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# Chemical process engineering FAQ

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## Cooling towers

 How to calculate cycles, blowdown, evaporation, makeup faq798-1152 Posted: 9 Sep 05 (Edited 22 Nov 06) .Here are the governing relationships for the makeup flow rate, the evaporation and windage losses, the draw-off rate, and the concentration cycles in an evaporative cooling tower system:In the customary USA units:M = Make-up water in gal/minC = Circulating water in gal/minD = Draw-off water in gal/minE = Evaporated water in gal/minW = Windage loss of water in gal/minX = Concentration in ppmw (of any completely soluble salts  à usually chlorides)XM = Concentration of chlorides in make-up water (M), in ppmwXC = Concentration of chlorides in circulating water (C), in ppmwCycles = Cycles of concentration = XC / XMppmw = parts per million by weightA water balance around the entire system is: M = E + D + WSince the evaporated water (E) has no salts, a chloride balance around the system is: M (XM) = D (XC) + W (XC) = XC (D + W) and, therefore: XC / XM = Cycles = M / (D + W) = M / (M û E) = 1 + {E / (D + W)}From a simplified heat balance around the cooling tower:  (E) = (C) (ΔT) (cp) / HVwhere:HV = latent heat of vaporization of water = ca. 1,000 Btu/poundΔT = water temperature difference from tower top to tower bottom, in °Fcp = specific heat of water = 1 Btu/pound/°FWindage losses (W), in the absence of manufacturer's data, may be assumed to be:    W = 0.3 to 1.0 percent of C for a natural draft cooling tower    W = 0.1 to 0.3 percent of C for an induced draft cooling tower    W = about 0.01 percent of C if the cooling tower has windage drift eliminators                                        Concentration cycles in petroleum refinery cooling towers usually range from 3 to 7.  In some large power plants, the cooling tower concentration cycles may be much higher.(Note: Draw-off and blowdown are synonymous. Windage and drift are also synonymous.)In SI metric units:M = Make-up water in m3/hrC = Circulating water in m3/hrD = Draw-off water in m3/hrE = Evaporated water in m3/hrW = Windage loss of water in m3/hrX = Concentration in ppmw (of any completely soluble salts  à usually chlorides)XM = Concentration of chlorides in make-up water (M), in ppmwXC = Concentration of chlorides in circulating water (C), in ppmwCycles = Cycles of concentration = XC / XMppmw = parts per million by weightA water balance around the entire system is: M = E + D + WSince the evaporated water (E) has no salts, a chloride balance around the system is: M (XM) = D (XC) + W (XC) = XC (D + W) and, therefore: XC / XM = Cycles = M / (D + W) = M / (M û E) = 1 + {E / (D + W)}From a simplified heat balance around the cooling tower:  (E) = (C) (ΔT) (cp) / HVwhere:HV = latent heat of vaporization of water = ca. 2260 kJ / kgΔT = water temperature difference from tower top to tower bottom, in °Ccp = specific heat of water = 4.184 kJ / kg / °CWindage losses (W), in the absence of manufacturer's data, may be assumed to be:    W = 0.3 to 1.0 percent of C for a natural draft cooling tower    W = 0.1 to 0.3 percent of C for an induced draft cooling tower    W = about 0.01 percent or less of C if the cooling tower has windage drift eliminators                                        Concentration cycles in petroleum refinery cooling towers usually range from 3 to 7.  In some large power plants, the cooling tower concentration cycles may be much higher.(Note: Draw-off and blowdown are synonymous. Windage and drift are also synonymous.). Back to Chemical process engineering FAQ Index Back to Chemical process engineering Forum

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