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RESEARCH PAPERS

Film Condensation of Steam on Horizontal Finned Tubes: Effect of Fin Spacing

[+] Author and Article Information
A. S. Wanniarachchi, P. J. Marto

Department of Mechanical Egineering, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 93943

J. W. Rose

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Queen Mary College, University of London, London, United Kingdom

J. Heat Transfer 108(4), 960-966 (Nov 01, 1986) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3247041 History: Received April 29, 1985; Online October 20, 2009

Abstract

The film condensation heat transfer performance of six externally finned copper tubes has been evaluated. All tubes had rectangular-shaped fins with a height and thickness of 1 mm. The spacing between fins was 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 4.0, and 9.0 mm. Data were also obtained for a smooth tube whose outside diameter of 19.0 mm was equal to the diameter at the base of the fins for all of the finned tubes. Tests were performed both at atmospheric pressure and under vacuum (∼ 11.3 kPa). Steam flowed vertically downward with a velocity of approximately 1 and 2 m/s at atmospheric pressure and under vacuum, respectively. The smooth tube was fitted with wall thermocouples for the evaluation of the water-side heat transfer coefficient. This was used, subsequently, to determine the steam-side heat transfer coefficient for the finned tubes for which only overall measurements were made. Strenuous efforts were made to obtain high-accuracy data; in particular, the coolant temperature rise was determined by both quartz-crystal thermometers and a 10-junction thermopile. The two temperature-rise measurements always agreed to within ± 0.03 K. Care was taken to avoid errors due to the presence of noncondensing gases and to ensure that filmwise condensation conditions prevailed over the entire tube throughout all tests. The steam-side heat transfer coefficient for the smooth tube agreed closely with values found by other recent workers. Maximum steam-side enhancement was found for the tube with a fin spacing of 1.5 mm. At this fin spacing, the heat transfer enhancement ratios were around 3.6 and 5.2 for low-pressure and atmospheric pressure runs, respectively.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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