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Chee 218: Laboratory Projects I

Friday March 15, 2002

Abstract

Established heat transfer theory can be used to accurately predict heat transfer

coefficients for a concentric tube heat exchanger. Kingston Power Plant alleged Hot and

Cold Engineering did not properly design their heat exchanger and it was found that HCE

estimations on heat transfer coefficient was within 2.31.1% of the observed values. In

this report, the validity of the heat exchangers calculations are verified using an apparatus

consisting of a concentric tube heat exchanger identical to the one used at KPP that was

equipped with flow valves and thermocouples to measure the performance of the heat

exchanger. In conclusion, HCE properly designed the CTHX and KPP should attempt to

diagnosis their problem with their heat exchanger at their site.

Rebecca McWalters, Team K

2

Introduction

In nearly every engineering operation there usually exists a large array of heat

exchangers. They are used to change the temperatures of a fluid stream by passing

another fluid close to the desired temperature. The simplest design is a concentric tube

heat exchanger (CTHX). It consists of a small inner tube surrounded by larger outer tube.

The construction of the CTHX allows the rapid exchange of heat by keeping the two

fluids separated by a relatively thin conductive metal tube.

Hot & Cold Engineering Company installed a concentric tube heat exchanger at the

Kingston Power Plant. The plant is currently using this heat exchanger to cool a stream of

hot water to below 95F. Unfortunately their CTHX is not lowering the hot water

temperature sufficiently and the chief engineer at the plant is alleging that our engineers

did not properly design the equipment.

The goal of this report is to determine if the observed overall heat transfer co-efficient is

reasonably close to the co-efficient calculated by our senior design engineers. If this is the

case, then it can be shown that the calculations made by our design engineers were

realistic and the problems encountered at the power plant are not a result of negligence by

HCE. A CTHX that is identical in every respect to the one installed at the power plant

will be used to gather experimental data on the heat exchanger. The Chemical

Engineering department at Queen University’s has graciously allowed our engineering

team to perform required experimental testing on our CTHX using one of their facilities

located in Dupuis Hall, Room 227.

Theory

Heat transfer by conduction or convection, Q, in any system is proportional to the

temperature difference, T, between the two passing streams and slowed by resistive

properties, R, of the materials that the energy must permeate through as shown in

Equation 1.

T

Q Equation 1

R

resistive properties as a function of A, the area of the heat exchanger, and U, the overall

heat transfer co-efficient.

Q UAT Equation 2

In a heat exchanger, heat is transferred between the bulk of the hot fluid and the bulk of

the cold fluid. In the absence of fouling on the tubes present in the heat exchanger there

exist three thermal resistances. There exists a convective thermal resistance through the

boundary layer formed between the outside surface of the inside pipe and the bulk of the

fluid flowing through the outside pipe, 1/hoAo. There is a conductive thermal resistance

through the outside and inside surface of the inside pipe, ln (Do/Di) / 2Lkw. Finally there

3

is a convective thermal resistance through the boundary layer formed between the inside

surface of the inside pipe and the bulk of the fluid flowing through the inside pipe, 1/hiAi.

kw is the conductivity of the wall, Do is the outside diameter of the inside pipe, Di is the

inside diameter of the inside pipe, L is the length of the pipe, Ao is the outside area of the

inside pipe, Ai is the inside area of the inside pipe, hi is the inside film heat transfer

coefficient, and finally, ho is the outside film heat transfer coefficient. To calculate the

overall resistance, R, it is just the sum of the three individual R values as shown in

Equation 3. (Karan, 2002)

1 1 ln( Do / Di ) 1

R Equation 3

UA hi Ai 2k w L ho Ao

The values of all the variables are known, except for the film heat transfer coefficients.

To understand how this is calculated, Nusselt numbers must be explained. It is a

dimensionless number that represents temperature gradient at the surface of the pipe. By

finding an empirical method of calculating Nu for the geometries in the heat exchanger

and by rearranging Equation 4 we can solve for h to find R and hence Uest. Many

empirical correlations exist for finding Nusselt numbers. To find the Nusselt number for

flow inside of a pipe Equation 5 is used. For flow inside of the space between two pipes

Equation 6 is used. However, we must pay attention to the diameter we use to calculate

the Reynolds and Nusselt number. No longer is fluid flowing through a circular pipe, it is

flowing through the area between two pipes. Equation 7 illustrates how to calculate the

equivalent diameter, Deq, for that geometry. (Perry et. al, 1963) It should be noted that the

Prandtl number for any fluid can be looked up in a reference such as Perry’s Handbook or

calculated from the fluid properties through its definition, Pr=Cp/kf (Incropera & Dewitt,

2002)

hL

Nu Equation 4 (Incropera & Dewitt, 2002)

kf

bulk 0.14

Nu 0.023 Re 0.8 Pr 0.333 ( ) Equation 5 (Perry et. al, 1963)

wall

Di , shell

Nu 0.02 Re 0.8 Pr 0.333 ( ) 0.53 Equation 6 (Perry et. al, 1963)

Do ,tube

( Di2,shell Do2,tube )

Deq Equation 7 (Perry et. al, 1963)

Do ,tube

However, as one moves along the profile of a concentric tube heat exchanger, the T

varies as each fluid changes temperature. The rate that the temperature changes from the

inlet to the outlet of each stream depends on the arrangement of the heat exchanger. Two

different configurations are possible. In one scenario, the cool fluid can run parallel to the

hot fluid in which case the heat exchanger is said to be in a co-current arrangement.

4

Alternatively the cool fluid can run in an opposite direction to the hot fluid in which case

it is in a counter-current arrangement. A corrected T is calculated for the two

arrangements and is called the log-mean temperature difference, Tlm. (Equation 8) If the

arrangement is co-current Equation 9 is used to calculate T1 and T2, if the arrangement

is counter-current Equation 10 is used. (Incropera & Dewitt, 2002)

T2 T1

Tlm Equation 8: Calculation Tlm

ln(T2 / T1 )

T1 Th,i Tc ,i

T T T Equation 9: Co-current flow

2 h ,o c ,o

T1 Th ,i Tc ,o

T T T Equation 10: Counter-current flow

2 h ,o c ,i

To solve for Uexp the approach is very simple. With this corrected temperature difference,

Equation 2 is modified to look like Equation 11. Then we use our first principles to find

the heat transferred through the tube of the heat exchanger, Q, using Equation 11. Finally

use both equations, substitute for what is known and solve for Uexp (Equation 13).

Q UATlm Equation 11

Qc mc C p (Tc ,o Tc ,i ) Equation 12

Vc C p (Tc ,o Tc ,i )

U exp Equation 13

Dt ,o LTlm

5

Experimental Procedure

The equipment used for this report is located in Dupuis Hall Room 227 (Figure 1). It

consists of three heat exchangers. At the top there is a long, concentric tube heat

exchanger identical to the one installed at the Kingston Power Plant and the same used in

this experiment. On the bottom there are two shell and tube heat exchangers that were not

used for this experiment. The temperatures of the water entering and leaving the heat

exchanger are measured by thermocouples and the flow rates of hot and cold water are

measured by flow meters. All values are shown on the digital control panel shown on the

right of the figure.

1. Turn on the digital control panel

2. Open cold water stream. Close valves V12, V23, V11, V22. Open valves V02

(main water inlet) and V31.

3. Open hot water stream. Close valves V35, V32. Open valves V01 (main water

inlet), V04, V34 and V33.

4. Monitor the temperature of the cold water in and cold water out using

thermocouples 6 and 1. Monitor the temperature of the hot water in and hot water

out using thermocouples 5 and 2. Use the flow meter on the panel to read hot and

cold water flow rates.

5. Select a fixed turbulent hot water flow rate and vary cold water for 4 runs. Select

a fixed turbulent cold water flow rate and vary hot water for 4 runs. Vary both for

4 runs.

6. Close V01 and V02 to stop water flow

6

1. Open cold water stream. Close valves V12, V23, V11 and V22. Open valves V02

(main water inlet), V31.

2. Open hot water stream. Close valves V34 and V33. Open valves V01 (main water

inlet), V04, V35 and V32.

3. Monitor the temperature of the cold water in and cold water out using

thermocouples 6 and 1. Monitor the temperature of the hot water in and hot water

out using thermocouples 3 and 4. Use the flow meter on the panel to read hot and

cold water flow rates.

4. Select a fixed turbulent hot water flow rate and vary cold water for 4 runs. Select a

fixed turbulent cold water flow rate and vary hot water for 4 runs. Vary both for 4

runs.

5. Close valves V01 and V02 to stop water flow

6. Turn off digital control panel

Safety

Safety goggles were worn at all times by all members of the team.

Permission to use the equipment was obtained from the lab supervisor

All experimental work was supervised

Fire exits were noted

No materials (e.g. toxic, flammable, corrosive) or equipment requiring other

safety precautions were handled.

All data collected from the experimental procedure was placed into a spreadsheet and

using a spreadsheet that had been designed by R. Crews. This spreadsheet calculates the

tube-side and shell-side film heat transfer co-efficient. Then it uses this data to calculate

Uest. Modifications to this spread sheet were made to allow it to calculate Uemp and to

verify that Cp is not a strong function of T, which if it was could alter the calculation of

Prandtl numbers.and of Q. It was found that Cp remains nearly constant around 1

Btu/lbm°F over the range of temperatures that the data was collected at. Finally using the

outside area of the tube, and calculations of Q as summarized by Equation 13. The

calculations are nearly trivial in nature and outlined in more detail in the spreadsheet.

Figure 2 was made to illustrate how close of a fit the estimated values of the heat

exchanger co-efficient and the experimental values were. As can be seen, the relationship

follows a nice straight line with a slope of 1.0 and an R2 = 0.98. These values, showing a

nice trend, are hard to translate into tangible terms. So, the percentage difference of Uexp

from Uest was calculated for each trial, averaged and the 95% confidence interval taken. It

was found that the average difference of two the quantity was 2.31.1%. Meaning that

this small variation in heat transfer co-efficients could not have led to the poor

performance experienced at the KPP, this variation could have only introduced one or two

degrees Fahrenheit of uncertainty over a cooling range of 50-100F. It is possible that the

poor performance of KPP’s heat exchanger is a result of fouling on the pipes from the

7

Lake Ontario water that it draws. Lake Ontario water is quite hard and KPP should try to

flush their heat exchanger with dilute acid to remove any calcium build-up.

The slope in Figure 3 is 1.09 and the graph shows that more heat is being transferred

from the hot water than from the cold water. The difference can be easily explained. The

hot water is not only exchanging heat with the cold water as it runs through the shell, but

it is exchanging heat to the atmosphere. As expected, and in every case, Qh is greater than

Qc.

As can be seen in Figure 4 the heat transfer co-efficient drops as the Reynolds number of

the inside and outside area of the heat exchanger increases. This shows that the heat

exchange becomes less efficient as the flow rates increase. Quantitatively more heat may

be exchanged between the fluids, but the temperature change of the two fluids, Tlm, is

lessened in Equation 11.

The logic behind the calculations used by Hot and Cold Engineering to find the heat

transfer co-efficient in the concentric tube heat exchanger installed at KPP is justified.

The average difference of predicted and experimental quantities was quite small for

calculations of this kind, 2.31.1%.

It is possible that the poor performance with the KPP’s concentric tube heat exchanger

may be due to fouling on the pipes. The KPP draws hard water from Lake Ontario and

this could have lead to the fouling. KPP should try to flush their heat exchanger with

dilute acid to remove any calcium build-up.

8

References

http://info.chee.queensu.ca/CHEE218/Labs/Heat%20Exchanger/Student

%20-%20HX.xls

De Nevers, Noel, 1991. “Fluid Mechanics for chemical engineers”, 2nd Edition,

McGraw-Hill, NY

Incropera, F.P. and DeWitt, D.P., 2002. "Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer", John

Wiley & Sons, 5th Edition, Chapter 11

http://info.chee.queensu.ca/CHEE218/Labs/Heat%20Exchanger/heatex.htm

Perry, R.H., C.H. Chilton and S.D. Kirkpatrick, 1963. "Chemical Engineers' Handbook,"

4th Edition, McGraw-Hill, N.Y.

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