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If my memory does not fail me, it is a shape obtained by rotating a straight line around an axis that is not in the same plane. This must give a number of advantages for the construction (economy of materials among others). There is a page on hyperboloid structures in Wikipedia :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperboloid_structure
But the rising air is losing water, through condensation, as it climbs the tower. Therefore why should there be a need for more space?Or is the waste steam from the turbines on a closed circuit and a second water feed is used to cool (re-condense) the steam and is itself evaporated in the process?Chris
A cooling tower operates differently than a chimney because as the air rises, it continues to evaporate more water, which obviously occupies more space. If the cross section didn't increase with height, the flow would be constricted.