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Flow Distribution Measurements From an Air Cooled Condenser in a ~400MW Power Plant

[+] Author Affiliations
E. J. Walsh, R. Grimes

University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

G. Griffin

General Electric, Galway, Ireland

Paper No. IMECE2011-62538, pp. 33-38; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The use of air cooled condensers in power generation is increasing in many arid regions of the world. The classical A-frame condenser design is implemented in most new installations despite significant empirical evidence that such designs suffer from poor efficiencies and weather effects, and therefore provide significant scope for improvements. An inefficient condenser results in higher back pressure on the turbine, over-sized condensers and increased fan power. This paper addresses the flow distribution from an air cooled condenser for a ∼400MW gas and steam power plant. The results indicate that the flow patterns from the large scale fans results in a severe inhomogeneous distribution of cooling on the condenser fins. These region of high and low velocity are closely related to the outlet flow pattern from the fans, where in the hub region the air mass flow rate is reduced, while in the tip region it is increased. These measurements provide an excellent basis for both understanding the existing deficiencies of the A-frame designs and moreover provide direction for improved designs in the future.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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