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Cross Ventilation for Swamp Coolers cooling CFD Simulation

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The problem simulates the airflow around the outer body of swamp coolers as cross ventilation.

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Cross Ventilation Project Description

The problem simulates the airflow around the outer body of swamp coolers as cross ventilation. The function of water cooler systems is such that the warm air of the environment outside the sidewalls of their body is introduced into their building by suction techniques and meet the pumped water flows into the cooler. The water flow receives the latent heat it needs to evaporate from the perceptible heat of the incoming airflow, and as a result, it evaporates. In this way, the air loses its temperature as it loses its heat, and on the other hand, it gets wet by mixing with the water vapor from evaporation.

Therefore, cool, humid air enters the room through the air conditioner vents. There are several ways to increase the efficiency of this type of air conditioner and reduce its consumption. One way to increase efficiency is to create turbulent air around the outside walls of the air conditioner, which can be made possible by creating a special air circulation space such as a windcatcher. Due to its structure, this windcatcher can completely circulate the air inside and around the outer body of the air conditioner, and as a result, by cooling these warm exterior walls, it strengthens and accelerates the evaporation process of the water flow and reduce air temperature.

In the present simulation, it is assumed that all external faces of these three coolers have a constant thermal flux equal to 200 W.m-2. Airflow enters the space around the three coolers at a velocity of 5 m.s-1 and a temperature of 292 K from the windshield inlet of the air conditioners, and by cooling the air circulation in this area, the cooling process takes place.

Swamp Cooler Geometry & Mesh

The present model is three-dimensional and is drawn using the Design Modeler software. This model consists of three air conditioners in the form of cubes with dimensions of 1 m ⨯ 1 m ⨯ 1 m inside the space related to a windcatcher in the shape of a rectangular cube with dimensions of 11 m ⨯ 3 m ⨯ 3 m. The figure below shows a view of the geometry.

cross ventilation

Meshing is done using ANSYS Meshing software. The mesh type is unstructured and the element number is 84594. The following figure shows a view of the mesh.

cross ventilation

CFD Simulation

To simulate the present model, several assumptions are considered, which are:

  • A pressure-based solver has been performed.
  • Simulation has been performed in both fluid and heat transfer modes.
  • The present model is steady-state.
  • The effect of gravity on the fluid is not considered.

A summary of the steps for defining a problem and its solution is given in the table:

Models (cross ventilation)
Viscous model k-epsilon
k-epsilon model standard
near-wall treatment standard wall function
Energy on
Boundary conditions (cross ventilation)
Inlet Velocity inlet
velocity magnitude 5 m.s-1
temperature 292 K
Outlet Pressure outlet
gauge pressure 0 Pascal
Coolers Wall
wall motion stationary wall
heat flux 200 W.m-2
Walls Wall
wall motion stationary wall
heat flux 0 W.m-2
Solution Methods (cross ventilation)
Pressure-velocity coupling   SIMPLE
Spatial discretization pressure second-order
momentum second-order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy second-order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate second-order upwind
energy second-order upwind
Initialization (cross ventilation)
Initialization method   Hybrid


At the end of the solution process, two-dimensional and three-dimensional contours related to pressure, temperature, and velocity, as well as two-dimensional and three-dimensional velocity vectors are obtained. We draw the two-dimensional contours and vectors in two sections, YZ, and XZ.


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