Evaluating Water Surface Heat Exchange Coefficients

by Peter D. Hindley, Engr.; Engrg. Res. Dept., Pacific Gas and Electric, Emeryville, CA,
Russell M. Miner, Mechanical Engineer; Engrg. Res. Dept., Pacific Gas and Electric, Emeryville, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 8, Pg. 1411-1426

Document Type: Journal Paper


Field measurements of the water surface heat exchange coefficient, K, can be obtained using the methodology presented. The method was developed in conjunction with a hydraulic model study of a thermal discharge. A prototype power plant's thermal discharge can be simulated on the model, and the resulting increased temperature field measured. Using model results, an improved prediction of the prototype field is possible if an adjustment is made for model-prototype differences in surface heat exchange. Previously, water surface heat exchange coefficients have been computed using empirical equations and meteorological data. The method presented provides an alternate means of evaluating K. Data required are time-temperature histories of two or three moderately sized cooling basins and certain meteorological information.

Subject Headings: Hydraulic models | Thermal analysis | Thermal pollution | Water surface | Thermal power | Weather forecasting | Temperature effects | Power plants

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