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Optimum Shape and Design of Cooling Towers

Authors: A. M. El Ansary, A. A. El Damatty, A. O. Nassef


The aim of the current study is to develop a numerical tool that is capable of achieving an optimum shape and design of hyperbolic cooling towers based on coupling a non-linear finite element model developed in-house and a genetic algorithm optimization technique. The objective function is set to be the minimum weight of the tower. The geometric modeling of the tower is represented by means of B-spline curves. The finite element method is applied to model the elastic buckling behaviour of a tower subjected to wind pressure and dead load. The study is divided into two main parts. The first part investigates the optimum shape of the tower corresponding to minimum weight assuming constant thickness. The study is extended in the second part by introducing the shell thickness as one of the design variables in order to achieve an optimum shape and design. Design, functionality and practicality constraints are applied.

Keywords: B-splines, Cooling towers, Finite element, Genetic algorithm, Optimization

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