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Separation Process CPB 21404

Experiment 1
COOLING TOWER
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INTRODUCTION

W h e n w a r m liq uid is b ro u g h t into co ntact wi t h s aturated g a s o r air, part o f the


liquid evapor ates a n d the liquid temp erature dro p s. T his principle is used in the
operations o f co oling tower s. I n the coo ling to wers the temp erature o f the re-circulated
water us ed for co nd enser s a n d heat exchangers in che mical plants, is b ro ught d o wn b y
co o ling usin g air hu mid ificatio n pro cess. C o o ling to we rs are the cheap est wa y to co o l
large q uantities o f water . I n the c o o l i n g t o we r w h e n t he wa t e r is d istributed o v e r a
p acking o f a certain height thr o ugh wh i c h the air p asses u p ward s causi ng evap o ratio n
and hence co oling o f the water stream. T his p acking wo u l d b e able to ma k e the surface
o f air o r wat er co ntact ar ea as lar ge a s p o ssib le. H o t wa t e r sp ra yed o n t o t he to p o f the
to wer trickles d o w n thr o ug h p ac ki n g o r wo o d e n slats, evapo rating as it go es. Air is
p a s s e d t h r o u g h t h e p a c k i n g b y f o r c e d -d ra f t o r i n d u c e d d r a ft f a n s o r it is d r a w n b y
natural convection.

T h e r ed uctio n in water temp erature i n the coo ling to wer c o m e s mai n l y fr o m


evaporation, alt ho u gh w h e n the air temp erature is lo w, there is also s o m e sensible heat
transfer to the air. H o we v e r , e v e n w h e n the air is wa r m e r than the water, wa t er c a n b e
cooled b y evaporation if the wet bulb temperature is b elo w that of the water. I n practice,
the d ischar ge te mp er a t ur e o f the wa ter is 3 to 8 d egree C a b o v e the we t b ulb
temperature. T h e water temperature fro m inlet to exit is generally 6 to 1 7 degree C.

T he Bench T o p Cooling To wer (Mod el H E 152) has been designed for students’
d e mo n s t r a t i o n a n d t o g i v e t h e m a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e c o ns tr uc tio n, d e s i g n a n d
operational characteristics o f a mo d e r n coo ling s yste m. T h e unit rese mb les ver y m u c h
like a full size fo r ced d r a u g h t co o ling t o we r a n d it is actually a n o p e n s y s t e m t hro u g h
w h i c h t w o s t r e a m s o f f l u i d ( i n thi s c a s e air a n d wa t e r ) p a s s a n d i n w h i c h t h e r e i s a
m a s s transfer f r o m o n e s tr ea m to the ano ther . T h e unit is self-co ntai ned sup p lied wi t h
a h e a t i n g l o a d a n d a ci r cu la ti n g p u m p . O n c e e n e r g y a n d m a s s b a l a n c e s a r e d o n e ,
st ud e nt s will t h e n b e ab l e to d e t e r m i n e t h e effect s o n t he p e r fo r ma n c e o f th e c o o l i n g
tower by the following parameters:

1) Temperature and flow rate of water


2) Temperature and flow rate of air
3) Cooling load
4) Packing density

P a c k i n g char acter istics c o l u m n is d e s i g n e d to facilitate s t u d y o f wa t e r a n d air


conditions at three additional sections (I, II, III) within the co lumn. This enables drivin g
fo rce d i a g r a m s to b e co n str u cted a n d t he d ete r mi na tio n o f the characteristic e q u a t io n
for the to wer .

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EX PER IMENTAL PROCEDURES

General Start -up:

1. C h e c k to e n s u r e that va lv e s V 1 to V 6 are clo sed a n d v a l v e V 7 is partially


opened.
2. Fill the lo ad ta n k w ith distilled wat er o r d eio n i se d water. It is d o n e b y first
r e mo vi n g the m a k e -u p tank and the n po uring the water thro ugh the o p ening
at t h e t o p o f l o a d ta n k . R e p l a c e t h e m a k e - u p t a n k o n t o t h e l o a d t a n k a n d
lightly tighten the nuts. Fill the tank wi t h distilled wa ter o r d eio nised wa t er
up to zero ma r k o n the scale.
3. Ad d distilled water o r deionised water to the wet b ulb sensor reservoir to the
fullest.
4. Co nnect all appropriate tub ing to the differential pressure sensor.
5. Install the appropriate cooling tower p acking for the experiment.
6. Set t he t e mp er at ur e s e t p o int o f t e mp era t ure co nt ro ller t o 5 0 C . S wi t c h o n
the 1.0 k W water heater a n d heat u p the water until appro ximately 4 0 C.
7. S wi tch o n the p u m p a n d slo wl y o p e n the control valve V 1 and set the wat er
f l o w r ate to 2 . 0 L P M . O b t a i n a s t e ad y state o p e r a t io n w h e r e t h e wa t e r i s
distributed and flo wing uniformly thro ugh the packing.
8. Fully o p e n the fan d a mp e r a n d then switch o n the fan. C h e c k that the
differential pressure sensor is giving reading w h e n the valve ma ni fo ld is
switched to measure the orifice differential pressure.
9. Le t the u nit r u n fo r a b o u t 2 0 mi n u t e s fo r t h e float v a l v e to co rrectly ad j us t
the level in the load tank. Refill the ma k e -up tank as required.
10. No w, the unit is read y to use.

Note:

i) It is strongly r eco mme nd ed that only distilled water or deionised water b e


used in this unit. T h e impurities existing in tap water m a y cause the
depositing in cover tower.
ii) C h e c k that the pressure tub ing for differential p ressure me a s u r e me n t are
connected correctly :
a. orifice pressure tapping point to V 4
b. Column’s lower pressure tapping point to V 6
c. Column’s higher pressure tapping point to V 3
d. V 5 leave to atmosphere
iii) To measure the differential pressure across the orifice, o p en valve (V4 and
V5), closed valve (V3 and V6).
iv) T o measur ed the differential pressure across the column, o pen valve (V3 and
V6), closed valve (V4 and V5).
v) Al wa ys m a k e sure that n o water is in the pressure tubing for accurate
differential pressure mea sure me nt.

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Experiment A
Investigation of the effect of air velocity o n wet bulb approach and pressure drop through
the packing

Objectives:
To investigate the effect of air velocity on:
a. wet b ulb appro ach
b. p r essur e d r o p thro u g h t h e p a c k i n g

Procedures:
1. Pr epare a n d start the coo ling to wer wit h acco rd ing to general start-u p
pr ocedures.
2. Set the system under the following conditions a n d allo w stabilizing fo r about
1 5 minutes.
Water flow rate : 2.0 LPM
Air flow rate : Maximum
Cooling load : 1.0 kW
Co lu mn Installed : Column A (110 m 2 / m 3 )
Dime nsion of Column : 15 cm (w) x 15 cm (d) x 60 cm (h)
3. After the s ys t e m stabilizes, reco rd a f e w sets o f m e a s u r e m e n t s a n d th en
obtain the m e a n value for calculation and analysis.
Temperature (T1-T6)
Orifice differential pressure (DP1)
Water flow rate (FT1)
Heater power (Q1)
Pressure drop across packing (DP 2 )
4. Repeat the test with three different sets of orifice pressure d rop values (7 5 % ,
5 0 % a n d 2 5 % o f the m a x i m u m value) wi tho ut c h an g i n g the water flo w rate
and cooling loads.
5. Finally, measur e the cross sectional area o f the co lumn.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:


Discuss all your results. T h e questions b elo w only serve a s a guideline. Yo u r discussion
should not only limited to these questions.

1. Calculate the nominal velocity o f air and find the “wet bulb approach”.
2. Plot a gr ap h to s h o w that the relationship b et we e n “ wet b ulb ap p ro ac h” a n d
p acking pressure drop s versus no minal air velocity in the sa me grap h.
3. D i s c u s s t he effect o f n o m i n a l air velo city o n t he a p p r o a c h to we t b u l b a n d
pressure d r o p thr o u gh p acking.
4. D i scuss the relationship b e t we e n the a p p r o a c h to we t bulb a n d pressur e
dr op through packing.

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T a b le of Results:

Table A

Description unit Air F low


100% 75% 50% 25%
Packing density m -1 110 110 110 110

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, T 5 C

W ater outlet temperature, T 6 C

Orifice differential, DP1 Pa

Water flow rate, FT1 LPM

Heater power, Q1 W att

Pressure drop across packing, D P 2 Pa

Table B

Description Air Flow


100% 75% 50% 25%
Nominal velocity of air (m/ s)
Approach to web bulb (K)
Pressure (mm H 2 O)

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Useful Information :
In order to plot the graph, it is necessary to follow the steps o f calculation.

1. Calculate approach to wet bulb.

Ap p r o ach to wet bulb = Outlet water temperature (T6) – Inlet air wet b ulb
temperature (T2)

2. Check the value o f specific v o lu me of air at outlet in the humidity chart (plotting
air outlet d r y b uld and air outlet we t b ulb o n p sycho metric chart)
o
3. Calculate the air mass flo wrate, m (kg/ s)

o
h
m  0.0137

h : orifice differential in m m H 2 O
 : specific volume of air (m 3 / kg)
o
4. Calculate air volumetric flowrate,  ( m 3 / s)
o o
 m 

5. Calculate no minal air velocity,   (m/ s)


o


A
A : packing area ( m 2 )

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Experiment B
Investigation of the relationship between cooling load and cooling range

Objective:
To investigate the relationship b etween cooling load and cooling range

Procedures:
1. Pr epare a n d start the coo ling to wer wit h accord ing to g eneral start-u p
pr ocedures.
2. Set the system under the following conditions a n d allo w stabilizing fo r about
1 5 minutes.
Water flow rate : 2.0 LPM
Air flow rate : Maximum
Cooling load : 0.0 kW
Co lu mn Installed : Column A (110 m 2 / m 3 )
3. After the s ys t e m s tabilizes, r e co rd a f e w sets o f m e a s u r e m e n t s a n d th en
obtain the m e a n value for calculation and analysis.
Temperature (T1-T6)
Orifice differential pressure (DP1)
Water flow rate (FT1)
Heater power (Q1)
4. W it ho ut c ha n ge s in the conditions, increase the coolin g lo ad to 0.5 k W .
W h e n the system stabilized record all the data.
5. Similarly, repeat the experiment at 1.0 k W and 1.5 kW .

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:


Discuss all your results. T h e questions b elo w only serve a s a guideline. Yo u r discussion
should not only limited to these questions.

1. What is cooling range?


2. Plot the gr ap hs b et wee n water inlet temp erature a n d water outlet
temperature as a function o f cooling load in the sa me grap h.
3. B ased o n yo ur result, discuss the relationship b etwee n the cooling range an d
cooling load.

Genera l S hu t d o w n :

1. Switch off heaters a nd let the water to circulate through the cooling to wer
system for 3 -5 minutes until the water cooled d o wn.
2. Switch off the fan and fully closed the fan d amp er.
3. Switch off the p u mp and po wer supply.
4. Retain the water in reservoir tank for the following experiment.
5. Co mpletely drain off the water fro m the unit if it is not in used.

RE FERE NCE S

1. Perry, R.H., Green, D.W. and Maloney, J .O., “Perry’s Chemical Engineering
Handbook”. 6 th edition, McGraw Hill, 1984.

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T a b le of Results:

Table A

Description unit Cooling Load


0.5kW 1.0kW 1.5kW
Packing density m -1 110 110 110

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, T 5 C

W ater outlet temperature, T 6 C

Orifice differential, DP1 Pa

Water flow rate, FT1 LPM

Heater power, Q 1 Watt

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