Effect of solar radiation on the performance of cross flow wet cooling tower in hot climate of Iran
In some cities such as Ahvaz-Iran, the solar radiation is very high and the annual-mean-daily of the global solar radiation is about 17.33 MJ m2 d−1. Solar radiation as an external heat source seems to affect the thermal performance of the cooling towers. Usually, in modeling cooling tower, the effects of solar radiation are ignored. To investigate the effect of sunshade on the performance and modeling of the cooling tower, the experiments were conducted in two different states, cooling towers with and without sunshade. In this study, the Merkel’s approach and finite difference technique are used to predict the thermal behavior of cross flow wet cooling tower without sunshade and the results are compared with the data obtained from the cooling towers with and without sunshade. Results showed that the sunshade is very efficient and it reduced the outlet water temperature, the approach and the water exergy of the cooling tower up to 1.2 °C, 15 and 1.1 %, respectively and increased the range and the efficiency of the cooling tower up to 29 and 37 %, respectively. Also, the sunshade decreased the error between the experimental data of the cooling tower with sunshade and the modeling results of the cooling tower without sunshade 1.85 % in average.