ACD-1 HTRI Air Cooler Research Plant Description of Apparatus and Operation

R. B. Ritter and J. Taborek

The use of air coolers is becoming increasingly popular in the industry. In order to determine the effect of important parameters on the design and operation of these units, HTRI has constructed a flexible research air cooler capable of operating as a research-type unit under a variety of conditions. The unit has a tube bank with 7 ft × 10 ft face area, adjustable pitch fan, variable speed motor, adjustable plenum height and complete instrumentation to determine heat transfer and pressure drop, air velocity distribution, overall efficiency, fan efficiency and motor efficiency. Initially installed for isothermal operation, the tube bank is rated for 200 psig steam heating for heat transfer runs with 1, 2 or 4 passes intube. The unit is located in an open area which can eventually be blocked off in any desired manner so that the effects of obstructions and recycling of exhaust air may be evaluated. A computer data-reduction program gives data in engineering units including a 104-point matrix of air velocities over the face of the tube bank.