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An HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) cooling tower is used to dispose of ("reject") unwanted heat from a chiller. Water-cooled chillers are normally more energy efficient than air-cooled chillers due to heat rejection to tower water at or near wet-bulb temperatures. Air-cooled chillers must reject heat at the higher dry-bulb temperature, and thus have a lower average reverse-Carnot cycleeffectiveness. Large office buildings, hospitals, and schools typically use one or more cooling towers as part of their air conditioning systems. Generally, industrial cooling towers are much larger than HVAC towers.

HVAC use of a cooling tower pairs the cooling tower with a water-cooled chiller or water-cooled condenser. A ton of air-conditioning is defined as the removal of 12,000 Btu/hour (3500 W). The equivalent ton on the cooling tower side actually rejects about 15,000 Btu/hour (4400 W) due to the additional waste heat-equivalent of the energy needed to drive the chiller's compressor. This equivalent ton is defined as the heat rejection in cooling 3 US gallons/minute (1,500 pound/hour) of water 10 °F (6 °C), which amounts to 15,000 Btu/hour, assuming a chiller coefficient of performance (COP) of 4.0. This COP is equivalent to an energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 14.

Cooling towers are also used in HVAC systems that have multiple water source heat pumps that share a common piping water loop. In this type of system, the water circulating inside the water loop removes heat from the condenser of the heat pumps whenever the heat pumps are working in the cooling mode, then the externally mounted cooling tower is used to remove heat from the water loop and reject it to the atmosphere. By contrast, when the heat pumps are working in heating mode, the condensers draw heat out of the loop water and reject it into the space to be heated. When the water loop is being used primarily to supply heat to the building, the cooling tower is normally shut down (and may be drained or winterized to prevent freeze damage), and heat is supplied by other means, usually from separate boilers.

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Article ID: 1
Category: Articles
Date added: 2013-03-16 23:01:23
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