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Dividing the original physical case into pieces or increments A single large Hydrocal, with but eighteen usable standpipe
will introduce errors, the magnitude depending on the degree positions, would apply only to the simpler types of three-
of subdivision. Other errors will come in when the run must dimensional problems. However, the design can be such that
be broken into time increments. Still others will come from Hydrocal units may be placed side by side and interconnected
inaccuracies present in heat transfer and other constants. without limit.
However, assuming constants to be known (as must be as- Present plans call for gaining some experience in operating
sumed no matter how a problem is solved) and assuming that the large Hydrocal before attempting to redesign it. It is
enough increments are used largely to eliminate errors from practically a hand-built job, and some changes will have to
this type of approximation, the apparatus should be made to be made before production by some instrument maker can
yield very satisfactory results in a large variety of applications. be arranged.
February 11, 1936

Temperature in
Interpretation and Use to Measure
Radiant Heat Flux
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

C OMMON to most developments in the de-

sign of processing equipment is the transi-
tion from a period of satisfaction with the
prediction of over-all performance to one of profit from a con-
sideration of the detailed performance of the various elements
furnace was investigated with a short cylindrical probe (5) of
the same diameter as a boiler tube; the instrument was held
a t various points along a tube axis so that the convection and
radiation characteristics should correspond exactly to those
of a tube. (Presumably the tubes in the lowest banks were
of the structure. In the field of high-temperature heat trans- double-spaced and the instrument was inserted in the blank
mission the empirical method of building a furnace like one rows.) Finally the A. S. M. E. Committee on Absorption of
which was found satisfactory has to some extent been replaced
by designs influenced by calculations based on an analysis of
the mechanism of the heat transmission. Such calculations
have, in general, had an objective no more ambitious than the
prediction of over-all performance, with no consideration of The significance of temperature meas-
how the heat is distributed to the various heat-receiving sur- urements in industrial furnaces is dis-
faces in the radiant section of the furnace. In the case of fur- cussed. The true gas temperature has
naces with heat-receiving surfaces a t a relatively low tem- less utility, except in making heat bal-
perature, knowledge of such heat distribution was not essen-
tial. The high-pressure processes of chemical industry, ances, than the uncorrected reading ordi-
however, involve the transmission of heat through surfaces narily obtained with a protected couple:
a t elevated temperatures a t rates which must not exceed the latter measures the rate at which heat
definite values imposed by considerations of strength of the would be transferred if the couple were
materials of construction. Hence the spread between aver- replaced by a surface at the temperature
age and maximum heat-input rates per unit of surface deter-
mines the amount of surface required; and, since the unit cost of the heat sink. An instrument con-
of such surfaces is high, the need for equalization of heat flow sisting in principle of a pair of oriented
in the various parts of such furnaces becomes evident. The thermocouples is shown to be capable of
first step in that direction is the development of instrumenta- measuring the actual rate of heat flow
tion for measurement of heat flow rates in the various parts of across any plane in a furnace. The
furnaces; that is the objective of the work here described.
A few sporadic attempts in this direction are recorded in instrument was tested at rates of radiant
the technical literature. The instrument used was a “ther- heat flow across a plane of from 5000 to
maprobe,” a metal body whose rate of heat absorption can be 18,000 B. t . u . per square foot per hour,
measured by observing its rate of rise of temperature. The with an average error of 4 per cent in eight
earliest device was a spherical probe (1). Later a flat plate, tests. Its application to a study of uni-
protected below and on the sides, was used to determine the
heat transfer in a billet-reheating furnace, the instrument being formity of heat distribution in furnaces
held above and close to the stock (6). Just this year a boiler is discussed.

Radiant Heat in Boiler Furnaces reported this year that they ous points may be calculated from Equation 2. Or, if the
had considered, for the determination of heat distribution to duty and method of operation of a furnace remain steady, a
the water walls of a boiler furnace, the use of a water-cooled thermocouple fixed in any point will show the variations in
probe, in which the rise of temperature and the rate of flow of heat transfer conditions in the furnace from day to day.
the water would give data for the calculation of the incident
radiation (7). The instrument was discarded because of un- Need for Modification of Protected Thermo-
wieldiness and of the disadvantage common to the others that couple
only the radiation towards the tubes or stock is measured; Although the protected thermocouple does provide a basis
the heat reradiated or reflected must still be determined be- for estimating variations in heat flow rates, it is desirable that
fore the net heat-transfer rate is known. an instrument for surveying the distribution of heat transfer
in a furnace should indicate a t any point the actual net radi-
Significance of High-Temperature Measure- ant heat flow across a plane separating the heat sink (the tube
ments bank, stock surface, etc.) from the rest of the furnace. As an
Although the described methods of direct measurement ideal instrument consider a thermocouple in the form of a
have not been entirely satisfactory, they suggest the desira- small plane plate, perfectly insulated on the back and sides.
bility of investigating the significance of high-temperature If this instrument is held in the furnace until an equilibrium
measurements as a basis for the development of a satisfactory temperature is reached, then, by analogy to Equation 1, the
instrument. The proper method of measuring a temperature emissive power E1 of that part of the furnace system “seen”
i n the gas space of a heat exchanger depends on the use 40 be from the plane of the plate will be numerically equal to the
made of the measurement. It may be of interest either in emissive power uT14 of a black body a t the equilibrium tem-
evaluating the rate of heat transmission to a near-by surface perature attained by the plate: i. e., for the calculation of
or in determining the heat content of the gas passing the radiation from the furnace in one direction through the plane
point. If the heat exchanger operates a t low temperature, of the instrument, we may regard the furnace walls, flames,
both of these uses demand the measurement of “true gas tem- etc., as replaced by a “black-body” enclosure a t the tem-
perature” a t the point, free of errors due to interchange of perature T1 attained by the instrument. If this instrument
radiant heat between the measuring instrument and its sur- were placed parallel and close to the plane of the heat sink, the
roundings. If the heat exchanger operates a t a high tempera- heat transfer across that plane could be calculated from the
ture, the second use still demands the use of true gas tempera- Stefan-Boltzmann equation,
tine; but the first-i. e., the evaluation of heat transfer rate
to a near-by surface-involves the gas temperature only to the Q/A = a(Ti4 - T S 4 ) p 8 . F ~ (3)
unimportant degree to which convection contributes to the where pa, T , = emissivity and temperature of the sink, respec-
total heat transmission in a furnace. Of more importance at tively
F A = a geometrical factor t o allow for the shape and
furnace temperature levels is the “true radiation tempera- arrangement of the sink (8, 4)
ture” of the point, a temperature defined as that attained by
an instrument protected from the possibility of interchange ( F Ais unity if the heat sink is a continuous plane a t uniform
of heat with its surrounding gas by convection or conduction. temperature.) To obviate the measurement of p , and T,and
Since at high temperatures the reading of a protected thermo- the calculation of F A , another instrument may be used in the
couple is nearer the true radiation temperature than the true same plane but facing the sink. It will now be exposed to the
gas temperature, such an instrument is superior to the more radiation reflected or reradiated from the surface of the sink,
complicated high-velocity thermocouple or shielded couple and will attain an equilibrium temperature T zwhich measures
for judging heat equalization. the emissive power of the system on the sink side of the plane
Consider a small gray sphere of area A and emissivity (and of the instrument.
absorptivity) p a t some point in a furnace chamber, and let Combining the two instrument readings, we obtain the net
the furnace temperature be high enough to justify neglecting radiant heat exchange across the plane of the instrument per
heat transmission to the sphere by convection. The heat ab- unit area :
sorbed by radiation from the flame, various walls, etc., will
be equal to pAE,, where E , is the average emissive power of q / A = E1 - E2 = u(T14 - Tz4) (4)
the surroundings, measured a t the sphere. When the sphere
has attained thermal equilibrium a t temperature T, it will be The net rate of heat transmission from furnace to sink, across
emitting radiation a t the rate pAuT4, which must equal its the plane of the instruments, is then the same as that between
rate of absorption of heat. Then, two infinite black parallel planes a t the two respective tem-
peratures measured by the instruments. These tempera-
E, = aT4 !I ) tures are independent of the emissivities of the surfaces of the
thermocouples, provided each of the latter is “gray”-i. e.,
where u is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant. If the sphere, of uniform emissivity throughout the spectrum. It is also
representative of the protected thermocouple, is now replaced essential that the introduction of the instruments does not
by a heat-receiving surface of similar shape but maintained a t disturb the furnace equilibrium.
some known lower temperature, T,, the net rate a t which this In practice a perfectly insulated instrument cannot be con-
surface will receive heat is given by the expression: structed, nor can convection be eliminated, but allowance
Q / A = ap(T4 - Tc4) (2) may be made for both of these divergences from the ideal case.
Consider an instrument consisting of two parallel plates, each
The temperature T measured by the protected thermocouple of emissivity p , separated by an insulating medium of thick-
is a t any point in the furnace; therefore, it is a measure of the ness L and conductivity k , and exposed to gas at temperature
potentiality of that point for transferring heat (provided that TG; and assume that the coefficient of convective heat trans-
the net heat withdrawn is insufficient to disturb conditions in fer h, is the same for both sides. The average rates of radia-
the furnace). If, then, a number of protected thermocouples tion incident on the two sides, per unit area, are E1 and El,
are installed in a furnace close to the tube bank or other “heat and the temperatures in equilibrium, T1 and T2,respectively.
sink,” and symmetrically placed with regard to it, the differ- Then the equations of heat flow into each of the two side3
ence between the rates of radiation to the tubes a t the vari- are:
a thermopile and the optical pyrometer; and throughout the
tests the temperature wits held constant at this value. The final
results are given in Table I.

Subtracting and dividing by p , we obtain: Ratio.
Instru- Kctual’to
--Ten i p . ,‘-Rankine-- ment co! 1- Calcd.
Hot Cold stant K Flux
face, face, Differ- Heat (from Heat (Col. 4/
TI Tz ence FluxQ Col. 4) Flux& Col. 5)
B . t . u./hr./ B . t. u . / h r . t
That is, the radiant heat flux across the plane is numeri- SQ. ft. sq, ft,
cally equal to the black-body radiation between infinite planes 1013 734
4,636 1.118
1166 7,115 0.942
a t temperatures the same as those of the two plates of the in- 1179 787 392 7,170 11.51 7,334 0.997
strument, together with a correction term equal to the tem- 1289 826 463 9,340 11.63 9,480 0.984
1317 843 474 9,760 11.61 9,948 0.982
perature difference multiplied by an “instrument constant,” 1365
K (the bracketed term), which depends on the surface emis- 1643 992 651 17,880 10.76 18,620 0.960
sivity, the convection coefficient, and the heat conductance a From hot-plate temperature and dimensions.
b From instrument temperatures and average K.

The intensity of radiation falling on the instrument was

varied by varying the distance from the plate a t which it was
held, and was calculated from the dimensions of the system
and the hot plate temperature (2,4). These values for the
heat flux are given in Table I, column 4; by substitution in
Equation 7 a value for the instrument constant was obtained
(column 5 ) . Inspection reveals no trend of variation of K
with temperature; therefore the average 11.9 was used to
calculate the heat flux as measured by the instrument (col-
umn 6). In column 7 the fluxes as calculated from hot plate
data and from instrument temperatures are compared, The
maximum divergence is 12 per cent and the average only 4
per cent, for rates of heat transfer varying from 5,000 to
18,000B. t. u. per square foot per hour.
The instrument constant K was also calculated, assuming
p , (for a dense oxide layer) = 0.8 (3)
h, (vertical plate) = 0.275 (t/H)0.z6= 1.9 B. t. u./sq. ft. X hr.
I x F. (3)
k (kaolin brick at 932’ F.) = 0.15 B.t. u./ft. X hr. X O F. (3)
between the plates of the instrument. It is probable that
The value of R so calculated, 11.4, differs from the experimen-
the instrument constant will vary with temperature, but
tal value of 11.9 by less than the limits of experimental error.
since both numerator and denominator may be expected to The instrument as a t present constructed has a grave dis-
increase with rise of temperature, the variation in the value advantage in that the time taken to reach equilibrium is ex-
of the constant should be small. It must be emphasized that cessive. At the rate of 5500 B. t. u. per square foot per hour,
this instrument constant affects only an additive term, so that the hot plate was still 6” F. from equilibrium temperature
a large error in it will produce but a small error in the calcu- after an hour. An error of 3 per cent (for these conditions)
lated heat transfer. The main term in the evaluation of heat
would be introduced by reading this as the final temperature.
flux from the instrument temperatures, a(T14 - T2*),is, .in A change in design to cut down the heat capacity of the in-
form, completely independent of the instrument characteris- strument, however, is relatively simple; and the performance
tics; but the basic assumptions (that the surfaces of the plates of the instrument here described is otherwise so satisfactory
are “gray” radiators, and that heat flow through the instru- that it is to be used in connection with studies of industrial
ment is parallel and normal to the plates) must hold.
furnace performance.
Description of Instrument Literature Cited
Such an instrument was built and tested, and is shown in (1) Hase, R.,Arch. WBrmewirt., 13, 317 (1932).
Figure 1: (2) Hottel, H. C., Trans. A m . SOC.Mech. Engrs., Fuels Steam Power,
53 119b). 265 11931): Mech. Em..52. 699 (1932).
_ r I

(3) M c A d k s , ’ W . H.‘, “Heat Transmission,” New York; McGraw-

It consists of two stainless-steel disks, 1 inch in diameter and Hill Book Co., 1933.
1/11 inch thick, mounted in an octagonal slab of kaolin brick about
(4) Ibid.,Chapter 111.
3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick so that the surface6 are (5) Schmidt, T. M., 2. V e r . deut. Ing., 79, 926 (1935); Arch. Wdrme-
flush. A chromel-alumel couple is eened into a hole in the wirt., 14,11 (1933).
center of each disk, and the leads areTed along the surface of the (6) Stoffregen,H., Arch. Eisenhilttenw., 16, 221 (1933).
disk before bringing them out to the insulating tube, thus mini- (7) Wohlenbers, Mulliken, Armacost, and Gordon, Trans. Am. 80c.
mizing the chance of false temperature readings due to conduction Mech. Engrs., RP 57 (4), 544 (1935).
along the wires. Calibration of the instrument was secured us-
ing as a source of radiation a vertical hot plate, 5.19 X 5.19 RECEIVED
January 8 , 1936.
inches of nickel, heated by a nichrome resistance grid immedi-
ately behind it. A preliminary survey showed that local varia-
tions in emissive power were less than 10 er cent. For the tests The paper on “Heat Transfer Coeffioients on In-
the average temperature was determinedy! the use of an optical clined Tubes,” by D. F. Jurgensen, Jr., and G. H.
pyrometer close enough for its field of view to be filled, but with Montillon, IND.ENQ.CHEM.,27, 1466-1475 (Dee.,
the object purposely out of focus. The emissivity at the test 1935),was also presented as part of this symposium.
temperature was calculated from simultaneous readings with Other papers appeared in the May, 1936, issue.