is not the same
as the experimental value (1962.6 W). As a result, the percentage error that we calculated
from this system was 114.2961 %.

Experiment 2

In the Experiment 2, heater power supply was varying from 1.0 kW to 1.5kW in
order to observe the relationship between wet bulb approach and the total cooling load. As
we know that wet bulb approach is the difference between the outlet water temperature, T6
and the wet bulb inlet air temperature, T2. The efficiency of the cooling tower was based
on the value of the wet bulb approach obtained. After calculations, we found that the wet
bulb approach for 1.0 kW total cooling load was 2.3 ºC and 4.4 ºC for 1.5 kW total cooling
load. The relationship between the wet bulb approach and the total cooling load was plotted
as shown in Graph 1. As we can observe from the graph was that the wet bulb approach
was increasing linearly with total cooling load. Hence, the wet bulb approach increase
when the total cooling load increase. Total cooling load is refer to the amount of the heat
energy needed to remove in order to maintain a constant temperature. The increase in total
cooling load will leading to more heat energy needed to be removed. Therefore, the wet
bulb approach increase. However, the maximum efficiency of the cooling tower is limited
by wet bulb inlet air temperature. The lower the wet bulb inlet air temperature, the higher
the efficiency of cooling tower.
Experiment 3

In the experiment 3, the observation of the effect of air velocity to the wet bulb
approach and pressure drop was obtained. During this experiment, the air flow rate was
changed to 50%. The heater power supply, valves and water flow rate are fixed as
experiment 2. Based on the Table 2, the nominal air velocity for 50 % air flow rate is 2.46
m/s with a wet bulb approach of 4.4 ºC and the pressure drop was 225 Pa whereas for 100 %
air flow rate, nominal air velocity 4.96 m/s with a wet bulb approach of 2.3 ºC and the
pressure drop was 57.5 Pa. When the air flow rate changed, the nominal air velocity also
will changed. The higher the air flow rate, the higher the nominal air velocity. The nominal
air velocity was calculated using V = 𝐴 . Based on the graph 2, we can see that the pressure

decrease linearly with increasing nominal air velocity. According to Bernoulli’s principle,
as the nominal air velocity increase, the pressure drop across the packing decrease.
Therefore, as the nominal air velocity increases, pressure drop will decrease. From graph
3, we know that the wet bulb temperature approach decrease as the nominal air velocity
increase. This is might due the higher nominal air velocity leading to the contact time
between the air and water decrease. So, there is insufficient time for the heat transfer
between the air and the water occurs. Since there were not much heat transfer occurs, there
is not much different between wet bulb inlet air temperature and outlet water temperature.

To further discuss about the cooling tower, some of other applications that have the
similar function with cooling tower demonstration system are found. As the examples,
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system and computing room air
handler (CRAH) are similar to this demonstration system. Firstly, HVAC performs heating
and cooling for industrial buildings as well as provides fresh air to dilute interior
contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). There are a few types of AC
systems such as chilled water system and window air conditioners. In a chilled water
system, the target liquid in the system is pumped to the “chilled water coils”. A chiller plant
is needed to cold down the liquid. The chilled water system is showed in the figure below
(Florida, 2007).
Figure 4: Chilled Water System

(First United Engineering, n.d.)

Next, a window air conditioner is installed in a window. A window air conditioner can only
cool down a small areas but not enough to provide cooling to a bigger zone. These air
conditioners are only can provide cooling and heating but couldn’t provide fresh outdoor
air (Florida, 2007).

In addition, the tower packing density is defined as the ratio of total surface area to
volume. The tower packing density will directly affect the efficiency of the cooling tower.
As the packing density increases, the efficiency of the cooling tower will increase as well.
This is due to when the packing density increases, the bigger surface area will be exposed
to air, leading to bigger effective heat exchange surface with air, hence, the heat transfer
rate between water and air and the water-to-air mass flow ratio will increase. Therefore,
the efficiency of cooling tower will be higher since the cooling effect increases. According
to the formula of 𝜀 = 𝑍 (𝐺 ) , whereby 𝜀 represents the efficiency of cooling tower, 𝑍 is
the packing density constant, 𝐺 is the water-to-air mass flow ratio, and 𝑊 is a constant

independent of the packing material. The tower efficiency increases as the water-to-air
mass flow ratio increases due to bigger effective heat exchange surface. In short, as the
tower packing density increases the efficiency of the cooling tower (Higazy, et al., 1999).
There are some errors in this experiment which affect the accuracy of the results
obtained. There are heat loss to the surrounding due to the equipment is not well insulated.
Therefore, the reading of temperature we obtained might be accurate. Hence, a more
effective insulation equipment should be replaced in this experiment in order to obtain
results that are more accurate. On the other hand, the flowrate of the inlet water was
controlled manually without using a digital flowmeter with higher sensitivity, leading to
low accuracy of water flow rate. Besides, the cooling tower demonstration unit in this
experiment should undergo maintenance frequently to ensure this unit can function well.
The unit used in this experiment should also be cleaned frequently to clean out those
impurities in the water.


In conclusion, the percentage errors calculated using the result obatined from the
experiment was consider very high for all of the experiment which is over 50%. This
happened maybe due to the unsteady state of equipment and there are heat loss to the
surrounding or other errors occurred during the conduction of experiment. From the result
obtained, the wet bulb approach increases as the total cooling load increase was shown.
Next, the higher the nominal air velocity, the lower the approach of wet bulb and the larger
the pressure drop across packing.


1. Autodesk. (Nil, Nil Nil). Psychrometric Charts. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from
Autodesk Sustainability Workshop:

2. First United Engineering, C. &. (n.d.). Packaged Chiller Air Conditioner.

Retrieved March 27, 2018, from
3. Florida. (2007). Florida Solar Energy Center. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from

4. Higazy, M., Gaith, A., & Sakr, R. (1999). Optimization of Counter Flow Wet
Cooling Towers Characteristics Performance. Engng. Res. Journal, 65, 106-126.

5. Marley. (Nil, Nil Nil). What Is A Cooling Tower? Retrieved March 27, 2018,
from SPX: