Item description

CFD Simulation of dry cooling tower (Heller) using ANSYS Fluent software

The dry cooling tower is used indirectly as a heat transfer mechanism between fluid (water) and cooling fluid (air). (Working fluid) The water cycle in the heat exchanger is exhausted from the condenser and pumped to the ring of heat exchanger assembly. These HEXs are air-cooled and cooled by the natural suction of air generated by the temperature difference inside and outside the cooling tower. The more temperature difference between outside air and cycle water, causes the greater Temperature Driving Force. Due to the low temperature difference between cycling fluid and ambient air in the summer season, the thermal drift decreases and the cooling tower efficiency decreases. The temperature of the return water from the cooling tower to the condenser is not much reduced. As a result, the vacuum quality is reduced to a minimum and the unit is forced to produce less power. Also, the amount of water consumed in the cooling tower, which is sprayed to cool the water cycle on the heat exchangers increase.

In this project, we have tried to simulate and analyze the flow of air inside the Heller cooling tower using ANSYS Fluent software.

Geometry and grid

The geometry required for this analysis includes a cooling tower, radiator and flow domain and an air flow input. This geometry is designed in Gambit software and meshing is also required by the same software for this geometry. The meshing generated for this geometry is unstructured and the total number of cells created for this geometry is 1343988.


To analyze the flow turbulence in this project, the K-epsilon Standard turbulence viscosity model has been used. The standard wall function is used near the wall. The ideal gas equation is used to investigate the density variations in terms of temperature. Also, the energy equations are solved with the momentum equations.

Boundary Condition

The flow input of this geometry for air is defined as Pressure Inlet, and the temperature condition is considered 305K. For the wall of the cooling tower, the Wall boundary condition is used with the Coupled temperature boundary condition. The boundary condition required for the radiator is also applied based on the condition of the problem. The output is also considered as a Pressure Outlet for the flow.

Discretization of equations

Simple algorithm is used to solve the equations in this analysis. Also, a pressure-based solution for flow is used. The First Order Upwind method is used to discretize equations.

Finally, the results are shown as contours of velocity, pressure, temperature and streamlines.

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