An Experimental and Analytical Study of a Unique Wet/Dry Surface for Cooling Towers

[+] Author and Article Information
J. M. Bentley, T. K. Snyder, L. R. Glicksman, W. M. Rohsenow

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 02139

J. Heat Transfer 100(3), 520-526 (Aug 01, 1978) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3450841 History: Received October 05, 1977; Online August 11, 2010


An advanced wet/dry heat transfer surface has been developed for power plant cooling towers eliminating the need for conventional dry surface. Hot water to be cooled is channeled down grooves in the surface; the balance of the surface is dry and acts like a fin. The cooling air passes over the surface in cross-flow. Since the grooves occupy only a small fraction of the surface area, a majority of the heat transfer is by sensible heat transfer. In the experimental apparatus the wet surface area was five percent of the total area and the heat transfer by evaporation varied between 20 and 40 percent of the total heat transfer. An analytical model indicated that the yearly water consumption of a cooling tower with the new wet/dry surface would be less than half that of a conventional wet cooling tower and fog plumes would be eliminated.

Copyright © 1978 by ASME
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