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Research Papers

Simulating the Effect of Wind on the Performance of Axial Flow Fans in Air-Cooled Steam Condenser Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Neil Fourie

Department of Mechanical
and Mechatronic Engineering,
Stellenbosch University,
Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa

S. J. van der Spuy

Department of Mechanical
and Mechatronic Engineering,
Stellenbosch University,
Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
e-mail: 15355640@sun.ac.za

T. W. von Backström

Professor
Department of Mechanical
and Mechatronic Engineering,
Stellenbosch University,
Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received July 16, 2014; final manuscript received December 23, 2014; published online February 10, 2015. Assoc. Editor: W. J. Marner.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 7(2), 021011 (Jun 01, 2015) (12 pages) Paper No: TSEA-14-1166; doi: 10.1115/1.4029597 History: Received July 16, 2014; Revised December 23, 2014; Online February 10, 2015

The use of air-cooled steam condensers (ACSCs) is preferred in the chemical and power industry due to their ability to adhere to stringent environmental and water use regulations. ACSC performance is, however, highly dependent on the prevailing wind conditions. Research has shown that the presence of wind reduces the performance of ACSCs. It has been found that cross-winds (wind perpendicular to the longest side of the ACSC) cause distorted inlet flow conditions, particularly at the upstream peripheral fans near the symmetry plane of the ACSC. These fans are subjected to what is referred to as “two-dimensional” wind conditions, which are characterized by flow separation on the upstream edge of the fan inlets. Experimental investigations into inlet flow distortion have simulated these conditions by varying the fan platform height. Low platform heights resulted in higher levels of inlet flow distortion, as also found to exist with high cross-wind velocities. The similarity between platform height and cross-wind velocity is investigated in this study by conducting experimental and numerical investigations into the effect of distorted inlet flow conditions on the performance of various fan configurations (representative of configurations used in the South-African power industry). A correlation between system volumetric effectiveness, platform height, and cross-wind velocity is derived which provides a means to compare platform height and cross-wind velocity effects.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

ACSC flow conditions associated with low platform heights and cross-winds

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Fig. 3

Axial flow fans performance curves

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Fig. 4

Layout of three-fan unit in ACSC [4]

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Fig. 5

Three-fan experimental setup

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Fig. 6

Hex-core mesh pressure drop measurements [4]

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Fig. 7

Single fan CFD model geometry and boundary conditions

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Fig. 8

Three-fan facility CFD model geometry

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Fig. 9

Three-fan facility CFD model computational grid

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Fig. 10

Conventional A-frame fan-unit and corresponding numerical model

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Fig. 11

ACSC numerical model domain

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Fig. 12

ACSC numerical model computational grid (5.57 × 106 cells)

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Fig. 13

Experimental platform height investigation repeatability with the N-fan system

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Fig. 14

Effect of platform height on the volumetric effectiveness of the N-fan system

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Fig. 15

Effect of platform height on the system volumetric effectiveness of the N-, N9-, and 630 L-fan systems

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Fig. 16

Effect of platform height on the system volumetric effectiveness of the 630 L-, N9-, and 630 L–N9–N9 fan systems

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Fig. 17

N-fan static pressure CFD results comparison

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Fig. 18

N-fan system variable platform height CFD results comparison with experimental results

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Fig. 19

Comparison between analytical and numerical ACSC fan unit outlet temperature results

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Fig. 20

N-fan ACSC street 1 temperature contours

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Fig. 21

ACSC street 1 volumetric effectiveness results

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Fig. 22

Definition of cross flow and wind velocity variables

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Fig. 23

Variable platform height and cross-wind velocity results for each fan system

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Fig. 24

Perimeter fan flow field comparison of coinciding experimental and numerical data points at (a) in Fig. 23

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Fig. 25

Effect of nondimensional wind number, vw/vx, on the wind factor, fwind

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Fig. 26

Combined platform height and cross-wind velocity results for all fan systems

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Fig. 27

3D plot of volumetric effectiveness as a function of platform height and dimensionless wind velocity

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Fig. 28

Volumetric effectiveness curves at constant dimensionless wind velocities

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Fig. 29

Dimensionless platform height curves at constant volumetric effectiveness values

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