Ali, Jafar (2011) Modelling of thermal plume dishcarge into shallow and still water. Doctoral thesis, University of Hudderfield.

The concerns of global warming are guiding most industries and commercial properties towards addressing their energy usage. In large buildings where air conditioning is required, there is often a need for “chillers” to control the temperature of the building. This process is not environmentally friendly and expensive in terms of energy used and maintenance issues. The alternative is to cool buildings using natural resources such as induced wind drafts and water extraction from rivers and canal. The latter has not been used with optimum effectiveness because the prediction procedures are not sufficiently developed to satisfy environmental legislation. The mathematical approaches are unrealistic and extremely conservative in their analysis and this causes many valid proposals to be rejected.

This research is aimed at addressing that situation. It will provide a valid interactive 3-dimensional analysis procedure that will better evaluate the potential of using any British Waterways canal or similar water source for cooling purposes.

After water has been used for cooling it is returned to the canal in a heated state as a thermal plume. It is the boundaries of the plume that must be predicted with reasonable accuracy so that environmental legislation is not infringed and livestock is not jeopardised. It is equally important to ensure the analysis is not over sensitive so as to result in rejection of valid proposals. Earlier work studied heat distribution but did not consider the thermal discharge into still and shallow water, as in a British Waterways canal. The studies below investigate several canal sites to evaluate a variety of situations where the discharge plume differs. Criteria including discharge direction, volume of water, temperature differences, speed of discharge and depth of discharge pipe all play a part in the formation of the plume. As such it is possible to develop an understanding of how the thermal plume merges into the still water and how the heat is diffused into the general body of water. In conjunction with site measurements a laboratory experimental scale model tank was built to replicate the real canal site. This allowed data to be varied and measured more readily. Two different types of discharge have been the subject of this research - the first being when the discharge pipe is located at the surface of the receiving water, the second being when it is submerged deeply below the surface. In all cases the temperature and velocity are measured at various points and at a variety of depths to provide a three dimensional plot across the mixing zone. In addition to the mathematical analysis, thermal imaging was used to predict the heat diffusion profiles on the surface of the receiving water in both the canal site and the model tank. CFD software is also used to evaluate the distribution of temperature and velocity within the mixing zone. The mathematical analysis produced an equation to predict the heat diffusion profile in surface discharge. And a number of equations were produced to model the plume path line in submerged discharge- relating to temperature and velocity dilution along and across the path lines. The relative effects of the bed and free surface proximity appeared significantly in the equations. A 3-dimensional model of the size of the plume is presented to demonstrate the results.

The procedure followed in this study will enable the Environment Agency personnel to assess the waste heat utilization with greater thoroughness and within a shorter period.

THESIS_FINAL_VERSION.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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