Heat Transfer Performance and Piping Strategy Study for Chilled Water Systems at Low Cooling Loads
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The temperature differential of chilled water is an important factor used for evaluating the performance of a chilled water system. A low delta-T may increase the pumping energy consumption and increase the chiller energy consumption. The system studied in this thesis is the chilled water system at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW Airport). This system has the problem of low delta-T under low cooling loads. When the chilled water flow is much lower than the design conditions at low cooling loads, it may lead to the laminar flow of the chilled water in the cooling coils. The main objective of this thesis is to explain the heat transfer performance of the cooling coils under low cooling loads. The water side and air side heat transfer coefficients at different water and air flow rates are calculated. The coefficients are used to analyze the heat transfer performance of the cooling coils at conditions ranging from very low loads to design conditions. The effectiveness-number of transfer units (NTU) method is utilized to analyze the cooling coil performance under different flow conditions, which also helps to obtain the cooling coil chilled water temperature differential under full load and partial load conditions. When the water flow rate drops to 1ft/s, laminar flow occurs; this further decreases the heat transfer rate on the water side. However, the cooling coil effectiveness increases with the drop of water flow rate, which compensates for the influence of the heat transfer performance under laminar flow conditions. Consequently, the delta-T in the cooling coil decreases in the transitional flow regime but increases in the laminar flow regime. Results of this thesis show that the laminar flow for the chilled water at low flow rate is not the main cause of the low delta-T syndrome in the chilled water system. Possible causes for the piping strategy of the low delta-T syndrome existing in the chilled water system under low flow conditions are studied in this thesis: (1) use of two way control valves; and (2) improper tertiary pump piping strategy.
Li, Nanxi 1986- (2012). Heat Transfer Performance and Piping Strategy Study for Chilled Water Systems at Low Cooling Loads. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from