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Comparative study of the performance of the M-cycle counter-flow and cross-flow heat exchangers for indirect evaporative cooling - paving the path towards sustainable cooling of buildings

Zhan, C., Duan, Z., Xudong, Z., Smith, S., Jin, H. and Riffat, S. (2011) Comparative study of the performance of the M-cycle counter-flow and cross-flow heat exchangers for indirect evaporative cooling - paving the path towards sustainable cooling of buildings. Energy, 36 (12). 6790 - 6805. ISSN 0360-5442

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2011.10.019

Abstract/Summary

This paper provides a comparative study of the performance of cross-flow and counter-flow M-cycle heat exchangers for dew point cooling. It is recognised that evaporative cooling systems offer a low energy alternative to conventional air conditioning units. Recently emerged dew point cooling, as the renovated evaporative cooling configuration, is claimed to have much higher cooling output over the conventional evaporative modes owing to use of the M-cycle heat exchangers. Cross-flow and counter-flow heat exchangers, as the available structures for M-cycle dew point cooling processing, were theoretically and experimentally investigated to identify the difference in cooling effectiveness of both under the parallel structural/operational conditions, optimise the geometrical sizes of the exchangers and suggest their favourite operational conditions. Through development of a dedicated computer model and case-by-case experimental testing and validation, a parametric study of the cooling performance of the counter-flow and cross-flow heat exchangers was carried out. The results showed the counter-flow exchanger offered greater (around 20% higher) cooling capacity, as well as greater (15%–23% higher) dew-point and wet-bulb effectiveness when equal in physical size and under the same operating conditions. The cross-flow system, however, had a greater (10% higher) Energy Efficiency (COP). As the increased cooling effectiveness will lead to reduced air volume flow rate, smaller system size and lower cost, whilst the size and cost are the inherent barriers for use of dew point cooling as the alternation of the conventional cooling systems, the counter-flow system is considered to offer practical advantages over the cross-flow system that would aid the uptake of this low energy cooling alternative. In line with increased global demand for energy in cooling of building, largely by economic booming of emerging developing nations and recognised global warming, the research results will be of significant importance in terms of promoting deployment of the low energy dew point cooling system, helping reduction of energy use in cooling of buildings and cut of the associated carbon emission.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Construction Management and Engineering > Innovative and Sustainable Technologies
ID Code:29803
Publisher:Elsevier

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