The performance of natural draft dry cooling towers under crosswind: CFD study

Rafat Al-Waked*, Masud Behnia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


The thermal performance of a natural draft dry cooling tower (NDDCT) under a crosswind has been investigated using a general-purpose CFD code. A three-dimensional study using the standard k-ε turbulence model to simulate airflow in and around an NDDCT has been conducted. A parametric study has been carried out to examine the effect of crosswind velocity profile and air dry-bulb temperature on the thermal performance of an NDDCT. Two approaches have been considered in this study to quantify the crosswind effect. Firstly, simulations have been conducted at the nominal conditions and crosswind effect has been represented by thermal effectiveness parameter. Secondly, the ejected heat from the NDDCT has been maintained at a constant value (285 MW) and the crosswind effect has been represented by the change in the cooling tower approach parameter. After quantifying the effect of the crosswind on the thermal performance, windbreak walls have been introduced as a means of reducing this effect. The results in this paper show the importance of considering the crosswind velocity profile. Moreover, the introduction of windbreak walls has indicated an improvement in reducing the thermal performance losses due to the crosswind.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD
  • Cooling tower
  • Crosswind effect
  • Thermal performance
  • Windbreak wall


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