Numerical modelling of film condensations in horizontal mini- and macro- circular tubes

[+] Author and Article Information
Junde Li

College of Engineering and Science, Victoria University, PO Box 14428, MC, Vic. 8001, Australia

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040647 History: Received November 28, 2017; Revised June 04, 2018


A partial differential-integral equation has been derived to connect vapor condensations and the development of condensation film in both the tangential and axial directions in a horizontal circular condenser tube. A high order explicit numerical scheme is used to solve the strongly nonlinear equation, and a simple strategy is applied to avoid possible large errors from high order numerical differentiation when the condensate becomes stratified. A set of correlations covering both laminar and turbulent film condensations have been selected to connect the film thickness with the rate of condensation, and thus allow for the predictions of local heat transfer coefficients. The predicted heat-transfer coefficients of film condensation for refrigerant R134a and water vapor in horizontal circular mini- and macro-tubes, respectively, have both been compared with experimental results and results from the simulations of film condensations using computational fluid dynamics, and very good agreement has been found. Some of the predicted film condensations are well into the strong stratification regime, and the results show that, in general, the condensate is close to annular near the inlet of the condenser tube and becomes gradually stratified as the condensate travels further away from the inlet for all the simulated conditions. The results also show that condensate in the mini-tubes becomes stratified much earlier than that in the macro-tubes.

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