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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Cooling towers form an important part of chilled water systems and perform the function of rejecting the heat to the atmosphere. These systems are often not operated optimally, and cooling towers being an integral part of the system present a significant area to study and determine possible energy saving measures. Operation of cooling towers in economizer mode in winter and variable frequency drives (VFDs) on cooling tower fans are measures that can provide considerable energy savings. The chilled water system analysis tool (CWSAT) software is developed as a primary screening tool for energy evaluation for chilled water systems and quantifies the energy usage of the various components and typical measures that can be applied to these systems to conserve energy, all while requiring minimum number of inputs to analyze component-wise energy consumption and incurred overall cost. A careful investigation of the current model in CWSAT indicates that the prediction capability of the model at lower wet bulb temperatures and at low fan power is not very accurate. A new model for accurate tower performance prediction is imperative, since economizer operation occurs at low temperatures and most cooling towers come equipped with VFDs. In this thesis, a new model to predict cooling tower performance is created to give a more accurate prediction of energy savings for a tower. Further the economic feasibility of having additional cooling tower capacity to allow for economizer cooling, in light of reduced tower capacity at lower temperatures is investigated.


First Advisor

Dragoljub Kosanovic

Included in

Engineering Commons