Design of highly compact indirect evaporative coolers
Keywords:air-cooling system, heat and mass exchanger, evaporative cooler, cooling capacity, manufacturing
Evaporative cooling units are an effective alternative to conventional air conditioning technologies, due to their high efficiency and reduced primary energy consumption. There are two main types of evaporative cooling systems: the direct evaporative cooling (DEC) system, and the indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) system. DEC is based on direct contact between air and water, while IEC is based on heat and mass transfer between two flows of air, separated by a heat transfer surface with a dry side, where only air is cooled, and a wet side, where water is evaporated into air. The main objective of the present work was to design and manufacture a highly compact indirect evaporative cooler. Firstly, a mathematical model based on ε-NTU numerical method to determine the optimal geometrical and operating parameters of an IEC system was developed. The mathematical model allowed to obtain the temperature, enthalpy and humidity distributions of the air inside the exchanger. Then, the air-cooling system was manufactured. The device consisted of a compact heat and mass exchanger, a water distributing system and an outer casing. Finally, the IEC system was studied experimentally. An experimental facility was designed to study these air-cooling systems. The cooling unit performance indicators were the cooling capacity per unit volume and per unit airflow rate. The experimental results showed that the cooling capacity per unit volume of the device was 177 kW/m3, and the cooling capacity per unit airflow rate was 10.9 kW/(m3/s). These results suggested that highly compact indirect evaporative coolers can achieve air-cooling processes with a low energy consumption and a low environmental impact.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Francisco Comino, Jesús Castillo-González, Francisco J. Navas-Martos, Pablo E. Romero, Manuel Ruiz de Adana
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.