Improving the performance of shell-and-tube heat exchangers by the addition of swirl

Abeykoon, Chamil (2015) Improving the performance of shell-and-tube heat exchangers by the addition of swirl. International Journal of Process Systems Engineering, 2 (3). pp. 221-245. ISSN 1757-6342

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Heat exchanger is a component which is used to transfer the heat from one medium to another efficiently. Generally, they occupy a large space compared to other components and such bulky designs are not attractive in the modern industrial applications due to several constraints. Therefore, it is invaluable to develop compact heat exchangers but with the improved performance. In this work, an investigation was made on the possibility of reducing the size of a shell-and-tube heat exchanger by addition of swirl. Swirl was generated by using a twisted-tape which inserted inside tube and the effects of these tapes on the heat transfer rate and pressure drop were theoretically studied. The results showed that a half-length regular spaced twisted-tape insert gave the lowest Nusselt number while a full-length twisted-tape insert gave the maximum Nusselt number and hence the highest rate of heat transfer. The length of the heat exchanger could be reduced by 13.3% with a full-length twisted tape and this would be result in 6.8% of reduction of the fabrication cost. Therefore, addition of swirl into the fluid flow should help to design compact and low cost heat exchanges with improved performance but the pressure drop increased leading to an increase of the required pumping power. A prototype shell-and-tube heat exchanger was designed and fabricated based on the theoretical results. Studies are underway to experimentally investigate the overall effectiveness of the use of twisted-tape inserts for enhancing the heat transfer rate by considering all the related benefits and drawbacks.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: heat exchanger, heat transfer coefficient, non-dimensional numbers, swirl flow, twisted-tape, compactness, pressure drop, cost analysis
Divisions: Applied Science, Computing and Engineering
Depositing User: Mr Stewart Milne
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2015 10:41
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 14:48

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