A simplified methodology to optimize the cooling tower approach temperature control schedule in a cooling system Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019 Elsevier Ltd This paper presents a comprehensive methodology helpful to engineers and plant managers for designing and achieving optimized operating conditions for cooling systems. The most widely accepted and utilized theories, such as the Merkel and Poppe models, has brought deviation of modeling performance or computational burden. Thus, the effectiveness cooling tower model by Braun is adopted to model the cooling tower performance with field measurements. A typical electric chiller model based on the condenser entering temperature is applied from the EnergyPlus Engineering Reference. These two models are integrated to determine the optimal operation for the cooling system. Correlations between the power consumption of chillers and cooling tower fans and approach temperatures are analyzed to determine the near-optimal operation. Furthermore, an optimized approach temperature reset schedule is evaluated in a case study. About 15.6% of the actual power consumption can be saved for the 68 sampled days with the proposed optimal control.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Liao, J., Xie, X., Nemer, H., Claridge, D. E., & Culp, C. H.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Liao, Jiajun||Xie, Xie||Nemer, Hala||Claridge, David E||Culp, Charles H

publication date

  • January 2019