A Caltech Library Service

Mathematical model for multiple cooling tower plumes

Wu, Frank H. Y. and Koh, Robert C. Y. (1977) Mathematical model for multiple cooling tower plumes. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


A mathematical model is developed resulting in a computer program for the prediction of the behavior of plumes from multiple cooling towers with multiple cells. A general integral method based on the conservation of mass, momentum, energy (heat), and moisture fluxes (before and after plume merging), were employed in the prediction scheme. The effects of ambient stratifications of temperature, moisture, and wind are incorporated in the model. An axisymmetric round plume is assumed to be emitted from each individual cell before interference with neighboring plumes. A finite length slot plume in the central part and two half round plumes at both ends of the merged plume were used to approximate the plume after merging. The entrainment and drag functions are calculated based on the modified merged plume shape. The computer output provides the predicted plume properties such as excess plume temperature, humidity and liquid phase moisture (water droplet), plume trajectory, width, and dilution at the merging locations and the beginning and ending points of the visible part of the plumes. Detailed printout and contour plots of excess temperature and moisture distribution can also be obtained if desired. Based on comparison with laboratory data this model gives good predictions for the case of dry plumes (no moisture involved). It should be noted that several empirical coefficients are as yet not accurately known. Verification of this model for the wet plume (such as for prototype cooling tower plumes) and the determination of the values for these empirical coefficients to be used in prototype applications must await detailed comparison with field data.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:The writers would like to express their gratitude to Professors Norman H. Brooks and John F. Kennedy for providing valuable comments and suggestions during the investigation. They would also like to thank Drs. Mostafa Shirazi and Larry Winianski for several stimulating discussions on the project. The work reported herein was supported by EPA Grant Number (5) R-803989-01-1.
Group:W. M. Keck Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Resources
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(5) R-803989-01-1
Record Number:CaltechKHR:KH-R-37
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:26006
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechKHR
Deposited On:21 Dec 2009
Last Modified:21 Dec 2020 18:06

Repository Staff Only: item control page