international association for shell and spatial structures

Working Group 3: Technical Expert Group on Cooling and Solar Updraft Towers


1. To initiate research activities in the fields of efficiency, reliability and durability of steel and concrete cooling towers and comparable structures, such as:
  • natural draught cooling towers in wet-cooling-systems
  • natural draught cooling towers in dry-cooling-systems
  • fan-assisted cooling towers
  • hybrid cooling Towers
  • updraft towers of solar thermal power plants

2. To gather cooling tower experts from universities, power plant operators, cooling technologies companies, building companies and engineering consultancies from all over the world.
3. To improve the standards and recommendations for cooling tower design, construction, quality management, maintenance, repair and strengthening.
4. To organize international symposia and sessions on cooling towers and solar chimneys as “state-of-the-art”-events.


Much of the recent activity of WG 3 has related to VGB PowerTech e.V., abbreviated VGB, the European technical association for electricity and heat generation.  VGB is divided into Competence Centers for

  • Nuclear Power Plants
  • Fossil-fired Power Plants
  • Renewables and Distributed Generation
  • Environmental Technology, Chemistry, Safety and Health
  • Operational Services

VGB is an association of companies, who focus on power plant operation and related technologies. Currently in total 462 members, comprising operators, manufacturers and institutions connected with energy engineering, are organized in VGB.  They come from 33 countries worldwide and represent an installed power plant capacity of 520,000 MW, 461,000MW of which are in Europe.  The tasks are to utilize international experience and bundle it in VGB Standards and Guidelines, for example for the Structural Design of Cooling Towers.  The offices of VGB PowerTech are located in Essen/Germany.

Current Objectives

  1. To extend WG3 to a larger group of engineers, especially outside of Europe.
  2. To evaluate new editions of cooling tower guidelines within VGB PowerTech Association.
  3. To co-operate with the International Association for Industrial Chimneys CICIND in the design and construction of chimneys and cooling towers made of reinforced concrete.

Recent Conference Activities

  •  Organized two sessions for IASS-SLTE 2014 held in Brasilia, Brazil
  • Participation in the 81st CICIND Conference in Venice, Italy, April 30 - May 3, 2014:
  • Organization of a joint International Conference on Industrial Chimneys and Cooling Towers ICCT2014 in Prague, Czech Republic, October 8-11, 2014, which is jointly organized by CICIND, the International Association for Industrial Chimneys, VGB PowerTech, the Technical Association for Power and Heat Generation and IASS WG 3:
  • Participation in the 83rd CICIND Conference in Boston, USA, May 6 - 9, 2015:
  • Participation in the 17th IAHR International Conference on Cooling Tower and Heat Exchanger in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Sept. 7 - 11, 2015.
  • Participation in the 85th CICIND Conference in Mainz, Germany, May 4-7, 2016


All current members of the Working Group are members of the IASS. The Working Group welcomes additional members who have an interest in the mission and objectives of the group; those IASS members interested should please contact one of the Chairs of the Working Group (Find e-mail addresses in the IASS Directory by logging in).

  • Prof. Dr. Eng. Reinhard HARTE (Chair) - Germany

Further Information for IASS Members

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