Based on the developed three-dimensional computation model of natural draft wet cooling towers, the effect of crosswind on circumferential distribution of air radial pressure gradient and velocity at tower air inlet was studied, and the effect of crosswind on total air inflow rate, transverse mass flow rate, vertical mass flow rate and water temperature drops of the three zones (i.e. spray zone, filling zone and rain zone) were also analyzed. Analysis of crosswind effect on air flow field in heat and mass transfer zone indicates that the induced longitudinal eddy causes reduction of effective ventilation area in filling zone. Results showed that crosswind destroys the uniform air inflow, reducing the total air inflow mass rate and the effective ventilation area of filling zone, resulting in cooling performance deterioration of natural draft wet cooling towers.

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