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Heat Recovery Systems Vol. 2. No. 2. pp. 189-199, 1982.

Printed in Great Britain

0198-7593 82020189-11503.00 0 Pergamon Press Lid

CERAMIC HEAT PIPES FOR HIGH-TEMPERATURE HEAT RECOVERY HAL J. STRUMPF


AiResearch Manufacturing Company, 2525 West 190th Street, Torrance, CA 90509, U.S.A. Abstract--This paper summarizes the results of a conceptual design study for ceramic heat pipe recuperators conducted by the AiResearch Manufacturing Company, a division of The Garrett Corporation, for the University of California Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. The function of the recuperator is to preheat combustion air with industrial furnace exhaust gases, thus effecting a substantial fuel saving as compared with unrecuperated, non-preheated furnaces. The proposed recuperator system consists of two heat exchanger units: a high-temperature ceramic heat pipe recuperator using sodium as the working fluid and a low-temperature metallic plate-fin recuperator. Systems were designed for three furnace applications. The ceramic unit consists of a bundle of individual heat pipes acting in concert, with a partition separating the air and exhaust gas flow streams. The overall flow configuration is counterflow. The metallic unit is of a crossflow configuration, and is similar to AiResearch designs used for other applications. Potential fuel savings are in the 40-50% range. Calculated simple payback periods, based on potential fuel cost savings and estimated system costs, are less than six months for all designs, exclusive of specific retrofitting and high-temperature burner costs.

INTRODUCTION

A STUDYhas been conducted by the AiResearch Manufacturing Company, a division of The Garrett Corporation, for the University of California Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) investigating the use of heat pipes made of ceramic material for the recovery of heat from the flue gases of high-temperature industrial furnaces. This waste heat recovery results in a reduction in fuel consumption by the furnace. Typical industrial furnaces operate with unheated combustion air or low-effectiveness recuperation. Thus, a substantial portion of the fuel is required to heat the air to the furnace operating temperature, which can be in the 2000 to 2500F (1100-1400C) range. The hot products of combustion (flue gases) are exhausted to the atmosphere and the energy content lost. A more efficient approach is to preheat the combustion air to high temperature with the hot flue gases, thus utilizing some of the available energy. A heat exchanger or recuperator can be used to effect this energy transfer. State-of-the-art, high-temperature, stainless steel heat exchangers have a metal temperature limitation in the 1400 to 1500F (760-820C) range. Thus, the hot gas inlet temperature to a stainless steel recuperator is limited to about 1550F (840C). With this temperature limitation the hot furnace gases need to be diluted with cold air prior to recuperation. For a maximum gas temperature of 1550F (840C), the air preheat temperature is essentially limited to about 1400F (760C). The required recuperator would have an effectiveness of about 0.90. To further increase fuel savings, air preheat temperatures must be increased above 1400F (760C). Ceramic heat exchangers offer the potential for preheating air to within 150-200F (80-110C)of the furnace gas temperature, limited only by heat exchanger size and by high-temperature burner development. If a larger air preheat-to-furnace gas temperature difference is desired, a substantial reduction in heat exchanger effectiveness is possible. The influence of effectiveness on the heat exchanger size is such that a ceramic heat exchanger required to heat a given flow rate of combustion air to 1600F (870C) ~vith 2100F (1150C) gas is only about one-third the size of the metallic heat exchanger required to heat the same air flow rate to 1400F (760C) with 1550F (840C) gas. This illustrates the advantages of the ceramic heat exchanger approach: increased fuel savings are provided by a smaller, lower-effectiveness recuperator.
H.x.s. 2~2

189

190

HAL J. SI"RUMPF R F A T R METALLINERA DWICK~ ER CO Y N

C R MC E D P U EA I N LG E A O AO E D VP RT R N GRAVITY CONDENSER D E N

Fig. 1. Ceramic heat pipe schematic.

One type of ceramic heat exchanger that can be used for heat recovery is a recuperator composed of ceramic heat pipes. The heat pipes themselves are long ceramic tubes cast with external radial fins. The fins aid in the heat transfer and reduce the number of pipes required for a particular task. The inside of each pipe is coated with a thin refractory metal layer. This layer has a dual purpose: the metal acts as a wick to transport the heat pipe working fluid and also protects the ceramic from the working fluid, which is a liquid metal such as sodium or lithium. These heat pipe elements are being developed at LASL [1]. A schematic of the heat pipe is shown in Fig. 1. Notice that the heat pipe is tilted to aid in the condensate return. The heat pipes are bundled together to form a tube bank, similar in appearance to a conventional finned-tube heat exchanger. However, both the flue gas and the combustion air flow outside the tubes, with the gas streams separated by a partition. The overall flow configuration is counterflow. The heat pipe working fluid transfers heat from the gas stream to the air stream. The arrangement is shown in Fig. 2. Such a heat exchanger

IN

AIR

FINS

Fig. 2. Heat pipe heat exchanger configuration.

Ceramic heat pipes for heat recovery


HOT FLUID th 1 HOT EXCHANGER th 2

191

C h

COUPLING FLUID CL

PUHP

tL 1
Cc

tc2

w,

COLD EXCHANGER

tcl

COLD FLUID

Fig. 3. Liquid-coupled indirect-transfer type heat exchanger system used as a model for the analysis of heat pipe recuperators.

configuration has a distinct size advantage compared to a conventional air-to-gas heat exchanger. For the tube size required for typical industrial processes, the thermal resistance inside the tubes is considerably larger than that outside the tubes. Thus, the inside surface 'controls' the design of conventional units. With heat pipes, however, both air and gas flow over the lower-resistance outside surface, thus making possible a significant size reduction. The heat pipe resistance inside the tubes is quite small due to the high heat transfer coefficients associated with the phase change of the heat pipe fluid and the small temperature change between the evaporator and condenser sections. In addition to the size advantage, the heat pipe recuperator offers decreased sealing and manifolding complexity compared to a conventional heat exchanger.

HEAT EXCHANGER ANALYSIS

Contrary to several recent presentations in the literature l:2, 3] a heat pipe recuperator cannot, in general, be considered a single counterflow heat exchanger with an overall air-to-gas thermal resistance and an overall air-to-gas logarithmic mean temperature difference (LMTD). This approach neglects the fact that the heat pipe fluid is at an essentially constant temperature in any individual heat pipe. Because of this fact, the actual integrated temperature potential for a heat pipe is smaller than the overall LMTD. This is true even if the thermal resistance on the heat pipe side is vanishingly small. It is only in the limit of a large number of tube rows in the air/gas flow direction that this overall approach becomes correct. The approach used for the present study considers each heat pipe (in the flow direction) separately. Indeed, each pipe is assumed to be two separate heat exchangers: gas-to-heat pipe fluid and heat pipe fluid-to-air. This approach is similar to that studied by London and Kays C4l and expanded upon by Eastwood [5] for liquid-coupled indirect-transfer heat exchangers. This configuration is shown schematically in Fig. 3. The symbols in Fig. 3 are largely self-explanatory; t represents temperature, q represents the heat load (equal for both exchangers), and C represents the capacity rate, which is the product of the flow rate and the mean heat capacity. For the heat pipes considered in the present study the hot exchanger and cold exchanger represent respectively the gas and air portions of the pipe. The coupling fluid is the sealed heat pipe fluid with the heat pipe wicking system acting as the pump. For a liquid-coupled application, the coupling fluid remains in the liquid phase; heat is transferred by a change in the temperature of this fluid. The pumping rate is usually adjusted so that the coupling fluid capacity rate, CL, is similar to the air and gas capacity rates (Co and Ch respectively).

192

HAL J. STRUMPF

For the heat pipe application, the heat pipe fluid changes phase and the temperature change is usually very small; in effect tLl = tL:. This means that the heat pipe fluid capacity rate, CL, is very large. A numerical example serves to illustrate the difference between the coupled approach and the overall resistance approach. Using the nomenclature of Fig. 3, assume the following temperatures for a particular heat pipe (customary engineering units are used exclusively in this example): th, = 1500F, th2 = 1420F, to, = 1300F~ tel = 1200F. These temperatures indicate a capacity rate ratio, Cc/Ch, of 0.8, which is reasonable for a recuperator. The thermal conductances (TC) are assumed to be equal for the hot and cold sides. Using the overall resistance approach, the LMTD is 209.8F and the overall thermal conductance, considering only the air- and gas-side resistances, is (0.5) (TC). Thus, the total heat transferred, q, is (104.9) (TC). The coupled approach yields for hot side: L MTDh 1500 -- 1420 1500 - t L in 1420 - tL (1)

and for the cold side: LMTD~ 1 3 0 0 - 1200 In t t -- 1200 " t L - - 1300 (2)

Since the thermal conductances are equal, LMTDh = LMTD,. Combining equations (1) and (2) and solving for the heat pipe fluid temperature yields tL = 1356.5F and LMTD = 98.1F, Thus, q = (98.1) (TC), which is smaller by 7% than the value arrived at using the overall resistance approach. This error will increase with the fluid temperature change across a single row of tubes and will decrease with the temperature difference between the two fluid streams. The error thus will decrease with the total number of rows in the air/gas flow direction of the recuperator for a given overall temperature difference. To aid in conducting the study, a detailed heat pipe heat exchanger design computer program was written. The program performs tube-by-tube heat transfer calculations based on the indirect-coupled heat exchanger technique described above. At each tube, the heat balance and thermal conductance equations are solved simultaneously to yield the outlet conditions. The calculations continue row-by-row through the heat exchanger until the desired temperature conditions are attained. These heat transfer calculations are iterated with pressure drop calculations, with the heat exchanger frontal area being varied until both the heat transfer and pressure drop requirements are satisfied. Actually, calculations need not be performed for every tube in the heat exchanger. Since the overall recuperator configuration is counterflow, tubes in any given 'no-flow' row operate at essentially identical conditions. Thus, a row-by-row calculation in the air/gas flow direction will suffice. The thermal conductances and pressure drops on the air and gas sides are determined using correlations for finned tube Colburn modulus and friction factor. Also included are the resistances associated with the tube wall, the heat pipe fluid phase changes, and the heat pipe fluid vapor transport. The vapor transport resistance, which is equal to the fluid temperature change divided by the heat pipe heat load, is related to the pipe geometry and heat pipe fluid properties by the use of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation and analytical expressions for the vapor flow pressure drop. Local heat pipe fluid properties are used. The computer program is described and illustrated in more detail in Strumpf and Miller [6].

Ceramic heat pipes for heat recovery Table 1. Design conditionst Steel soaking pit Aluminum remdt furnace Glass melting furnace

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Application Air Side Flow rate, lb/s Inlet temperature, F Outlet temperature, F Inlet pressure, psia Pressure drop, in. H 2 0 Flue gas side Flow rate, lb/s Inlet temperature, F Inlet pressure, psia Pressure drop, in. H 2 0

5.45 100 1600 14.92 6.1

6.55 100 1600 15.16 12.75

4.50 100 2000 15.16 12.75

5.75 2125 14.70 8.75

6.91 2100 14.70 40.50

4.75 2500 14.70 18.50

t Conversion factors: kg/s = (0.4536) (lb/s); C = (F-32)/(1.8); kPa = (6.895) (psia); kPa = (0.2491) (in. H20).

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

Three specific industrial processes were selected for the study: a steel soaking pit, an aluminum remelt furnace, and a glass melting furnace. Each process involves the combustion of fuel, the transfer of some of the released energy to the process load, and the loss of the remainder of the energy as exhausted high-temperature flue gas. The design conditions specified for each process are given in Table 1. The key parameter is perhaps the air preheat (outlet) temperature. Since this represents the combustion air temperature, the burners must be able to operate at this temperature. The 1600F (870C) level was selected as representative of the limit in current burner technology. The 2000F (1090C) level was selected to investigate the fuel savings possible with advanced burner development. It is readily apparent that a single heat pipe working fluid cannot be used over the entire temperature range required to heat cold air to high temperatures. Rather than use different heat pipe fluids, it was decided to use a conventional metallic heat exchanger to heat the combustion air to a temperature sufficient for efficient operation of a singleworking fluid heat pipe heat exchanger. State-of-the-art stainless steel heat exchangers can handle hot gases up to about 1500F (820C). Above this level, the heat pipes can all operate using sodium as the working fluid. It should be pointed out that the metallic heat exchanger required is of quite low effectiveness--much smaller than a unit required to preheat air to 1400F (760C) with 1500F (820C) gas. For example, the metallic unit required for the steel soaking pit heats the cold air to 835F (446C) and has an effectiveness of only 0.53. With this low effectiveness, a single-pass crossflow configuration is adequate for the metallic unit. This is a much less complex arrangement than the counterflow or multipass crossflow configurations required for higher-effectiveness heat exchangers. A platefin heat exchanger has been selected for the metallic recuperator. Plate-fin heat exchangers consist of layers of corrugated sheet stock (fins) which are separated by plates. The fins, plates, and edge bars are stacked in a fixture and brazed to form an integrated core assembly. Alternate passages formed by the plates and bars are allocated to each fluid. The passages can be aligned so that the flow paths are parallel (counterflow arrangement) or perpendicular (crossflow arrangement). The crossflow configuration selected for the present design is shown schematically in Fig. 4. Notice that the flow path is interrupted by a fin offset. This aids in disrupting the fluid boundary layer and increases the fluid heat transfer coefficient (and pressure dropg The air and gas flows through the metallic recuperator are in series with those through the heat pipe unit. The proposed overall configuration is shown in Fig. 5.

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HAL J. STRUMPF

GAS SURFAI

Fig. 4. Crossflow plate-fin heat exchanger construction.

In general, the minimum operating temperature for a liquid-metal heat pipe is a function of the axial heat flux. For different temperature ranges and heat pipe sizes, different modes of heat transport act as the limiting factors. Depending on the conditions, the heat flow could be limited by viscous, sonic, entrainment, capillary (wicking), or boiling considerations, as indicated in Fig. 6. All the designs considered entail operation of the heat pipes in a gravity-assist mode: in this mode, the capillary pumping restrictions do not constitute limiting conditions for the values of heat fluxes encountered in the present study. The entrainment limits for
HETALLIC PLATE FIN HEAT EXCHANGER

HEAT PIPES (CONDENSING SECTION)

l
FLUE GAS OUT

AIR IN

HEAT PIPES (EVAPORATOR SECTION)

Fig. 5. Ceramic heat pipe flue gas heat recovery system.

Ceramic heat pipes for heat recovery


T

195

7
OUS L li~lT TEMPERATURE

Fig. 6. Axial heat flux limits.

sodium heat pipes operating in a gravity-assist mode are higher than the heat fluxes encountered in the present designs and could be increased, if necessary, through the use of condensate return passages. The boiling limit is seldom encountered with liquid-metal working fluids, especially when the heat transfer to the pipe is controlled by outside film coefficients typical of those obtainable with external gas flows. For the tube sizes considered in the study, the viscous limit is overridden by the sonic limit at a temperature of about l l00F (590C), which is well below any heat pipe operating temperatures. Thus, the only heat pipe performance limiting criterion considered is the sonic limit. This establishes an axial heat flux limit for the coldest heat pipe due to the attainment of sonic velocity by the low-density sodium vapor. The selected ceramic tube material was siliconized silicon carbide. There is a reasonable amount of experience in the fabrication of long, finned tubes of this material. Temperature capability is in excess of 2500F (1370C). A survey of ceramic fabricators identified a maximum tube length of about 8 ft (2.4 m) as a reasonable production limit. The ceramic fabricators also identified a maximum fin packing of 5 fins/in. (2.0 fins/era). The fins would likely be tapered (as shown in Fig. 1) and have an average thickness of about 0.075 in. (1.91 mm). A minimum tube wall thickness of 0.125 in. (3.18 mm) was also established. The location of the partition separating the air and gas sides is an important design consideration. In general, heat exchanger size can be minimized by balancing the air and gas thermal conductances. For heat exchangers with similar capacity rates on either side (as is the case for the present recuperator), there is a relatively wide range of conductance ratios which result in approximately minimum size solutions. Indeed, the London-Kays criterion for optimizing a liquid-coupled indirect-transfer recuperatorl-4] is 0.75 <(UA),/(UA)h < 2.0, where the UAs are the overall thermal conductances. Thermal conductance balancing is useful for non-constrained air- and gas-side pressure drops. However, for fixed pressure drops, the minimum size recuperator is essentially that which uses up the available pressure drop on both sides, regardless of the thermal conductance ratio. For the design conditions given in Table 1, the optimal partition location is at the center of the heat pipe for the steel soaking pit and glass melting furnace designs and at 60% condenser (air-side) length for the aluminum remelt furnace.
SPECIFIC DESIGNS

A detailed parametric study was conducted for each furnace application, attempting to optimize the heat pipe heat exchanger and metallic recuperator by varying the heat exchanger geometries. The developed heat pipe design computer program along with an existing plate-fin computer program were used. Details of the study are not presented here due to space limitations, but can be found in Strumpf and Miller [6].

196

HAL J. STRUMPF Table 2. Heat pipe recuperator designs~ Steel soaking pit 180 96 1/0.75 0.25 5 1.575 1.364 1381, 0.50 8.32 47.99 6 30 5.115 3.525 2125 1494 835 1600 Aluminum remelt furnace 176 96 1/0.75 0.25 5 1.575 1.364 1351 0.60 11.05 35.39 8 22 22.960 7.707 2100 1495 869 1600 Glass melting furnace 220 96 1/0.75 0.25 5 1.575 1.364 1688 0.50 13.78 35.40 10
22

Parameter Number of tubes Tube length, in.. Tube OD/ID, in. Fin height, in. Fin spacing, in.-1 Transverse tube spacing, in. Longitudinal tube spacing, in. Weight, lb Fraction condenser length Flow length, in. No-flow length, in. Number of flow rows Number of no-flow rows Gas-side pressure drop, in. H 2 0 Air-side pressure drop, in. H 2 0 Gas inlet temperature, F Gas outlet temperature, F Air inlet temperature, F Air outlet temperature, F

6.823 4.747 2500 1499 778 2000

Conversion factors: kg = (0.4536) (Ib); mm = (0.0394) (in.); kPa = (0.2491) (in, H20); C = (F-32)/1.8.

The heat exchangers selected were those resulting in minimum cost. The cost assumptions are discussed in a later section. The selected heat pipe recuperator designs are presented in Table 2 and the metallic recuperator designs are presented in Table 3. The fin nomenclature is explained in Fig. 7.
FUEL SAVINGS

The reduction in flue gas exhaust temperature resulting from recuperation improves the efficiency of the process and saves fuel The lower fuel usage decreases the flue gas flow rate, resulting in a further reduction in energy losses. To estimate the fuel savings,

Table 3. Metallic re~uperator designs Steel soaking pit 3R-0.55-0.5(0)0.010 3R-0.55-0.5(0)0.010 27-0 31.0 30 31 35.04 813 1392 1494 891 100 835 3.502 2.267 Aluminum remelt furnace 4R-0.55-0.5(0)0.016 6.5R-0.55-0.5(0)0.016 26.0 18.5 34 35 39.63 869 1398 1495 859 100 869 15.886 4.747 Glass melting furnace 4R-0.55-0.5(0)0,016 3R-0.55-0.5(0)0.010 20.0 30.5 20 21 23.56 493 1375 1499 946 100 778 6.823 4.747

Parameter Gas-side fin Air-side fin Gas flow length, in. Air flow length, in. Number of gas fin layers Number of air fin layers No-flow length, in. Core weight, Ib Maximum core temperature, F Gas inlet temperature, F Gas outlet temperature, F Air inlet temperature, F Air outlet temperature, F Gas-side pressure drop, in. H 2 0 Air-side pressure drop, in. H 2 0

Conversion factors: m m = (0.0394)(in.); kg -- (0.4536)(Ib); C --- (F-32)/1.8; kPa (0.2491)(in. H20).

Ceramic heat pipes for heat recovery

197

yFLO~ DESIGNATION: EXAMPLE: nR b - ~ t

6.5R-O.550-0.500(0)-O.016

Fig. 7. Rectangular offset fin nomenclature.

recuperated and unrecuperated furnaces are compared for the same heat loads. This can be done by considering a heat balance around a furnace:
Q = W,,C~,.(T,, - Tb) + I'V/Cps(T: - Tb) + I, VsAHr - (IV. + Ws)Cp,(T - Tb)

(3)

and

Q l W s = (W.IW:)C,:(T. - Tb) + C,,(Ts - T~) + A H s - (i + I'V:IW:)C,,.(T~ T~) where Q is I4:. is Cp. is T. is Tb is W is I Cps is T is I AHs is Cp. is Tg is the the the the the the the the the the the furnace heat load, including insulation and heat leak losses; combustion air flow rate; combustion air average heat capacity; combustion air furnace inlet temperature; base temperature at which the fuel heating value is known; fuel flow rate; fuel average heat capacity; fuel furnace inlet temperature; fuel net heating value at Tb; flue gas average heat capacity; flue gas outlet temperature.

(4)

Equation (4) can be applied separately to recuperated (subscript r) and unrecuperated (subscript u) furnaces. Since the furnace heat load is assumed to be the same for the recuperated and unrecuperated cases, dividing the two heat balances yields the fuel usage ratio:

~,/i,'vs.

(~/W:).C,..(To.
=

r~) + C , t . ( r : .

r~) + a H :

(I + W./~).C,,.(T+.

r~)

(I, VJWf),C,..(T~, - Tb) + Cp.,..(TIr- T~) + AHf - (! + W./W:),C,,,,(T~,- T~). (5)

If it is assumed that the flue gas temperature and the air-to-fuel ratio are the same for the recuperated and unrecuperated cases and that the fuel inlet temperature is Tb, equation (5) can be simplified to: W I , / ~ . = (WJW~)Cp..(T.. - Tb) + AHI -- (1 + W o / W ~ ) C , g ( T g - Tb) (W,/Wf)Cp..(T=. - Tb) + AHf - (I + I/V./Wf)Ct,,(Tg - Tb) (6)

198

HAL J. STRUMPF Table 4. Fuel savingsii Fuel savings lb/s 0.234 0.277 0.333 Percentage fuel savings 43.8 43.4 57.1 Cost savings, $/y 455,600 539,300 648,300

Problem statement Steel soaking pit, 1600F air preheat Aluminum remelt furnace, 1600F air preheat Glass melting furnace, 2000F air preheat

r!Conversion factors kg/s = (0.4536) fib/s); C = (F-32)/1.8.

Since IVy,, WffWI, T~,, Tg, and T~, are all available from the problem statements (Table 1), selection of a fuel net heating value is sufficient for the calculation of the fuel savings. To perform the calculation, a net heating value of 20,000 Btu/lb (46,000 J/g) at 60F (16C) is assumed. This is a representative value for natural gases and fuel oils. Based on this value, the fuel savings (WI, - WI,) for each of the three processes is presented in Table 4. Also listed is the percentage fuel savings, defined as 100 (WI. - WI,)/WI.. The cost savings given in Table 4 are based on 100~o furnace utilization for 8000 h/y and a fuel cost of $3.38/106 BTU ($3.21/109 J) based on fuel gross heating value. It can be seen from Table 4 that flue gas recuperation offers substantial fuel savings potential. Advanced burner development may be desirable to maximize the benefits of recuperation.
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

Economic analyses were performed to determine the payback periods for flue gas recuperation using the ceramic heat pipe and metallic heat exchanger designs developed. The cost of the recuperators is only a portion of the total heat recovery system cost. The cost assumptions are listed below; the assumptions are based on ceramic vendor information, direction from LASL, and AiResearch experience on other waste heat recovery installations. 1. Ceramic heat pipes: $25/1b ($55/kg) for tube production; $67/1b ($148/kg) for refractory liner; $20/h for heat pipe assembly (2.5 h per tube). 2. Ceramic end supports (tube plates) and central partition: $50/1b ($110/kg) plus $100 packing cost. 3. Metallic recuperator: $10/lb ($22/kg) completely fabricated. 4. Assembly labor on-site: $18/man-hour: 40 h for metallic unit and 0.5 h per heat pipe tube. 5. Transition ducting: $50/ft 2 ($538/m2). 6. Insulation: $20/ft z ($215/m 2) for 1600F (870C) designs; $25/ft z ($269/m 2) for 2000F (1090C) designs. 7. Support structure: $2.50/ib ($5.51/kg); weight equals one-half recuperator plus ducting weight. 8. Fans: $400/air hp ($536/kW). 9. Controls, instrumentation, etc.: $5000/lb/s ($11,000/kg/s) total flow (air plus gas). 10. A&E fee: 15~o ofcost. It should be pointed out that the cost analysis does not include any burner replacement costs or costs associated with retrofitting the heat recovery system to a specific installation. These costs, if any, are site-specific and cannot be readily generalized. The calculated costs are presented in Table 5. Based on these costs and the fuel savings given in Table 4, simple payback periods can be calculated. The simple payback period is the ratio of the total system cost to the fuel cost savings. The payback periods are 0.40 year for the steel soaking pit, 0.44 year for the aluminum remelt furnace, and 0.30 year for the glass melting furnace. These payback

Ceramic heat pipes for heat recovery

199

periods do not include any allowance for high-temperature burner or specific retrofitting costs. However, even if these costs equal the system costs calculated in Table 5, the payback periods would all still be less than one year.
Table 5. Cost summary for ceramic heat pipe systems (dollars) Steel soaking pit 53,000 6800 8100 1600 700 7700 3100 13,700 9600 56,000 160,300 24000 184,300 Aluminum remeh furnace 51,800 6700 8700 1600 700 6600 2600 12,600 49,600 67,300 208,200 31,200 239,400 Glass melting furnace 64,700 8300 4900 2000 700 6600 3300 12,600 17,800 46,300 167,200 25,100 192,300

Item Ceramic heat pipes Ceramic end supports and central baffle Metallic recuperator Assembly labor Heat pipes Metallic recuperator Transition ducting Insulation Support structure Fans Additional items Subtotal A&E fee Total cost

Acknowledgements--This work was supported by the University of California Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory under Purchase Order 4-L29-555-OK-I. W. S. Miller and M. V. Greeven made significant contributions to the study.
NOMENCLATURE C Cp Q q T,t UA W AH = = = = = = = = Capacity rate Heat capacity at constant pressure Furnace heat load Heat transferred Temperature Overall thermal conductance Flow rate Net heating value

Subscripts
a b c f g h L r u = = = = = = = = = Air Base (reference) Cold side Fuel Gas Hot side Coupling fluid Recuperated Unrecuperated

REFERENCES 1. E. S. Keddy and W. A. Ranken, Ceramic pipes for furnace heat recovery. Chemical Engineering Progress 75, 35-37 (Dec. 1979). 2. K.T. Feldman and D. C. Lu, Preliminary design study of heat pipe heat exchangers. 2nd Int. Heat Pipe Conf., Bologna, Italy, 451-462 (1976). 3. Y. Wakiyama, K. Harada, S. Inoue, J. Fujita and H. Suematsu, Heat Transfer Jap. Res. 7, 23-39 (Jan. 1978). 4. A. F. London and W. M. Kays, The liquid-coupled indirect-transfer regenerator for gas-turbine plants, Trans. Am. Soc. mech. Enors "/3, 529-542 (1951). 5. J. C. Eastwood, Liquid-coupled indirect-transfer exchanger application to the diesel engine. J. Enong Pwr 101,516-523 (1979). 6. H. J. Strumpf and W. S. Miller, Ceramic heat pipe recuperator study. Report No. 79-16480, AiResearch Manufacturing Company (May 1980).