Describe Evaporative Cooling Systems

The principle underlying evaporative cooling is the fact that water must have heat applied to it to change from a liquid to a vapor. When evaporation occurs, this heat is taken from the water that remains in the liquid state, resulting in a cooler liquid. Evaporative cooling systems use the same principle as perspiration to provide cooling for machinery and buildings. A cooling tower is a heat-rejection device, which discharges warm air from the cooling tower to the atmosphere through the cooling of water. In the HVAC industry, the term “cooling tower” is used to describe both open- and closed-circuit heat-rejection equipment. When considering water evaporating into air, the wet-bulb temperature, as compared to the air’s dry-bulb temperature, is a measure of the potential for evaporative cooling. The dry and wet bulb temperature can be used to calculate the relative humidity. Evaporation will take place when the humidity is below 100% and the air begins to absorb water. Any given volume of air can hold a certain amount of water vapour and the degree of absorption will depend on the amount it is already holding.