A field test of the use of drag-reducing additives in hydronic cooling systems was conducted in a medium-size building on the UCSB campus. The purpose of the demonstration was to show that pumping power can be significantly reduced through the use of surfactant additives, to investigate adverse effects on overall heat transfer in heat exchangers, and also to investigate a more challenging system with dominant discrete pressure drops. The field test was considered to be very successful on all counts, especially considering the relatively small size of the building and the complex nature of the piping network. About 15% pumping power reduction was achieved overall, with a nominal pumping power of 22.5 kW. The heat transfer issues were found to be manageable and the measurements also confirmed that a 50% pumping power reduction is a realistic expectation for larger buildings, integrated complex of more buildings, and particularly for district cooling or heating systems.

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