Effects of alternative control strategies of water-evaporative cooling systems on energy efficiency and plume control: A case study

Shengwei Wang, Xinhua Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the evaluations of energy efficiency, plume potential as well as plume control of a huge chiller plant using water-evaporative cooling towers for heat rejection for a super high-rising commercial office building in a subtropical region of Hong Kong. The evaluations were carried out in a dynamic Transient Simulation Program (TRNSYS)-based simulation platform using alternative control strategies including set-point control logics of the supply cooling water temperature and cooling tower fan modulation control methods as well as different number control means of cooling towers. The results show that different control strategies have significant effects on the energy efficiency of the chiller plant. The quantification of the energy efficiency demonstrates significant energy-saving potential by using advanced technologies for implementing optimal control strategies in this cooling system. The results also reveal that the plume may occur frequently in spring and summer seasons and occasionally in other months due to the odd subtropical weather conditions. Control strategies also have significant effects on the frequency of the plume occurrence. The effective energy efficiency control and effective plume control using wet-dry (i.e., hybrid) cooling towers are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1973-1989
Number of pages17
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • Control strategy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Evaporative cooling system
  • Plume control
  • Plume potential
  • Wet-dry cooling tower

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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