Indirect evaporative cooling of air to a sub-wet bulb temperature

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Abstract

Indirect evaporative cooling is a sustainable method for cooling of air. The main constraint that limits the wide use of evaporative coolers is the ultimate temperature of the process, which is the wet bulb temperature of ambient air. In this paper, a method is presented to produce air at a sub-wet bulb temperature by indirect evaporative cooling, without using a vapour compression machine. The main idea consists of manipulating the air flow inside the cooler by branching the working air from the product air, which is indirectly pre-cooled, before it is finally cooled and delivered. A model for the heat and mass transfer process is developed. Four types of coolers are studied: three two-stage coolers (a counter flow, a parallel flow and a combined parallel-regenerative flow) and a single-stage counter flow regenerative cooler. It is concluded that the proposed method for indirect evaporative cooling is capable of cooling air to temperatures lower than the ambient wet bulb temperature. The ultimate temperature for such a process is the dew point temperature of the ambient air. The wet bulb cooling effectiveness (E wb) for the examples studied is 1.26, 1.09 and 1.31 for the two-stage counter flow, parallel flow and combined parallel-regenerative cooler, respectively, and it is 1.16 for the single-stage counter flow regenerative cooler. Such a method extends the potential of useful utilisation of evaporative coolers for cooling of buildings as well as other industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2460-2468
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Volume30
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Dew point approach
  • Indirect evaporative cooling
  • Sub-wet bulb temperature

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