HTRI establishes new Air Cooler Task Force (ACTF)

Task Forces play an important role at HTRI, providing a forum for consortium members to share their knowledge and expertise, helping us formulate the direction of specific projects or solve problems. HTRI recently established an Air Cooler Task Force (ACTF) that will assist staff in addressing industrially relevant issues related to the design and operation of air-cooled heat exchangers. 

The ACTF currently includes HTRI staff and representatives from twelve member companies. Salem Bouhairie, ACTF Chair, states, “The task force should help guide solutions to questions about existing correlational models in Xace, as well as address operational problems that remain unresolved on an industrial level.” The installation of a new air-cooled heat exchanger test unit (ACU) at the Research & Technology Center (RTC) makes the work of this task force especially compelling.

The test unit was designed according to API 661 standards, with reconfigurable mechanical components and options for forced- or induced-draft orientations, removable tube bundle air seals, and box or shaped plenums. Unit details are available on the RTC webpage at


HTRI Air-Cooler Unit
The ACU is the newest testing unit at the RTC.

Initial studies are planned to investigate air-cooler performance in natural-draft and forced-draft conditions. With the new test unit, HTRI can extend its advanced CFD studies of air coolers to physical evaluation of issues like “on-off” fan performance and hot air recirculation. Results may then be implemented in Xace, HTRI’s software for designing, rating, and simulating air coolers and economizers.

For more information, view the Task Force webpage at