Unit 2

Mechanical Science ; heat exchangers; lecture notes

This unit introduces some fundamental concepts of heat exchangers including the theory, principles, operation, construction, and application of these components. Unit Objectives: Desired outcome: describe basic construction, application, and operation of basic plant components. BCK : explain the principles associated with heat exchangers and describe the following. PPF Enabling statements: 1.* Describe the theory, construction, and application of the following components: BCK * Heat exchangers as: a. Cross flow b. Counter current c. Parallel flow d. Steam condensers e. Steam generators (U-tube and once through) Include a discussion on heat transfer across the heat exchanger and indications of heat exchanger fouling. 2. *Explain the principles associated with heat exchangers and describe the following: PPF a. Purpose (such as heating, cooling, condensing, steam generators) b. Types c. Classification by flow (such as cross-flow, counter-flow and parallel flow) d. Classification by heat transfer process e. Major components (such as shell, tubes, relief valves, vacuum breakers) f. Principles of operation g. Failure mechanisms and symptoms (such as air binding, tube leaks, heat transfer reduction)


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The heat exchanger: Is a piece of equipment built for efficient heat transfer from one medium to another.
The media may be separated by a solid wall, so that they never mix, or they may be in direct contact. Heat exchangers are found in most chemical or mechanical systems. They serve as the system's means of gaining or rejecting heat. Some of the more common applications are found in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, radiators on internal combustion engines, boilers, condensers, and as preheaters or coolers in fluid systems. This unit will review some specific heat exchanger applications. Background knowledge needed for discussion.  Definitions:     Heat: is energy in transit from one mass to another because of a temperature difference between the two. A form of energy associated with the motion of atoms or molecules and transferred from a body at a higher temperature to one at a lower temperature. Temperature: a measure of the ability to transfer heat. Heat Exchanger: device to transfer heat from one fluid to another. Heat energy will move from a high energy state to that of a lower energy state. The process will continue until a state of equilibrium is reached. Equilibrium is the energy state where the material is at the same energy level as its surroundings. Energy will flow from a “hot” material to a “cold” material. “Hot” and “cold” refer to temperature, not the amount of heat. The process continues as long as there is a temperature difference between the materials. The mechanisms for heat transfer are; conduction, convection (natural and forced) and radiation. The heat transfer processes can work separately or in conjunction with others. Heat transfer coefficient: is a property of each material’s ability to transfer heat. The higher the number value, the more heat transfers through the material. This number is not an additive property. The coefficient values will be affected by scale build-up, film boundary layers, air layers and other material interference. Latent heat is the energy added or removed to cause a change in state.

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 Mechanisms of heat transfer:  Conduction: heat is transferred as a result of physical contact between two materials or from one part of an object to another part of the same object. The transfer is by short-range interaction of molecules and/or electrons. Heat is transferred by collisions or direct interaction. Convection: heat transfer in a gas or liquid by the circulation of currents from one region to another. The heat is transferred by the actual movement of the heated material. This is usually the most important heat transfer process within liquids and gases. 2

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Radiation: the emission of energy in the form of electromagnetic waves, which transmit energy from a source to an absorber. Any combinations of above.

 Four functions performed by heat exchangers:  Raise system temperature. Heaters, for example, feedwater heaters.  Lower system temperature. Coolers, for example, lube oil coolers  Add latent heat. Convert a solid into a liquid – melting  Remove latent heat. Convert vapor/gas into a liquid, example, condensers.  Convert a liquid into a solid – freezing, example; chillers  Construction of shell and tube type heat exchanger.

Types/categories of heat exchangers; construction, theory of operation, and application: although heat exchangers come in every shape and size imaginable, the construction of most
heat exchangers falls into one of three categories: shell and tube, plate, or direct mixing. As in all mechanical devices, each type has disadvantages and advantages and a nuclear plant uses all of them. We will also discuss the different types by flow after a review by category.

Shell and tube:  Construction:
 The typical shell and tube heat exchanger consists of a shell, a tube bundle, tube sheets, two waterboxes, and two fluids. The shell forms a casing around the region where heat transfer occurs. One fluid flows through the tube bundle. That fluid is called the tube side fluid and is usually the fluid with the lowest temperature. The other fluid flows outside the tubes and is called the shell side fluid. The tube sheets are metal plates that the tubes are attached to. The tube sheets separate the two fluids in the heat exchanger and provide support for the tubes. The areas at each end of the tubes are the waterboxes. The tube side fluid enters through one of the waterboxes, flows through the tubes, and exits though the other waterbox. See illustration below.









 There are various tube shapes on heat exchangers and some are shown below.

 Shell and tube heat exchangers can be arranged with any number of tube or shell passes. A pass occurs each time either fluid flows across or along the heat exchangers length. Below are several shell and tube arrangements for single and multiple-pass heat exchangers. Multiple passes allow the heat exchanger to be shorter with effectively the same tube length as a longer single-pass exchanger.


Types of shell and tube:
 U-tube type: (shell and tube)   There is no mixing of the fluids. Most common is the tube and shell type heat exchanger. The shell provides the supporting enclosure for the heat exchanger. Typical materials of construction are cylinder or pipe of carbon steel or alloy steel, plate of carbon steel, molybdenum, nickel, chromium, chromium nickel steels, and other alloys. The tubes: provide the means for separation of fluids in the heat exchanger, and transfer the heat from hotter fluid or steam to colder fluid. Bonnet or head (the end of the heat exchanger). Provides the entrance and exit connections for the cooling fluids. It can be designed to establish the number of passes the cooling fluid will make in the heat exchanger. Typical materials of construction; normally made of the same material as the shell. See drawing below for a U-tube type heat exchangers:

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In large steam systems (nuclear plant), or in any process requiring high temperatures, the input fluid is usually preheated in stages, instead of trying to heat it in one step from ambient to the final temperature. Preheating in stages increases the plant's efficiency and minimizes thermal shock stress to components, as compared to injecting ambient temperature liquid Feedwater out into a boiler or other device that operates at high temperatures. In the case of a steam system, a portion of the process steam is tapped off and used as a heat source to reheat the Feedwater in feedwater in preheater stages. As the steam enters the heat exchanger and flows over and around the tubes, it transfers its thermal energy and is condensed. Note that the steam enters from the top into the shell side of the heat exchanger, where it not only transfers sensible heat (temperature change) but also gives up its latent heat of vaporization (condenses steam into water).


The thermodynamic heat transfer equation that applies is q = (UA) T. You will learn more about this when you are in your thermo class. We will talk about the general heat transfer for heat exchangers in this class after the review of all the different types.

If you turn the U-tube heat exchanger vertically and rearrange the ins and outs, And add a few more items you have a Steam Generator (S/G). Like those used at most Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) nuclear plants used to generate steam for electrical production. The reactor coolant flows through the primary side, or inverted U-tubes, entering and leaving through the nozzles located in the hemispherical bottom head of the steam generator. The head is divided into inlet and outlet chambers by a vertical partition plate extending from the head to the tube sheet. A steam and water mixture is generated on the secondary, or shell side, and flows upward through the moisture separators to the outlet nozzle at the top of the vessel, providing an essentially dry, superheated steam. Feedwater is supplied to the steam generator from the main feedwater system at a temperature below its saturation temperature. This water is on the shell side and is heated by the reactor coolant water flowing through the tubes. Steam formation occurs as the latent heat of vaporization is picked up by the feedwater.


You will see, and get more information on the steam generator as you continue your courses at BSC.

 Straight through or fixed tubesheet (shell and tube) Type: see drawing below.

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This type has straight tubes that are secured at both ends to tubesheets welded to the shell. The construction may have removable channel covers. The principal advantage of the fixed tubesheet is low cost because of its simple construction. In fact, the fixed tubesheet is the least expensive construction type, as long as no expansion joint is required. A picture of a fixed tube heat exchanger with bonnets off is on the next page as well as an insulated one at a nuclear plant. Note the tube arrangement. If you read the sign on the front of the heat exchanger (next page) you will see that it is the 12th one in the system, also, it is just one of the low pressure heaters! For those of you that have not been in a power plant, I hope this give you an idea of the size and scope of the use of heat exchangers at a nuclear power plant.

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At nuclear plants, these heat exchangers can be very large; as seen in this photo.  As an essential element of any power station, the surface condenser, which acts as an interface between the water steam cycle and the environment, is a heat exchanger fed with steam from the low-pressure exhaust of the turbine and cooled by the water available on the site. The steam surface condensers used at plants are very large as shown by the picture at left. This heat exchanger is a straight through type with steam being condensed under a vacuum on one side and by the sites circ-water system flowing through the tubes.


If you turn the straight through heat exchanger vertically and install a few more components you get the Babcock and Wilcox straight through steam generator. See drawing below.

In the once through S/G , the hot primary coolant enters at the top and passes down through the tube side. feedwater enters at the bottom and the same general heating process occurs as the other S/G. The once through S/G is more efficient than the tube type for producing steam.

Shell and tube regenerative and non-regenerative heat exchangers:  Heat exchangers may also be classified according to the disposition of the heat transferred. A nonregenerative heat exchanger is a component allowing the transfer of heat between the liquids contained in two distinct systems, for example, turbine lube oil coolers and residual heat removal heat exchangers. Non-regenerative heat exchangers are used primarily to transfer heat out of a particular system. Heat removed from the system is rejected from the system and not returned.  A regenerative heat exchanger, on the other hand, is a component allowing the transfer of heat from the high temperature fluid of a system into the low temperature sections of the fluid in the same system (an example is the feedwater heaters in the secondary system). Regenerative heat exchangers minimize the energy loss from a system, since heat is not rejected into a separate system. A typical application is the use of a regenerative heat exchanger in the primary system's chemical and volume control system. Flow from the Reactor Coolant System enters the first heat exchanger, which is a regenerative heat exchanger. The letdown temperature is reduced from 540 OF to 250 O F while the cooling water is the charging flow returning to the system. To reduce the letdown temperature further and protect ion exchange resin, flow is 9

sent through another heat exchanger. This is a non-regenerative heat exchanger, with cooling provided by a cooling water system. Flow passes through an ion exchanger to remove ionic impurities and then returns to the Reactor Coolant System. To heat the return flow closer to RCS temperature, it passes through the regenerative heat exchanger, where it gains heat energy, increasing its temperature. These first two types of heat exchangers are most common in the power system with feedwater heating and steam generation at a nuclear plant. You will see these scattered about on the turbine deck.  Plate type heat exchanger:  A plate heat exchanger is a unit which transfers heat continuously from one media to another media without adding energy to the process. The basic concept of a plate and frame heat exchanger is two liquids flowing on either side of a thin corrugated metal plate so heat may be easily transferred between the two. (By conduction across the plate) The plates are compressed by means of tie bolts between a stationary frame part (called the head) and a movable frame part (called the follower). The plate heat exchanger efficiency requires less floor space compared to other types of heat transfer equipment and is lighter in weight. The plate heat exchanger is designed with either single-pass or multi-pass flow, depending on the duty. For most duties single-pass is suitable and often the preferred solution as it keeps all connections on the stationary frame part and consequently makes disassembly easier. MultiPass however, is required when flow rates are low or when approach temperatures are close. Below, are drawings of a plate type heat exchanger. The blue is the cold fluid or gas and the red is the hotter fluid or gas.


 Direct contact heat exchangers; (examples cooling towers, and reactor coolant pressurizer).  The mixing of the different fluids at different temperatures account for the amount of heat transferred. The exchange of heat is direct; between the molecules of the mixing fluids. See drawings. For an understanding of direct contact heat exchangers.

Spray type direct contact heat exchanger (pressurizer in a PWR) see drawing.

Spray from cold leg condenses steam in the pressurizer. This water is colder than the hotter pressurizer temperature caused by the heaters. When proper reactor coolant pressure is reached the spray cuts off.

Evaporative effect creates the temperature change. Latent heat of vaporization is released to the condensing fluid or visa-versa.

11 Connected to the hot leg of the reactor coolant system at a PWR. It controls reactor pressure by use of its heaters and spray flow.

Now that we have looked at the different categories of heat exchangers, the student will next learn the types of flow. Heat exchangers are typed by their flow.  Because heat exchangers come in so many shapes, sizes, makes, and models, they are typed according to common characteristics. One common characteristic that can be used to categorize them is the direction of flow the two fluids have relative to each other. The three categories are parallel flow, counter flow, and cross flow.  Parallel flow:  Both the cooling media and the fluid to be cooled flow in the same direction. Flow velocities may not be the same. If the length of the cooling tubes is long enough, the temperature differential at the exit of the heat exchanger may be small. An example is given in the drawing below. The flow in the tube (center) is in the same direction as the flow in the shell (outer This form of flow in a heat exchanger is less efficient in that the maximum amount of transfer occurs only at the beginning of the exchange. Remember the in the equation. As the length of travel increases the decreases. Below is a drawing illustrating parallel flow.

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 Cross flow:  This occurs if the two fluids flow perpendicular to each other. Condensers are classic examples of cross flow heat exchangers. The exhaust steam flows downward in a perpendicular path to the tubes containing the cooling water flow. See illustration below.


 Counter current: (or counter flow)  These heat exchangers also have parallel flow paths for the fluids, but they flow in opposite directions.  Generally this is the most desirable arrangement, because a higher average temperature difference between the two fluids is maintained.  For equally sized (surface area) heat exchangers, counter flow heat exchangers transfer more heat (are more efficient) due to higher average T between the working fluids as the fluids pass from the inlet to outlet.  See illustration below.

 Special application of a cross flow shell and tube (the condenser)  A main condenser is a large, vacuum tight, shell and tube heat exchanger. Low-pressure steam is exhausted over the tubes, while circulating water flows through the tubes. The shell side of the main condenser is called the steam side. The tubes and water boxes make up the water side. The condenser has two main functions: (1) to provide a high vacuum environment for turbine exhaust steam, and (2) to condense turbine exhaust steam so that it can be reused in the power cycle.  For good plant efficiency, it is important for the steam side of the main condenser to operate in a vacuum. A low turbine exhaust pressure allows the steam passing through the turbine to do more work. The large volume reduction that occurs when the steam condenses produces the vacuum in the main condenser. As the exhaust steam contacts the cold condenser tubes (caused by the circ water going through them) it condenses forming condensate. The condensate falls from the tubes and collects in the hotwell (the shell). The latent heat of condensation is transferred to, and warms, the circulating water through the tube walls. Large quantities of cooling water are needed. Approximately 65 to 100 pounds, or 8 to 12 gallons, of cooling water are needed for each pound of steam condensed On the next page is an illustration of a nuclear plant condenser.


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Exchanger dynamics:
 The physical and thermal characteristics are vastly different between the type of shell and tube, the flow type, the kind of pass, and also for high and low pressure feedwater heaters. Low pressure feedwater pressure ratings range between 400 and 800 psig, and high pressures range from 1,600 to 4,800 psig depending on usage.

 The dynamic operation of a heat exchanger depends upon many factors. The equations used for determining the temperature change or enthalpy change presented in this lecture assume that the overall heat transfer coefficient is a constant throughout the length of the heat exchanger. The overall heat transfer coefficient depends upon the convective heat transfer on both sides of the heat exchanger tubes and the conductive heat transfer through the tube walls.  The conductive heat transfer is determined by the thermal conductivity of the heat exchanger tubes and the driving T across the tube walls. The thermal conductivity is temperature dependent. The driving T changes along the length of the heat exchanger.  The convective heat transfer is determined by the convective heat transfer coefficients of the fluids on both sides of the heat transfer tubes. The convective heat transfer coefficients are higher for higher mass flow rates, fluids with higher specific heat capacity, and fluids with higher thermal conductivity. For a given system, the only parameter that can be easily controlled is the mass flow 14

rate of the fluids.  For steady state conditions, the following equation describes the temperature changes occurring in a heat exchanger with no phase change occurring on either side of the tubes:    m1c p1 T1  m 2 c p 2 T2 Where:  m = Mass flow rate of the cold fluid (lbm/hr) cp1 = Specific heat capacity of the cold fluid (Btu-hr/lbmF) T1 = Temperature difference across heat exchanger for cold fluid (F)  m 2 = Mass flow rate of the hot fluid (lbm/hr) cp2 = Specific heat capacity of the hot fluid (Btu-hr/lbmF) T2 = Temperature difference across heat exchanger for hot fluid (F)  Assuming water on both sides of the heat exchanger, the specific heat capacities (cp) can be assumed constant and identical. This equation can be rearranged to:  m T2   1 T1  m2
Tout 2  Tin 2   m1 T1  m2

 It can be seen (graph below) that the hot fluid outlet temperature (Tout2) can be decreased by increasing  the flow of the cold fluid, ( m1 ). This assumes that the change in flow rate is small enough so that the heat transfer coefficients of the fluids do not change. It can also be seen that for given mass flow rates for both the hot and cold fluids, the hot fluid outlet temperature changes in the same manner as the hot fluid inlet temperature changes. If Tin2 increases, Tout2 increases.  It is not as obvious what happens to the hot fluid outlet temperature when the cold fluid inlet temperature changes. Assume that the hot fluid inlet temperature and the cold fluid inlet temperature are the same. The outlet temperatures will also be the same. As the cold fluid inlet temperature is gradually reduced, the outlet temperature of the cold fluid will be higher than the cold fluid inlet temperature because of the heat transfer taking place. The outlet temperature of the hot fluid will also be lower than the hot fluid inlet temperature because of the heat transfer taking place. As the graph illustrates, a decrease in cold fluid inlet temperature causes a corresponding decrease in the hot and cold outlet temperatures and the inlet and outlet temperature differences become larger. If Tin1 decreases, Tout2 decreases.


 The below graph depicts the effect of changing the mass flow rate of either the hot or cold fluid. As the cold fluid mass flow rate increases, the cold fluid outlet temperature decreases which increases the average T between the two fluids. The heat transfer rate increases causing the hot fluid outlet temperature to decrease. Likewise, increasing the mass flow rate of only the hot fluid again causes the average T between the two fluids to increase. The resulting increase in heat transfer rate causes the cold fluid outlet temperature to increase. Decreasing either fluid flow rate produces an opposite effect..

 To summarize, the hot fluid outlet temperature can be decreased by increasing the mass flow rate of the cold fluid or decreasing the mass flow rate of the hot fluid (small mass flow rate changes). A decrease in the hot inlet fluid temperature or a decrease in the cold fluid inlet temperature will also result in a reduction of the hot fluid outlet temperature.  With phase change, the problem becomes more complicated and is outside the scope of this course. The heat transfer involved with phase change will be covered in the heat-transfer and fluid flow course. Principles of heat exchanger operation: Start up:  Before a heat exchanger can be operated, it must be filled with the operating fluids. While filling a heat exchanger, the differential thermal expansion between the tubes and the shell should be minimized. This is done by gradually introducing the fluids into the heat exchanger by throttling the inlet valves. Warming of a heat exchanger should be done gradually to prevent thermal shock.  The heat exchanger vent valves must also be open while filling a heat exchanger. This lets air escape and prevents air binding of the heat transfer surfaces. As the heat exchanger fills up, the air space becomes smaller and smaller until it is gone. At the instant the air space disappears the heat exchanger is solid with water and the pressure increases to near the discharge pressure of the pump being used to fill the heat exchanger. This causes a pressure spike (water hammer) that can damage pumps, valves, pipes, and heat exchangers so relief valves as well as vacuum breakers are installed to prevent design pressure rise or vacuum change.  The heat exchanger inlet valve is throttled to limit the inlet flow and minimize the pressure spike. Once the heat exchanger is full, the vent valves are closed.  To place the heat exchanger in service, the cold fluid is circulated first. Utilizing the vent connections ensures air evacuation. A heat exchanger containing trapped air is less efficient because the air 16

effectively reduces the heat transfer surface area. The hot fluid is valved in last to prevent thermal shock. Air evacuation is again accomplished using the vent connections. Heat exchanger shutdown  To shut down a heat exchanger, the flow of the hot fluid should be gradually reduced to zero. Then the flow of the cold fluid should be stopped. In those heat exchangers with a cold fluid significantly cooler than the hot fluid or cooler than the ambient temperature, the flow should be stopped quickly. This minimizes the thermal contraction during cooling.  The heat exchanger can then be drained or placed in wet lay-up (heat exchanger filled to the vents, and the vents open). Draining of a heat exchanger is done by opening the vent valves and then the drain valves. A heat exchanger is placed in wet lay-up if it is to be returned to service after a short time and the heat exchanger does not require maintenance. Failure mechanisms and symptoms:  Typically, the failure of a heat exchanger to perform to specifications may be caused by one or more of the following factors: (1) excessive fouling, (2) air or gas binding resulting from improper piping installation or lack of suitable vents, (3) operating conditions differing from design conditions, (4) maldistribution of flow in the unit, and (5) excessive clearances between the baffles and shell and/or tubes due to corrosion. (6) Tube to shell leakage  Excessive fouling: this is particularly likely for untreated water supplies or service water. The fouling causes a reduction in flow, sets up corrosion cells, and reduces heat transfer across the tube shell interface. The fix for this is the monitoring of parameters and inspections if any irregularities in readings are found. Cleaning will be the end result. Proper chemistry control and sound operating procedures will reduce this possibility.  Air or gas binding: is caused by improper venting during start up, the introduction of air in the system, or steam formation due to a leaking tube. Use proper venting procedures and check for tube to shell leaks where possible.  Tube leaks are a major problem with main condensers. The not only have low quality water flowing through the tubes, but have high temperatures on the vacuum side setting up the conditions for a leak. When the leak occurs, The low quality water affects the water chemistry of the condensate thus causing problems in the steam generator. If the system is radioactive cross contamination of systems can occur causing radiological hazards.  Failure to keep all tubes clean can result in severe flow restrictions through some tubes which could cause damaging thermal stresses, resulting in leaking tube joints or structural damage to other components.  Temperatures and pressures of the fluid entering and leaving the equipment should be checked regularly to evaluate the function of the unit. For example, an increase in the pressure drop across the unit – with an accompanying decrease in the temperature range may indicate vapor or gas binding.  A slight sludge or scale coating on the tube greatly reduces the heat transfer efficiency. Therefore, exchangers subject to fouling or scaling should be cleaned periodically. A marked increase in pressure drop and/or reduction in performance usually indicates cleaning is necessary. The unit should first be checked for air or vapor entrapment to confirm that this is not the cause for the reduction in performance. Since the difficulty of cleaning increases rapidly as the scale thickness or deposit increases, the intervals between cleanings should not be excessive. This completes the unit on Heat Exchangers.




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