(100a) Deja Vu All over Again: Another Look at Evaporative Cooling | AIChE

(100a) Deja Vu All over Again: Another Look at Evaporative Cooling


Sosa, R. - Presenter, University of Houston
Fernandez, C., University of Houston
Zhang, B., Lehigh University
All chemical processing plants have one common feature: they possess cooling water towers. In fact, cooling water towers are ubiquitous in our 21st Century. Unfortunately, most chemical engineers have a weak understanding of cooling water tower operation --- through no fault of their own, but rather because cooling water technology is generally not taught in universities these days. There are a variety of reasons for this outcome, but the major reason is that labortory-sized and pilot plant-sized cooling water towers are not readily available.

However, we do not need a scale replica of a cooling water tower to understand its operation and to identify those features of its operation most relevant to technology transfer. To gain a thorough understanding of cooling water tower operation, we simply need to employ technology developed centuries ago; i.e., we can simulate cooling water tower operation using evaporative cooling from porous, clay pots.

This presentation discusses evaporative cooling in light of cooling water tower operation. We develop a mathematical model of evaporative cooling and discuss the experimental results that support our model. We relate these results to water tower operation.