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Research Papers: Evaporation, Boiling, and Condensation

Numerical Modeling of Film Condensation in Horizontal Mini- and Macrocircular Tubes

[+] Author and Article Information
Jun-De Li

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

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received November 28, 2017; final manuscript received June 4, 2018; published online August 20, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Amitabh Narain.

J. Heat Transfer 140(12), 121501 (Aug 20, 2018) (13 pages) Paper No: HT-17-1715; 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 condensation and the development of condensate film thickness 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. A simple strategy is applied to avoid possible large errors from high-order numerical differentiation when the condensate becomes stratified. A set of empirical friction factor and Nusselt number correlations covering both laminar and turbulent film condensation have been incorporated to realistically predict film thickness variation and concurrently 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 macrotubes, respectively, have been compared with the results from experiments and the results from the simulations of film condensation using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and very good agreements have 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 the condensate in the minitubes becomes stratified much earlier than that in the macrotubes.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

A sketch showing the condensate film distribution around the inner surface of a horizontal condenser tube with an enlarged small control volume showing the various forces acting on the condensate

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Fig. 2

A sketch showing the small mass flow rates in the axial and tangential directions

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Fig. 3

The effect of ΔT on the predicted heat transfer coefficient of R134a condensation and compared with the experimental results of Ref. [15]

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Fig. 4

Variations of heat transfer coefficients of R134a condensation with respect to the axial position from the experimental results of Ref. [15], the current predictions, and those from Ref.[23]

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Fig. 5

The predicted heat transfer coefficients of water vapor condensation using the experimental conditions as in Ref. [26] versus inlet Reynolds numbers at different inlet pressures

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Fig. 6

Comparison of the predicted heat transfer coefficients of water vapor condensation with the experimental results of Ref. [26]. Also shown are the ±15% error bands and the line of perfect prediction.

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Fig. 7

Film thickness versus tangential angle in macrochannel at different z/L with Pin=300 kPa and G=55 kg/m2s: (a) 0<z/L≤5/16 and (b) 3/8<z/L≤1.0

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Fig. 8

Liquid film thickness profiles in macrochannel at different z/L,Pin=300 kPa and G=55 kg/m2s

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Fig. 9

Film thickness versus tangential angle in the minitube at different z/L with G=100kg/m2s: (a) 0.0625≤z/L≤0.5 and (b) 0.5625≤z/L≤1.0

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Fig. 10

Liquid film thickness profiles of R134a in the minitube at different z/L and G=100 kg/m2s

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Fig. 11

The film interface at x=0.5 in the minitube at G=100 kg/m2s predicted from the present simulations and those from Ref. [23]

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Fig. 12

The variation of the film thickness at the top of the condenser tubes in both the mini- and macrotubes

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Fig. 13

Stratification angle at different axial position for different mass flux in the minitube for the experimental conditions as given in Ref. [15]

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Fig. 14

The development of δb/δt along the condenser tube in the mini- and macrotubes at conditions specified in the inserted text

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