Research Papers: Evaporation, Boiling, and Condensation

Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations of Convective Pure Vapor Condensation Inside Vertical Cylindrical Condensers

[+] Author and Article Information
Huali Cao

Institute for Turbulence-Noise-Vibration
Interactions and Control,
Shenzhen Graduate School,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Shenzhen 518055, China
e-mail: caohuali@hitsz.edu.cn

Jun-De Li

College of Engineering and Science,
Victoria University, Australia,
PO Box 14428,
Melbourne MC 8001, Australia
e-mail: Jun-De.Li@vu.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received May 24, 2016; final manuscript received December 20, 2016; published online February 28, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Amitabh Narain.

J. Heat Transfer 139(6), 061503 (Feb 28, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: HT-16-1299; doi: 10.1115/1.4035711 History: Received May 24, 2016; Revised December 20, 2016

This paper presents the results from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of heat and mass transfer of pure vapor flowing and condensing in a vertical cylindrical condenser system at various inlet temperatures, mass flow rates, and operating pressure for the case where the vapor condensation is not completed inside the condenser tube. The heat and mass transfer inside the condenser tube is simulated as single phase flow, and the thin condensate film on the condensing surface is replaced by a set of boundary conditions that couple the CFD simulations inside the condenser tube and the coolant channel. The CFD results are compared with the experimental results, and good agreement has been found for the various measured temperatures. It is found that both the wall temperature and the heat flux vary significantly along the condenser tube, and it is necessary to consider the conjugate problem that consists of the whole condenser system (condenser plus coolant flow) in predicting the pure vapor condensation in a condensing system. The CFD results show that the heat flux along the condenser tube can be increasing for counter-flow condenser, and the condensate film may not be the main limiting factor in the pure vapor condensation. The results from the CFD simulations also show that the estimation of the interface shear stress cannot be based on the bulk velocity of the water vapor alone.

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Fig. 1

A control volume analysis of the energy balance of the condensate film

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Fig. 2

The condensing section of the experimental setup of Kuhn [10]

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Fig. 3

Comparison of centerline temperature of the condenser tube between the CFD simulation results and the experimental results of Kuhn [10] for the runs listed in Table 1

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Fig. 4

Comparison of adiabatic wall temperature between the CFD simulation results and the experimental results of Kuhn [10] for the runs listed in Table 1

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Fig. 5

Comparison of condenser wall temperature between the CFD simulation results and the experimental results of Kuhn [10] for the runs listed in Table 1

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Fig. 6

Comparison of heat flux between the CFD simulation results and the derived results from Kuhn [10] for the runs listed in Table 1

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Fig. 7

Velocity at the centerline (solid line) and the surface of the condensate film (dashed line) for the runs are listed in Table 1. The secondary vertical axis on the right is for the surface velocity.

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Fig. 8

Shear stress at the interface between the water vapor and the condensate film for Run1-1-3



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