AC-17 CFD Simulations of Airside Maldistribution Around API Air Cooler
Xace has limited capabilities for predicting maldistributed airside heat transfer because the software does not consider inter- and intra-air cooler proximity, turn-down and fan off/on operation, or ground effects. To improve our software methods, we examined the performance of an API-compliant air cooler through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, calibrating the CFD model with Xace cases. We then used CFD to simulate non-ideal airside flow situations that can potentially affect predicted performance but cannot be predicted in Xace. The simulation results show trends that can be correlated to guide airside prediction improvements in Xace.