You are on page 1of 5

Pressure drop over the heat transfer area of a Plate Heat Exchanger (PHE) plate

By Ergin Kulenovic Chemical Engineering, LTH, Lund University

Abstract
The aim of this master thesis was to examine the pressure drop over the heat transfer area for three types of PHE-plates and to devise a proper method for doing so. The tests were done in a pressure drop rig designed at Alfa Laval Lund AB. A method for preparing the samples and testing them was developed. The procedure involved cutting up pieces of the heat transfer area plates and putting them together to form larger homogenic areas to be tested. This was done by water jet cutting and then point welding and silicone sealing. Three patterns were tested, A, B and C. The test results are compared with the predictions made by simulations at Alfa Laval. The results are shown in the form of a series of Fanning s friction factor Reynolds number graphs. The results differed significantly from the predicted data which leads to the conclusion that these kinds of tests are necessary for the improvement of simulation methods and the accuracy of the data given to the PHE-user. The new correlations are to be used for the tested patterns in the future and this method is to be used on future patterns. The parameter used for comparison was 1. Introduction the Fanning friction factor. PHEs are widely used within the industry 3. Method for heating, cooling, evaporating and condensation purposes which is why it is 3.1 The Samples necessary to optimize their performance. The samples tested were made out of Usage of PHEs often results in a high smaller pieces of the heat transfer area put pressure drop. In order to minimize the together in order to get a larger homogenic pressure drop and at the same time area and hence make the tests more maintain the high level of performance the reliable. pressure drop in different parts of channel This was a task that demanded some trial must be known. and error experiments. A lot of methods This was done for the heat transfer were tested for cutting the smaller pieces area by experimentally measuring the out and the method that prevailed in was pressure drop and comparing it to the water jet cutting. This was done at Water predicted one. In order to do this a pressure Jet Sweden AB. The assembly into larger drop rig was designed at Alfa Laval and areas was done by point welding the small during the course of this thesis a method pieces onto a support plate and sealing the for operating the rig was devised. connections between them (the fittings) with silicone.

2. Theory
The calculations based on the obtained data were processed with the help of the correlation for the friction pressure drop: pf (4 f L dH ) v2 2 (1) 3.2 The Rig The rig used in the experiments is in fact nothing but a 2000x300x30 mm channel in which plates can be inserted to simulate a passage of a medium through a PHE channel.

1 Pattern A Pattern A plate is an asymmetric plate designed to have a low pressure drop. Two flow meters were used. special paper that permanently changes colour depending on the pressure exerted on it.3 The Experimental Setup The setup was a simple one (fig. The insertion of the sample made this a little difficult since it was easy to rip the lining of with the side of the sample. Pressure outtake needles were inserted from the side and connected to a differential pressure meter. Pattern A. 3. The results are presented in the form of a series of Fanning s friction factor Reynolds number graphs. B and C. This was solved by using a thicker. The horizontal sealing was done by gluing rubber linings on the sides of the rig. 3). A set of 10-20 measurements (different flows which gave different pressure drops) was noted for each sample channel.e. A loop was made so that the medium tested (in this case water) could pass through the sample channel. Figure 3: Schematics for the rig setup 4.Figure 1: The rig with the lid off In order to make sure that the medium only passes between the PHE plates and not around them the rig had to be sealed both vertically and horizontally. This was not so easily done since too much filling could crush the plates after the lid is placed and too little would allow the sample channel to open when the rig is pressurized. All of the experiments were done adiabatically. The data was collected by a computer program called Easy View in a form of continuous measurements of which an average was noted. i. These were obtained by simulations at Alfa Laval Lund AB. Figure 2: A cross-section of a packed sample (the numbers are illustratory only) . 4. riffled rubber lining on one side. One for the flows up to 0. It is mainly used for liquid and steam processes. The measured data was compared to the predicted ones. This problem was solved by using a piece of a pressure paper . Results and discussion Three different types of plates were tested.7 l/s and the other one for the flows above that. The vertical sealing was done by alternating distance sheets and rubber lining to fill out the space left between the bottom and the lid of the rig after the sample is inserted. This lining was compressed more easily.

1 NRe 0. Normal flow direction being an angle of 0° Pattern B: SH Channel 1 1000 Fanning's Friction Factor 10000 100000 This pattern was tested for different directions of the flow since these can cause misdistribution of the medium throughout the channel.01 10000 100000 1000000 NRe NRe Figure 5: Fanning s friction factor for different inflow angles of water on the steam side of a pattern A channel Pattern A. The pressure drops in these were compared to the predicted ones. Figure 4: The investigated angles of flow direction for pattern A.4.1 NRe Figure 7: The predicted and the measured values for the pattern B SH channel Pattern B: NH Channel 1 1000 10000 100000 Fanning's Friction Factor 0.1 Whole channel (Predicted) Heat area (Predicted) Whole channel (Measured) Heat area (Measured) 0. Due to lack of the sample plates only the steam side was tested.1 0.10000 0.00000 1000 Heat area (Measured) Heat area (Predicted) 10000 100000 0 Degrees (Measured) 0 Degrees (Predicted) Fanning's Friction Factor 0.01 1000 90 degrees 45 Whole channel (Measured) Whole channel (Predicted) Heat area (Measured) Heat area (Predicted) 0.2 Pattern B The pattern B plates can be arranged to make three different channels: narrow (NH). Pattern A Steam Side Fanning's friction factor 10 1 0.01000 Figure 9: The predicted and the measured values for the pattern B SS channel NRe Figure 6: A comparison of the predicted and measured values for the direction of the current flow The graphs show the same difference in tendencies for the heat transfer areas as for . Steam side: 0 degrees Figure 8: The predicted and the measured values for the pattern B NH channel Pattern B: SS Channel 1 1000 10000 Whole channel (Measured) 100000 Whole channel (Predicted) Fanning's Friction Factor 1. The two graphs (fig. wide (SH) and medium (SS). The results include the comparison for the heat transfer areas as well as for the whole channels. 5 and 6) show that the predictions of the pressure drop made were too low and that the pressure drop increases with the angle of the direction of the flow.

fig. The channels seem to be very placement sensitive which means that a small movement of the plates with respect to each other could cause an increase in pressure drop. Michel Granath at Alfa Laval Lund for giving me all the technical support without which there is a chance I never would have finished. a softer horizontal lining and the position of the pressure outtake needles. Matz Andersson Dr. Rolf Christensen Dr.the whole channels. 3. I and II).e. These three were examined separately and are 5. Matz Andersson and the rest of the R&D department at Alfa Laval Lund AB for guiding me throughout my thesis and for taking the time to answer all my questions no matter what they were. The pressure drop over several channels instead of just one should also be examined.3 Pattern C Pattern C plates have three pressing depths within the same plate. I would like to express my thanks to Prof. Anders Axelsson at Chemical Engineering for all of his advice. i. LTH. Acknowledgements I would like to thank my supervisor Dr. fig. 2001 Strömningsteknik Kemisk Apparatteknik. T. LTH. . 4. Conclusions A method for testing the pressure drop in different parts of a PHE-plate was developed using the rig designed at Alfa Laval Lund AB. 1989 Conversations with: Dr. Finally. The second thing to be noted is that although they all come from the same plate the different channels show different pressure drop tendencies.D. The graphs for this pattern can be seen in appendix 1 because of the detail required to be seen. I would also like to thank Mr. New correlations. The second conclusion to be drawn is that the measured pressure drops were much higher than the predicted ones and that a closer look should be taken at the evaluation methods in order to avoid these mistakes in the future (App.1 mm. Alfa Laval thermal AB Värmetransport del 1 Kemisk Apparatteknik. The method for testing the samples could also be improved by finding a new way to determine the pressure exerted on the sample in the rig. Bengt Göland and Mr. The pressure drop for several channels is not necessary just a multiple of one channel. friction factors as a function of Re have been produced for three of Alfa Laval s patterns and are to be used instead of the predictions in the future. 4th Ed. The big differences between the predicted and the measured pressure drops indicate that it is necessary to test all new patterns instead of relying on simulated predictions only. The predictions were that the evaporation side of the channel would be the one with the higher pressure fall while the measurements showed it to be the condensation side (App. Henrik Kockum Martin Holm and Leif Hallgren at Alfa Laval AB 5.8 and 2. Both the evaporation and the condensation sides were examined. 1. McConkey Gasket and plate materials of Alfa Laval heat exchangers: Ladislav Novak. Further Work A further look should be taken at simulation methods in order to improve them. 6. III and IV). References Applied Thermodynamics for Engineering Technologists. This could be a part of the explanation to why the differences between the predicted and measured values were so big for channels with small pressing depths. Eastop & A.5. I.

1 Condensation 5.1 Predicted Evaporation 5.1 100 1000 NRe 10000 100000 0.8 Predicted E3.1 Condensation 2.8 Evaporation 2.5 Predicted E 5.Appendix 1 Pattern C (Measured) Fanning's friction factor 10 Evaporation 5.1 Predicted 0.1 Predicted E 2.1 0.5 Predicted Evaporation 3.1 Condensation 3.1 1 100 Fanning's friction Factor Pattern C evaporation channels 1000 10000 100000 1 0.1 Evaporation 5.01 100 1000 N(Re) 10000 100000 Figure II: Fanning s friction factor for different predicted channels in the pattern C Figure IV: Fanning s friction factor for condensation channels in C pattern .8 Evaporation 2.1 Predicted C 2.8 Predicted Evaporation 2.8 Predicted Condensation 2.8 Condensation 5.5 Evaporation 3.5 0.01000 NRe 0.5 Evaporation 3.5 Predicted C 5.5 Predicted Condensation 3.8 Prediction C 3.5 Condensation 5.8 Condensation 3.01 N(Re) Figure I: Fanning s friction factor for different measured channels in the pattern C Pattern C (Predicted) Figur III: Fanning s friction factor for different evaporation channels in C pattern Pattern C condensation channels 10000 100000 100 Fanning's Friction Factors 1000 Fanning's friction factor 1.10000 0.00000 10 1 Condensation 2.