Application of a Cloud Model to Cooling Tower Plumes and Clouds

Harold D. Orville Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, 57701

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John H. Hirsch Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, 57701

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Laurence E. May Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, 57701

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Abstract

A steady-state, one-dimensional cloud model has been modified to simulate the growth of plumes (both wet and dry) and clouds from natural and forced draft cooling towers. The modifications to the cloud model are discussed and comparisons are made between predicted height and length of plumes and observed values. A correlation coefficient of 0.78 is achieved for model predictions of plume height and a correlation coefficient of 0.49 for predicted plume length. Comparisons with Benning Road data showed 78% of the model-predicted plume heights were within 50% of the observed height, while 93% of the predicted plume lengths were within 50&percnt of the observed length.

Analysis of the model predicted plumes for a year's morning and evening atmospheric soundings is presented. Comparison of plumes during winter and summer showed dramatic changes, with the longest plumes occurring during the winter. Summer plumes were much shorter with relatively small visible plume heights and tall dry extensions above the visible plume.

A case of wet plume/dry plume/cloud formation is presented to illustrate output from the model.

Abstract

A steady-state, one-dimensional cloud model has been modified to simulate the growth of plumes (both wet and dry) and clouds from natural and forced draft cooling towers. The modifications to the cloud model are discussed and comparisons are made between predicted height and length of plumes and observed values. A correlation coefficient of 0.78 is achieved for model predictions of plume height and a correlation coefficient of 0.49 for predicted plume length. Comparisons with Benning Road data showed 78% of the model-predicted plume heights were within 50% of the observed height, while 93% of the predicted plume lengths were within 50&percnt of the observed length.

Analysis of the model predicted plumes for a year's morning and evening atmospheric soundings is presented. Comparison of plumes during winter and summer showed dramatic changes, with the longest plumes occurring during the winter. Summer plumes were much shorter with relatively small visible plume heights and tall dry extensions above the visible plume.

A case of wet plume/dry plume/cloud formation is presented to illustrate output from the model.

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