Background: wet cooling towers are widely utilized in industrial processes and thermodynamic cycles for the dissipation of waste heat by means of direct evaporative cooling. Therefore, attempt for enhancing their working effectiveness is so essential. Objectives: this manuscript aims at improving the thermal performance of a direct-contact mechanical-draft cooling tower. An experimental investigation into the impact of dominant input operating parameters on the tower performance has been conducted. These parameters are air and water flow rates, hot water temperature, and type of utilized filling (cooling medium). As a result, the optimal conditions of cooling tower operation have been defined. Results: the findings reveal that the performance of cooling tower is enhanced with increasing the flow rate of forced air stream and temperature of inlet water; while it becomes deficient with the increase of water flow rate. Also, promoting the packing density improves the ability of cooling. The enhancement occurred in the performance indicators (which are cooling range, efficiency coefficient, and approach to wet bulb) declines when the mass flow rate of coolant air exceeds 188 kg/hr. Moreover, the highest percentage of improvement has been observed when using the hottest incoming water, which has been recorded for the cooling range amongst all the aforementioned parameters. Conclusion: among all input quantities, airflow rate is observed to be the main controlling parameter of the system performance. The results have been compared with antecedent studies and a good consistency is found among them. Nevertheless, suggestions have been made for future endeavors in ameliorating the thermal performance of wet cooling towers. KEYWORDS: Cooling Tower, Experimental, Cooling Range, Efficiency, Packing, Thermal Performance.
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