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Cooling Tower Application Note
COOLING TOWER STEALTH
Cooling Tower Goes Urban Inconspicuous!
Tower with Aeroacoustic Enclosure
multiple centrifugal fans (with variable frequency drives),
forced-draft, cooling tower was proposed at a luxury condominium as an
energy and cost savings project. The location mandated was within five
(5) feet of residential neighbors (Class-1 land use) and the condominium
itself. Further, intrinsic site topography intensified cooling tower
noise emissions, which exceeded the local noise ordinance and lowered
host condominium unit valuation.
of noise abatement schemes were considered but were rejected due to
aerodynamic concerns, cost projections and subsequent performance
degradation. Based project management’s previous experience with
Aeroacoustic Engineering Consultants, LLC (AEC) on a similarly critical
chiller project, AEC was retained to provide a custom engineered
the critical acoustic and aerodynamic (aeroacoustic) performance
parameters projected for the fully loaded cooling tower, AEC was
commissioned to expedite an aeroacoustic design that could accommodate
additional flow resistance from plume abatement hardware. Within two
(2) weeks, AEC had developed conceptual designs for a totally passive
(no booster fans nor blowers) acoustic enclosure, accomplished
aeroacoustic computer simulations including defacto site topography with
all computer modeling under full thermal load and aerodynamic flow of
nearly 100,000-SCFM of air!
From the iterative computer simulations, a design configuration was
selected that would guarantee the owner a minimum noise
reduction of 40-dBA at 5-foot distance from any direction from the
cooling tower’s enclosure, air intake or discharge silencers.
provided the system design, acoustic hardware fabrication, installation
supervision and performance warrantee
for all aeroacoustic operating parameters. Actual installation
was accomplished by the owners building contractor. The contractor had
estimated a nominal five (5) days on site for installation. Actual
installation was accomplished in just two (2) days
attributable to AEC’s modular construction and precision fit up.
acoustic performance (dynamic insertion loss or noise reduction) was
tested at a nominal 41.1-dBA at 5-foot distance from the chiller
enclosure. The resulting sound pressure level with the fully loaded
cooling tower was 47.9-dBA at 5-feet
from the intake, thus meeting the site criteria of
50-dBA at a 5-foot distance! Total
aerodynamic system static back pressure was certified at a nominal
0.18-IWG at full flow, summed
through both intake and discharge. AEC aerodynamic design permits
future addition of intake filters and/or plume abatement systems should
they be needed.
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