A model laboratory cooling tower was designed and produced using locally available materials and was used in conjunction with a residential size water heater to simulate the industrial process heat load. The aim of this research is to evaluate the performance of the cooling tower produced locally in order to determine the influences of flow characteristics on the efficiency of the cooling tower. Experiments were conducted to study how adjustment of one or both of the parameters affect the amount of heat removed from the hot water by the water heater. A daily record of dry and wet bulb temperatures in Uyo metropolis for one complete year was obtained and the maximum wet and dry bulb temperatures of 27°C and 31°C respectively which represented the worst case scenario was used for the design of the cooling tower. The tower had a resulting designed efficiency of 51.6%. The results were used to plot a graph of cooling rate of the hot water, from a temperature of 82°C to 40°C in one hour by the cooling tower with an approach of 14°C. The variation of water temperature with the flow rate was a non-linear one, from 43°C to 67.5°C and from 67.5C to 82°C respectively. It was inferred from this investigation that the rate of cooling of water is uniformly proportional to the flow rate to an extent. Thus, variation of the cooling tower characteristics affects the tower performance linearly and non-linearly. The actual efficiency of the cooling tower was calculated and found to be 47.5% which is 4.1% lower than the designed efficiency.
Keywords: Cooling tower; Uyo; Flow Characteristics; Performance; Influence