Evaluation of plume potential and plume abatement of evaporative cooling towers in a subtropical region
Hong Kong is a typical subtropical region with frequently high humidity in late spring and summer seasons. Plume from evaporative cooling towers, which service air-conditioning systems of civil buildings, has aroused public concerns since 2000 when the fresh water evaporative cooling towers were allowed to be used for high energy efficiency and environmental issues. This paper presents the evaluation of the plume potential and its effect on the sizing of the plume abatement system in a large commercial office building in Hong Kong for practical application. This evaluation was conducted based on a dynamic simulation platform using the typical meteorological year of Hong Kong since the occurrence of the plume heavily depends on the state conditions of the exhaust air from cooling towers and the ambient air, while the state condition of the exhaust air is determined by the total building cooling load and the control strategies of cooling towers employed mainly for improving energy efficiency. The results show that the control strategies have a significant effect on the plume potential and further affect the system design and sizing of the plume abatement system.