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Effect of ambient heat-in-leak on the performance of a three uid heat

exchanger, for cryogenic applications, using nite element method


V. Krishna
a,
, Pradeep G. Hegde
a
, N. Subramanian
b
, K.N. Seetharamu
a
a
Department of Mechanical Engineering, P.E.S. Institute of Technology, Bangalore 560085, India
b
Department of Mechanical Engineering, B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bangalore 560004, India
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 1 August 2011
Received in revised form 31 March 2012
Accepted 10 April 2012
Available online 7 June 2012
Keywords:
Heat exchangers
Effectiveness
Finite element method
Ambient heat in leak
a b s t r a c t
In most cryogenic applications, heat in leak from the ambient is a signicant factor for the degradation in
the performance of heat exchangers. The effect of heat in leak to the cold uid in a three-uid heat
exchanger, for a cryogenic application, involving thermal interaction between all the three uids, has
been investigated using both the analytical and nite element methods. Cooling of the hot uid has been
identied as the objective of the three uid heat exchanger. Seven non-dimensional parameters, includ-
ing one to account for ambient heat in leak to the cold uid, have been identied and their effects on hot
uid behaviour temperature prole, effectiveness and degradation factor have been studied. The
results presented give valuable inputs towards better understanding of the behaviour of the hot uid
in this class of heat exchangers.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Three uid heat exchangers, involving all the three uids in
thermal communication, are used in several applications found in
aerospace, petro-chemical and chemical industries to name a
few. Systems that deal with ammonia gas synthesis, purication
and liquefaction of hydrogen, air separation systems and helium-
air separation units are typical applications which make use of
three uid heat exchangers [1].
The general analytical procedure to obtain the temperature dis-
tribution in all of the uid streams in multi-stream, one-dimen-
sional heat exchangers assuming that there are no multiple
eigenvalues to the solution have been presented by several
researchers [2,3]. Others have presented explicit/iterative ow
direction dependent solutions for this class of three-uid heat
exchangers [47] assuming that multiple eigenvalues do not exist.
Three-uid models involving three thermal communications and
also multiple zero eigenvalues have been developed by Aulds
[18] and Aulds and Barron [8]. Sekulic and Shah [1] have provided
an extensive review of the work related to three-uid heat
exchangers. A model of a two-uid counter current heat exchanger
where both uids are subjected to external heating has been devel-
oped by Ameel and Hewavitharana [9]. Another model of a two-
uid parallel ow heat exchanger where again both uids can
interact with the ambient has been developed by Ameel [10]. Both
models [9,10] have been developed assuming that multiple eigen-
values do not exist. As the ambient can be considered a third uid
with innite thermal capacity, both models [9,10] can be consid-
ered special cases of three-uid heat exchangers with three ther-
mal communications. Barron [11] has also developed a model
where one of the uids in a two-uid heat exchanger is interacting
with the ambient. A unied, ow direction independent, non-
dimensional model for three-uid heat exchangers with two ther-
mal communications has been developed for all possible uid ow
cases by Sekulic and Shah [1]. The need for a general model for a
three-uid heat exchanger with three thermal communications is
expressed in their paper. This has been addressed by Shrivastava
and Ameel [12] who have developed a three-uid HX model with
three thermal communications that is insulated from the ambient.
Their model considers all possible thermal interactions and ow
arrangements. It is also mentioned by Sekulic and Shah [1] that
further studies should be conducted on the overall performance
of the three-uid heat exchanger as well as on reconsideration of
the overall three-uid heat exchanger effectiveness. This concern
is also addressed in a second paper by Shrivastava and Ameel
[13]. Saeid and Seetharamu [15] have presented a nite element
method (FEM) model for a three uid heat exchanger (HX) with
two thermal communications. They have compared the effective-
ness values obtained from their model with those obtained from
standard 2 NTU equations and obtained accurate results. Krishna
et al [16] have extended this FEM analysis and have proposed an
FEM model to predict the performance of a two-uid counter-ow
HX with heat leak to the evaporator considering the effect of
0017-9310/$ - see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2012.05.005

Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 80 26722108; fax: +91 80 26720886.


E-mail addresses: vkrishna@pes.edu (V. Krishna), pghegde@gmail.com (P.G.
Hegde), subramaniankrishn@gmail.com (N. Subramanian), knseetharamu@yahoo.
com (K.N. Seetharamu).
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470
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longitudinal heat conduction in the separating wall. This method-
ology has been further extended, in the present paper, to a three
uid HX, with thermal communication between all the uids, in
addition to, heat leak in from the ambient to the cold uid.
Effectiveness is a measure of the performance of any heat ex-
changer. In three-uid heat exchangers, with three thermal com-
munications, the heat exchanged between the cold and
intermediate temperature streams or the hot and intermediate
temperature streams cannot be neglected in comparison to the
heat exchanged between the cold and hot uid streams. Several
effectiveness denitions have been proposed in the past to assess
the performance of three-uid heat exchangers. Most of these def-
initions give the temperature effectiveness of a particular stream
and are dened as the ratio of the actual temperature difference
to the maximum temperature difference that the stream of inter-
est can attain [16]. These denitions assess the performance of a
three-uid heat exchanger by its ability to achieve a maximum
temperature difference for a selected stream. The temperature
effectiveness denition is based on the actual temperature change
of a single stream. Thus, at least three separate and different tem-
perature effectiveness denitions of this kind are possible for
three-uid heat exchangers [13]. The denition of effectiveness
for any three uid HX depends on its objective. Aulds and Barron
[8] dened effectiveness for three uid heat exchangers with three
thermal communications as the ratio of the actual heat transferred
to the cold and intermediate uids to the maximum heat that
could be transferred to both of these streams. A specic objective
of their heat exchanger has not been mentioned. However, given
their denition, the objective could be identied as to cool the
hot uid. It can be concluded from the above discussion that there
can be no single denition to evaluate the general performance of
three-uid heat exchangers with three thermal communications.
Shrivastava and Ameel [13] identify ve different objectives for
three-uid heat exchangers:-(1) heating the cold uid, (2) cooling
the hot uid, (3) cooling the intermediate uid, (4) heating the
intermediate uid, and (5) maximizing the enthalpy change of
the central uid stream or the two lateral uid streams.
The model of the three uid HX proposed in this paper is a gen-
eral model and can be applied for all three uid, single pass, parallel
ow heat exchangers considering all possible thermal interactions
and ow arrangements. In the present paper, governing equations
have been solved for the ow arrangement in Case (2) with objec-
tive of determining the deviation in the behaviour of the hot uid
due to ambient heat in leak to the cold uid. The equations have
been solved by both the analytical method and FEM. Both the meth-
ods give matching results with no deviations. The results have been
further validated by comparing them with values published earlier
by neglecting the effect of the ambient [1,8,12,13]. A degradation
factor, s, is dened to evaluate the deterioration in the performance
of the heat exchanger due to heat in leak from the ambient. The re-
sults obtained for the degradation factor have been validated by
comparing them with values published by Gupta and Atrey [14]
for a coiled tube-in-tube two-uid heat exchanger with heat in leak.
The values obtained by the model proposed match very closely with
the values published. After validating the methodology, the effect of
ambient heat in leak to the cold uid and how it affects the perfor-
mance of a three uid HX, has been studied. The objective of the
three uid HX has been identied as the cooling of the hot uid.
The effect of ambient heat in leak has been studied for its effect
on the temperature prole, effectiveness and degradation factor
of the hot uid, and how these vary with respect to various non-
dimensional parameters on which the performance of the HX
depends.
Many of the simplifying assumptions that are required for ana-
lytical solutions are not required in the FEM analysis adopted in
this paper. The methodology presented is very versatile and can
accommodate most real time situations since it is element based.
In most cryogenic applications, heat in leak from the ambient is
a signicant factor for the degradation in the performance of heat
exchangers. The effect of ambient heat in leak on the performance
of a three uid HX, with all three uids in thermal communication
with each other, has not been examined earlier. This has been
examined in the present paper to arrive at the extent of degrada-
tion in the performance of the three uid HX.
2. Model formulation
A three uid, single pass, parallel ow heat exchanger involving
thermal communication between all the three uids hot, inter-
mediate and cold has been considered. The pipe conguration
for the HX appears as shown in Fig. 1. Each of the uids interacts
Nomenclature
HX heat exchanger
_ m mass ow rate, (kg/s)
_
Q heat transfer rate, (W)
c
p
specic heat at constant pressure, (J/kg-K)
T temperature (K)
C heat capacity rate of the uids dened by the product of
_ m and c
p
(W/K)
P wetted perimeter for any contact area (m)
P
1
, P
2
, P
3
, P
4
wetted perimeters corresponding to areas A
1
, A
2
, A
3
,
A
4
respectively
L heat exchanger length (m)
L
e
effective length of heat exchanger as dened by L/num-
ber of elements (m)
A surface area for heat transfer as dened by the product
of P and L
e
(m
2
)
A
1
, A
2
, A
3
, A
4
areas as illustrated in Fig. 1
U overall heat transfer coefcient (W/m
2
-K)
U
1
, U
2
, U
3
, U
4
overall heat transfer coefcients as illustrated in
Fig. 1
H
1
, H
2
, H
3
dimensionless parameters as dened in Eq. (4)
R
1
, R
2
ratio of heat capacity rates as dened in Eq. (5)
x axial co-ordinate (m)
NTU number of transfer units as dened in Eq. (4)
X non-dimensional axial co-ordinate as dened in Eq. (5)
N
1
& N
2
shape functions as dened in Eq. (13)
i
h
, i
i,
i
c
Directional constants as dened in Eqs. (1)(3)
Greeks
h dimensionless temperature as dened in Eq. (5)
2 thermal effectiveness
m temperature effectiveness
s degradation factor as dened in Eq. (33)
Subscripts
c cold uid
h hot uid
i intermediate uid
in inlet
out outlet
1 Ambient
5460 V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470
with the other two while the cold uid interacts with the ambient
in addition to the hot and the intermediate uids. The HX consid-
ered is for a cryogenic application and as such the effect of the
ambient will be a heat leak in to the cold uid. Depending on the
ow directions, four different ow arrangements Cases 14 are
possible [1,12], as shown in Fig. 2. The following assumptions have
been made for the analysis: (a) The HX is in a steady state (b) All
properties are constant with time and space. (c) There is no axial
conduction in the pipes or the uids (d) Within a stream the tem-
perature distribution is uniform in the transverse direction and
equal to the average temperature of the uid. (e) There is no heat
source or sink in the HX or in any of the uids (f) There is no phase
change in the uid streams (g) The heat transfer area is constant
along the length of the HX.
In the ow arrangements indicated, Cases (2)(4) are similar, in
the sense that, in each of these cases, two uids ow in one direc-
tion while the other ows in the opposite direction. It can be
shown that uid streams in these three cases are thermally
identical if proper values of the non dimensional parameters are
chosen [12]. Thus there are only two major cases Case (1) and
Case (2) that need to be studied to understand the behaviour
of three-uid heat exchangers [12]. Case (1) corresponds to a case
of parallel, co-current ow involving all three uids, while in Case
(2) the cold and the intermediate uids ow in one direction while
the hot uid ows in the opposite direction. It is also observed that
the effect of the different parameters on the Cases (1) and (2) are
similar [12]. Case (2) is more widely used and more effective since
it involves the hot and cold uids owing in opposite directions.
Thus the present model has been analyzed only for Case (2).
The governing equations for the hot, cold and the intermediate
uids, obtained by energy balance, are as follows:
Hot Fluid:
i
h
dh
H
dX

NTU
R
2
h
h
h
c

NTU H
2
R
2
h
h
h
i
0 1
Intermediate Fluid:
i
i
dh
i
dX

NTU R
1
H
1
R
2
h
i
h
c

NTU R
1
H
2
R
2
h
h
h
i
0 2
Cold Fluid:
i
c
dh
c
dX
NTUh
h
h
c
NTU H
1
h
i
h
c
NTU H
3
h
1
h
c
0 3
In the above expressions h
h
, h
i
and h
c
represent the dimensionless
temperatures of the hot uid, intermediate uid and the cold uid
respectively. Directional constants i
h
, i
i
& i
c
are introduced to
the governing equations to make them applicable for all four ow
arrangements. Their values are +1 for the positive x direction and
1 for negative x direction. For the ow arrangement of Case (2)
analysed in this paper, i
h
= 1, i
c
= +1 and i
i
= +1. The different
non-dimensional terms used in the analysis are dened as men-
tioned below:
NTU
U
1
P
1
L
e
C
c
; H
1

U
2
P
2
U
1
P
1
; H
2

U
3
P
3
U
1
P
1
; H
3

U
4
P
4
U
1
P
1
; 4
R
1

C
h
C
i
; R
2

C
h
C
c
; h
T T
c;in
T
h;in
T
c;in
; X
x
L
e
5
Fig. 1. Tubular arrangement of the three uid heat exchanger chosen for analysis
with ambient heat in leak to the cold uid.
Fig. 2. Flow arrangements.
V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470 5461
3. Analytical solution
The governing equations, Eqs. (1)(3), are rearranged and writ-
ten in matrix form as
d
dX
h
c
h
h
h
i
_

_
_

_ A
h
c
h
h
h
i
_

_
_

_ f 6
where
A
NTU
ic
1 H
2
H
3

NTU
ic
NTU
ic
H
2
NTU
i
h
R
2

NTU
i
h
R
2
1 H
2

NTU
i
h
R
2
H
1
NTUR
1
i
i
R
2
NTUR
1
H
1
i
i
R
2

NTUR
1
i
i
R
2
H
2
H
1

_
_

_
and f =
NTUH
3
ha
ic
0
0
_
_
_
_
This system of differential equations is solved using the method
of decoupling transformations.
A is diagonalised as x
1
A x = D where D is a diagonal matrix con-
taining the Eigen values of A and x contains the Eigenvectors of A.
The Eigen values and Eigenvectors are directly computed using in-
built functions in MATLAB.
i.e.,
D
D
1
0 0
0 D
2
0
0 0 D
3
_

_
_

_ and x
x
11
x
12
x
13
x
21
x
22
x
23
x
31
x
32
x
33
_

_
_

_
Eq. (6) is written as
x
1
d
dX
h
c
h
h
h
i
_

_
_

_ Dx
1
h
c
h
h
h
i
_

_
_

_ x
1
f
d
dX
z
1
z
2
z
3
_

_
_

_ D
z
1
z
2
z
3
_

_
_

_ g 7
where
z
1
z
2
z
3
_

_
_

_ x
1
h
c
h
h
h
i
_

_
_

_ and x
1
f
g
1
g
2
g
3
_

_
_

_ 8
Eq. (7) represents a set of 1st order linear equations which can be
solved by simple integration.
We have
dz
i
dX
D
i
z
i

g
i
D
i
_ _
where i = 1, 2, 3 from which we get
z
i
e
D
i
XC
i


g
i
D
i
9
Boundary Conditions:
h
c;in
0 at X
1ic
2
h
h;in
1 at X
1i
h

2
h
i;in
any value between 0 1 at X
1i
i

2
_

_
10
In this paper the value of h
i,in
has been taken to be 0.5 to compare
the results with those published by Ameel and Shrivastava [12].
From Eq. (8) we have
x
z
1
z
2
z
3
_

_
_

_
h
c
h
h
h
i
_

_
_

_ 11
Substituting for z from Eq. (9) and incorporating boundary condi-
tions from Eq. (10) into Eq. (11) we get a system of linear equations
with three variables e
D
1
C
1
; e
D
2
C
2
& e
D
2
C
2
which are solved to give
;
;
1
;
2
;
3
_

_
_

_
e
D
1
C
1
e
D
2
C
2
e
D
3
C
3
_

_
_

_
i.e.,
C
i

1
D
i
ln ;
i
12
Substituting Eq. (12) and (9) in Eq. (11) we get the temperature pro-
le equations for the three uids:
h
c

3
i1
x
1i
e
D
i
Xln;
i


g
i
D
i
_ _
h
h

3
i1
x
2i
e
D
i
Xln;
i


g
i
D
i
_ _
h
i

3
i1
x
3i
e
D
i
Xln;
i


g
i
D
i
_ _
This method is applicable when the three eigen values D
1
, D
2
and D
3
are different from each other. Combinations of design parameters
which give multiple eigen values have little importance in real
world problems [12] and hence this has not been considered.
4. Finite element method
The heat exchanger is discretized into a number of elements. A
linear variation is assumed for the hot, intermediate and the cold
uids in a single element. The uid temperature at any point, for
co-current arrangement Case 1, is given by the following
equations:
h
h
N
1
h
h;in
N
2
h
h;out
13
h
i
N
1
h
i;in
N
2
h
i;out
14
h
c
N
1
h
c;in
N
2
h
c;out
15
where N
1
and N
2
are the shape functions and given by
Fig. 3. Effect of H
2
on the hot uid temperature prole for a three uid HX with no
ambient heat in leak. Comparison of Present values (Analytical & FEM values) with
Shrivastava and Ameels values [12]. Values of other non dimensional parameters:
H
1
= 1.5, R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25, NTU = 1, h
i,in
= 0.5.
5462 V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470
N
1
1 X and N
2
X: 16
For the counter ow arrangement of Case 2, the equations for h
i
and
h
c
do not change. However, the equation for h
h
changes and is given
by:
h
h
N
1
h
h;out
N
2
h
h;in
17
Using the Galerkins method of minimizing the weighted residual
(Lewis et al. [17]), the governing equations are reduced to a set of
algebraic equations. The discretized governing equations are writ-
ten in matrix form for each element as:
Kfhg ff g 18
where [K] is known as the stiffness matrix and it is a (6 6) matrix
for each element, {h} is the non-dimensional temperature vector
and {f} gives the loading terms. The expressions for [K], {h} and {f}
for Case 2 are provided in the Appendix. The stiffness matrix is
assembled for all the elements in the solution domain to get the glo-
bal stiffness matrix. The boundary conditions are enforced and the
system of equations is solved by MATLAB to get the dimensionless
temperatures along the heat exchanger.
4.1. Boundary conditions
The boundary conditions for the four different ow conditions
are provided in the Table 1. It can be noticed that in each case three
boundary conditions are specied. These are enforced in the global
stiffness matrix before solving the equations.
5. Effectiveness
Cooling of the hot uid has been identied as the objective of
the three uid HX adopted for analysis. Cooling effectiveness of
the hot uid for any three uid HX can be dened based on its tem-
perature effectiveness or its ability to release thermal energy to the
other two streams [13]. Cooling temperature effectiveness m
h
may
be dened as the ratio of the actual temperature difference be-
tween the hot uid inlet and outlet to the maximum possible tem-
perature difference that the hot uid stream can attain.
m
h

T
h;in
T
h;out
T
h;in
T
c;in
19
In the normal sense, cooling thermal effectiveness of the hot uid
may be dened as the ratio of the actual heat transferred from
the hot uid to the maximum possible heat that can be transferred.

h

Q
h;actual
Q
h;max
20
Q
h;actual
C
h
T
h;in
T
h;out
21
When the thermal capacity of the hot uid is greater than the ther-
mal capacities of the other two uids and when the hot uid is ow-
ing counter to the other two streams, the maximum heat transfer
from the hot uid is given by
Q
h;max
C
c
T
h;in
T
c;in
C
i
T
h;in
T
c;in
22
For all other possible combinations of thermal capacities of the three
uids, the maximum heat transfer from the hot uid is given by
Q
h;max
C
h
T
h;in
T
c;in
23
On the same lines it is possible to arrive at expressions for the effec-
tiveness of the cold and intermediate uids [13].
6. Degradation factor
Degradation factor, s, is dened to evaluate the extent of dete-
rioration in the performance of the heat exchanger due to heat in
leak from the ambient to the cold uid. The degradation factor
for the hot uid is dened as the ratio of the loss in thermal effec-
tiveness due to ambient heat in leak to the thermal effectiveness
under no loss conditions and given by
s
h

e
h;no loss
e
h;with loss
e
h;no loss
24
7. Results and discussion
7.1. Validation of the present methodology
The model of the three uid HX proposed in this paper is a gen-
eral model and can be applied for all three uid, single pass, parallel
ow heat exchangers considering all possible thermal interactions
and ow arrangements. In the present paper, the governing equa-
tions have been solved for the ow arrangement in Case (2) with
the objective of determining the deviation in the behaviour of the
hot uid due to the effect of ambient heat in leak to the cold uid.
For the ow arrangement in Case (2), the directional constants take
the values i
h
= 1, i
c
= +1 and i
i
= +1. The equations have been
solved by both the analytical method and FEM. Both the methods
give matching results with no deviations. These have been shown
in Table 2. The results have been further validated by comparison
with similar models on heat exchangers reported previously. The
comparisons have been made by selecting appropriate values for
the non-dimensional parameters to simulate the conditions exist-
ing in the models chosen for comparison. The FEManalysis has been
made by increasing the number of elements while adopting the
Galerkins method. It has been observed that the results converged
Table 1
Boundary Conditions for different ow arrangements.
Flow arrangement Case 1
X h
h
h
c
h
i
0 1 0 h
i,in
1
Flow arrangement Case 2
X h
h
h
c
h
i
0 0 h
i,in
1 1
Flow arrangement Case 3
X h
h
h
c
h
i
0 0
1 1 h
i,in
Flow arrangement Case 4
X h
h
h
c
h
i
0 1 0
1 h
i,in
Table 2
Comparison of FEM and Analytical values for temperature proles of hot, cold and
intermediate uids for a three uid heat exchanger with ambient heat-in-leak.
(Values of non dimensional parameters: H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, H
3
= 0.1, R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25,
NTU = 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1).
X h
h
h
c
h
i
FEM Analytical FEM Analytical FEM Analytical
0.0 0.4354 0.4354 0.0000 0.0000 0.5000 0.5000
0.2 0.5104 0.5104 0.1861 0.1861 0.3809 0.3809
0.4 0.6138 0.6138 0.3067 0.3067 0.4188 0.4188
0.6 0.7314 0.7314 0.4120 0.4120 0.5060 0.5060
0.8 0.8601 0.8601 0.5170 0.5170 0.6120 0.6120
1.0 1.0000 1.0000 0.6268 0.6268 0.7303 0.7303
V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470 5463
for 128 elements. As such, all values presented have been obtained
with 128 elements along the length of the HX.
The present model was at the outset compared with a standard
two-uid single pass parallel, co-current and counter-current
model with no thermal interaction with the ambient. The results
obtained for effectiveness were compared with those obtained
from the standard 2 NTU formulae provided in Eqs. (25) and
(26). Concurrent results were obtained with no deviations. For
two-uid parallel co-current ow

1 e
NTU1R
min

1 R
min
25
For two-uid parallel counter-current ow

1 e
NTU1R
min

1 R
min
e
NTU1R
min

26
Aulds and Barron [8] have presented predictions for a three uid HX
model involving three thermal communications. The ow arrange-
ment they have chosen is the same as Case (2) presented in this
paper. They have assumed that the HX is completely insulated with
no thermal interaction with the ambient. The model presented in
this paper was compared with that presented by Aulds and Barron
[8], by neglecting the effect of the ambient, and closely matching re-
sults were obtained. Sekulic and Shah [1] have predicted the non-
dimensional outlet temperatures for various NTU values for the
ow arrangement of Case (1), with no thermal interaction with
the ambient. The results obtained from the model presented in this
paper, have compared perfectly with those presented by Sekulic
and Shah [1] and have been shown in Table 3. Shrivastava and
Ameel [12,13] have presented results for a three-uid, single pass,
parallel ow HX model with three thermal communications which
considers all possible thermal interactions and ow arrangements.
They have presented results for the ow arrangement of Case (2)
showing the effect of various non-dimensional design parameters
such as R
1
, R
2
, H
1
, H
2
, NTU and h
i,in
on the non-dimensional temper-
ature distributions of the three streams and the different effective-
nesses. They have also assumed that the HX is completely insulated
with no thermal interaction with the ambient. The present model
has been compared with that of Shrivastava and Ameel [12,13] by
neglecting the effect of the ambient. The comparisons have been
shown for non-dimensional temperature distribution of the hot
uid in Fig. 3 and they match perfectly. Gupta and Atrey [14] have
presented results for a two-uid counter-ow, coiled, tube-in-tube
HX, considering the effect of heat in leak from the ambient and lon-
gitudinal heat conduction through the wall separating the two u-
ids, separately and together. Their results have been presented in
terms of the degradation factor, dened earlier. One of their results
includes only ambient heat-in-leak while neglecting the effect of
longitudinal heat conduction through the wall. Degradation values,
obtained from the present model, have been compared with their
results, to account for ambient heat-in-leak, for two different values
of ambient temperature and presented in Fig. 4. The comparisons
show that for h
amb
= 4.67, a maximum deviation of 0.04% is
observed at a C
c
/C
h
value of 2.0, where s
h
= 0.32% from their meth-
odology while s
h
= 0.36% from our methodology. For h
amb
= 1.0, a
maximum deviation of 0.01% is observed at a C
c
/C
h
value of 1.6,
where s
h
= 0.09% from their methodology while s
h
= 0.10% from
our methodology. From the comparisons shown and the close
match of the present results with those published earlier, the pres-
ent methodology has been validated.
7.2. Effect of ambient heat in leak
The effect of ambient heat in leak to the cold uid is to increase
the temperature of the cold uid. The ambient heat in leak is ac-
counted for by the parameter H
3
which is given by:
H
3

U
4
P
4
U
1
P
1

1
U
1
P
1
_ _
1
U
4
P
4
_ _

Heat Transfer Resistance between hot and cold fluids


Heat Transfer Resistance between cold fluid and the ambient
27
The values of H
3
taken in this paper are in the range 00.1. These
values are taken to show the effect of heat in leak. The actual values
of H
3
have to be deduced accurately through repeated and rigorous
experimentation under various operating conditions. Increased val-
ues of H
3
reect a decreased value of heat transfer resistance be-
tween the cold uid and ambient and/or increased value of heat
transfer resistance between the hot and the cold uids. Thus an in-
crease in the value of H
3
results in greater ambient heat in leak and/
or decreased heat transfer between the hot and the cold uids. The
combined effect would be to increase the temperature of the hot
uid throughout the HX.
Table 3
Comparison of non-dimensional outlet temperatures between present values (Analytical & FEM values) and Sekulic and Shahs values [1] for a three uid HX (Case 1) with no
ambient heat in leak. Values of other non dimensional parameters: H
1
= 0, H
2
= 0.3, H
3
= 0, C
c
/C
h
= 2, C
i
/C
h
= 0.8 and h
i,in
= 0.5.
NTU h
h,out
h
i,out
h
c,out
Sekulic & Shahs values [1] Present Values Sekulic & Shahs values [1] Present Values Sekulic & Shahs values [1] Present Values
0 1 1 0.5 0.5 0 0
1 0.377 0.377 0.501 0.501 0.311 0.311
2 0.365 0.365 0.43 0.43 0.346 0.346
3 0.367 0.367 0.396 0.396 0.358 0.358
4 0.368 0.368 0.381 0.381 0.364 0.364
5 0.368 0.368 0.374 0.374 0.366 0.366
Fig. 4. Effect of C
c
/C
h
on the hot uid degradation factor for a two uid HX with heat
in leak. Comparison of Present values (Analytical & FEM values) with Gupta and
Atreys values [14]. Values of other non dimensional parameters: H
1
= 0, H
2
= 0,
H
3
= 0.001, R
1
= 0, R
2
= 1, NTU = 5, h
h,in
= 1, h
c,in
= 0, h
i,in
= 0.
5464 V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470
The effect of H
1
and ambient heat in leak is shown in Figs. 5ac.
An increase in the value of H
1
leads to decrease in the heat transfer
resistance between the intermediate and cold uids and/or increase
in the heat transfer resistance between the hot and cold uids. Due
to this an increase in H
1
results in increased heat transfer between
the intermediate and cold uids and/or decreased heat transfer
between the hot and the cold uids. It is observed from Fig. 5a that
the hot uid shows a marginal increase in the temperature differ-
ence between the inlet and exit with increasing values of H
1
. The
effect of ambient heat in leak is to again increase the hot uid tem-
perature throughout the HX in each case. The effect of H
1
and H
3
on
hot uid effectiveness is shown if Fig. 5b. An increase in H
1
leads to
lower values of hot uid exit temperature leading to an increase in
effectiveness both temperature and thermal effectiveness. An in-
crease in ambient heat in leak (increase in the value of H
3
) leads to
increased hot uid temperatures leading to a decrease in the hot
uid effectiveness. The effect of H
1
and H
3
on degradation factor is
shown in Fig. 5c. At any value of H
3
, it is observed that there is a mar-
ginal increase in the degradation values with increasing values of H
1
.
Degradation values are almost constant for H
1
values beyond 3.
The effect of H
2
and ambient heat in leak is shown in Figs. 6ac.
The effect of increase in H
2
may be explained on the same lines as
H
1
and an increase in H
2
results in increased heat transfer between
the hot and the intermediate uids and/or decreased heat transfer
between the hot and the cold uids. It is observed from Fig. 6a that
the hot uid will show an increasing temperature difference be-
tween the inlet and the exit with increasing values of H
2
. In each
case however the effect of heat in leak is to enhance the hot uid
temperatures throughout the HX as indicated. An increase in the
value of H
2
leads to increased values of hot uid effectiveness as
shown in Fig. 6b. This is due to increased heat transfer between
the hot and the intermediate uids. However an increase in the
value of H
3
leads to greater ambient heat in leak which results in
greater temperatures of the hot uid leading to a decrease in the
hot uid effectiveness both temperature effectiveness and ther-
mal effectiveness as indicated. A decrease in effectiveness leads
to an increase in the value of degradation as observed in Fig. 6c.
It is observed that with increasing values of H
2
the degradation
tends to decrease for each value of H
3
and later becomes almost
a constant for H
2
values greater than 5.
Fig. 5a. Effect of H
1
on the hot uid temperature prole for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1, H
2
= 2,
R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 5b. Effect of H
1
on the hot uid effectiveness for a three uid HX with ambient
heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1, H
2
= 2, R
1
= 2,
R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 5c. Effect of H
1
on the hot uid degradation factor for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1, H
2
= 2,
R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h
,
in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c
,
in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 6a. Effect of H
2
on the hot uid temperature prole for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470 5465
From its denition it is clear that a change in NTU will affect the
thermal resistance between the hot and cold uids, and/or the
thermal capacity of the cold uid. If the values of H
1
and H
2
are
xed, an increase in NTU will not result in any change in the ther-
mal resistance between the hot and the cold uids. This will only
result in a decrease in the thermal capacity of the cold uid. If
the specic heat is assumed constant then this results in a decrease
in the mass ow rate of the cold uid. Since R
1
and R
2
are also con-
stant, this results in the decrease in the ow rates of the hot and
the intermediate uids as well. The effect of all this is steeper ther-
mal gradients for all three uids and increased differences between
the inlet and exit temperatures, with increasing values of NTU. The
effect of NTU and ambient heat in leak is shown in Figs. 7ac. As
NTU is increased from 0.1 to 1, gradual changes in the temperature
distributions occur. As NTU is increased from 110, the decrease in
the mass ow rates of all the three streams results in a sharp fall in
the hot uid temperature at the inlet and subsequent increase to-
wards the exit as seen in Fig. 7a. An increased difference between
the hot uid inlet and exit temperatures is also observed. For an
NTU value of 10 the ambient heat in leak is very pronounced and
this is evident by the manner in which the hot uid temperature
is enhanced across the length of the HX for the parameters chosen.
An increase in the value of NTU results in a decrease in the exit
temperature of the hot uid which leads to an increase in the effec-
tiveness both temperature and thermal effectiveness as shown in
Fig. 7b. However, an increase in the value of H
3
leads to increased
hot uid temperatures throughout the length of the HX decreasing
effectiveness. With increasing values of NTU the size of the HX
would increase and more area is available for ambient heat in leak.
Further, an increase in the value of H
3
results in greater heat in leak
and hence higher values of degradation factor. Thus degradation
factor increases with NTU for each value of H
3
as shown in Fig. 7c.
When other parameters are xed, an increase in the value of
C
c
/C
h
leads to anincrease inthe thermal capacity of the colduidrel-
ative to that of the hot uid. If the specic heats of the two uids are
assumed to be constant, an increase in C
c
/C
h
would mean that the
mass ow rate of the cold uid increases relative to that of the hot
uid. The effect of C
c
/C
h
and ambient heat in leak is shown in
Fig. 6b. Effect of H
2
on the hot uid effectiveness for a three uid HX with ambient
heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1, H
1
= 1.5, R
1
= 2,
R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 6c. Effect of H
2
on the hot uid degradation factor for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 7a. Effect of NTU on the hot uid temperature prole for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2,
R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 7b. Effect of NTU on the hot uid effectiveness for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2,
R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
5466 V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470
Figs. 8ac. An increase in C
c
/C
h
leads to an increase in the tempera-
ture difference between the inlet and exit for the hot uid as indi-
cated by Fig. 8a. At high values of C
c
/C
h
, as observed by Shrivastava
and Ameel [13] and veried by our methodology as well, the cold
uid temperature is close to zero across the heat exchanger length.
This results in high temperature gradients for the hot uid at the
ends of the HX. It may also be observed that for C
c
/C
h
= 10, the hot
uid temperature prole almost reduces to zero in the mid-section
of the HX indicating high levels of heat transfer for the hot uid.
An increase in the value of C
c
/C
h
results in a decrease in the hot uid
exit temperature leading to increased values of temperature effec-
tiveness of the hot uid. The effect of C
c
/C
h
and H
3
on hot uid effec-
tiveness is showninFig. 8b. Whenthevalues of C
c
/C
h
arelower than1
the thermal effectiveness of the hot uid is directly proportional to
(1h
h,out
) and inversely proportional to C
c
/C
h
[13]. For low values
of C
c
/C
h
, (1h
h,out
) grows faster than C
c
/C
h
and hence thermal effec-
tiveness increases initially and decreases subsequently. But from a
value of C
c
/C
h
= 1 onwards, higher values of C
c
/C
h
lead to lesser tem-
perature change inthe colduidandgreater changes inthe values of
hot uid temperature. Due to this hot uid exit temperature will
decrease leading to higher effectiveness. Ambient heat in leak de-
creases the effectiveness albeit marginally. The degradation factor
is highest for C
c
/C
h
= 1 and reduces with increasing values of C
c
/C
h
as shown if Fig. 8c. This is because the ambient heat in leak is maxi-
mum for the conditions chosen for a balanced ow condition i.e.
C
c
= C
h
. Such trends have been reported earlier [14]. Higher values
of H
3
give rise to higher values of degradation due to increased heat
in leak.
The effect of heat-in-leak with varying values of C
i
/C
h
(R
1
1
)
have been shown in Figs. 9ac. The effect of a change in C
i
/C
h
may be explained on lines similar to that of C
c
/C
h
. An increase in
C
i
/C
h
would mean that the mass ow rate of the intermediate uid
increases relative to that of the hot uid indicating greater heat
transfer from the hot uid and the temperature prole undergoes
a marginal change as indicated in Fig. 9a. The temperature prole
is almost linear for C
i
/C
h
= 0.1 and for higher values of C
i
/C
h
, the
proles show slightly increasing temperature gradients at the hot
end with a subsequent increase in exit temperature at higher val-
ues of C
i
/C
h
. The effect of heat-in-leak is observed to be slightly
higher at lower values of C
i
/C
h
. The effect of C
i
/C
h
on effectiveness
Fig. 7c. Effect of NTU on the hot uid degradation factor for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2,
R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h
,
in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 8a. Effect of C
c
/C
h
on the hot uid temperature prole for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
1
= 2, h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 8b. Effect of C
c
/C
h
on the hot uid effectiveness for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
1
= 2, h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 8c. Effect of C
c
/C
h
on the hot uid degradation factor for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
1
= 2, h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470 5467
follows on the same lines as C
c
/C
h
as shown in Fig. 9b with a shift in
the effectiveness at values close to C
i
/C
h
= 1, since C
i
starts playing a
dominant role. This results in a steep increase in hot uid effective-
ness. But an increase in the value of C
i
/C
h
beyond 1 does not have
any signicant effect on the hot uid effectiveness. Ambient heat in
leak decreases the effectiveness as indicated. The degradation fac-
tor reduces with increasing values of C
i
/C
h
, due to reduced heat-in-
leak, as shown in Fig. 9c. As seen the degradation factor becomes
almost constant for values of C
i
/C
h
values more than 5.
The effect of heat-in-leak with varying values of h
i,in
have been
showninFigs. 10ac. Anincreaseinthevalueof h
i,in
leads tomoreheat
transfer to the cold uid and as such the temperature difference be-
tween inlet and exit for both the hot and cold uids will get reduced.
This manifests in the increasing exit temperatures for the hot uid
with increasing values of h
i,in
as shown in Fig. 10a. The ambient heat
in leak is marginal enhancement of temperature for all values of h
i,in
.
Increasing values of h
i,in
lead to decreasing values of hot uid
effectiveness. The effect of ambient heat-in-leak is to further decrease
the effectiveness as shown inFig. 10b. The decrease ineffectiveness is
around 2% for all values of h
i,in
. This is crucial in heat exchangers
Fig. 9a. Effect of C
i
/C
h
on the hot uid temperature prole for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
2
= 1.25, h
h,in
= 1, h
i,,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 9b. Effect of C
i
/C
h
on the hot uid effectiveness for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, Values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 9c. Effect of C
i
/C
h
on the hot uid degradation factor for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
i,in
= 0.5, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 10a. Effect of h
i,in
on the hot uid temperature prole for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
Fig. 10b. Effect of h
i,in
on the hot uid effectiveness for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
5468 V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470
operating in the cryogenic temperature ranges. A decrease in effec-
tiveness leads to a higher value of degradation factor. Thus, with
increasing values of h
i,in
degradation factor gets enhanced as shown
in Fig. 10c. The effect of greater ambient heat in leak is to further in-
crease the degradation factor as observed. For a H
3
value of 0.1, the
degradation factor increases by almost 1% as h
i,in
is increased from
01.
8. Conclusions
The effect of ambient heat in leak to the cold uid in a three-
uid HX, for a cryogenic application, involving heat interaction be-
tween all three uids, has been investigated using the analytical
method and FEM. Cooling of the hot uid has been identied as
the objective of the three uid HX. Seven non-dimensional param-
eters NTU, H
1
, H
2
, H
3
, R
1
, R
2
and h
i,in
have been used to present
the results on three counts (i) hot uid temperature prole (ii) hot
uid effectiveness both temperature and thermal effectiveness
(iii) degradation factor. The effect of ambient heat in leak to the
cold uid is to increase the hot uid temperature in all cases. While
degradation factor increases with increase in the value of H
1
, there
is a reduction in the degradation factor with increasing values of H
2
and NTU. In general, degradation factor increases for all cases, with
increase in H
3
due to greater heat in leak. The effect of the ratio of
specic heat capacities C
c
/C
h
on the performance indicates that
maximum degradation factor is for the balanced ow condition
C
c
= C
h
, i.e., C
c
/C
h
= 1. There is a pronounced effect of ambient heat
in leak at NTU values of 10 and above. This clearly indicates that
larger the HX, more pronouned is the effect of ambient heat in leak.
For the conditions chosen, the ambient heat in leak is maximumfor
low values of C
i
and goes on decreasing with increasing values of C
i
.
An increase in the value of h
i,in
leads to greater exit temperatures of
the hot uid, consequent drop in effectiveness and greater values
of degradation factor. In most cryogenic applications, heat in leak
from the ambient is a signicant factor for the degradation in the
performance of heat exchangers. The present analysis has taken
this factor into account. The validation of the nite element meth-
odology, by comparison with the analytical solution presented, and
also with the previously published results, establishes the versatil-
ity of this methodology, which can account for most real time sit-
uations with relative ease and arrive at accurate results. The results
presented give valuable inputs towards better understanding of
the behaviour of the hot uid in this class of heat exchangers.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank Prof. D. Jawahar, C.E.O., P.E.S. Institu-
tions, Dr. K.N.B. Murthy, Principal and Director, P.E.S. Institute of
Technology, Bangalore, the Head and the faculty of the Department
of Mechanical Engineering, P.E.S.I.T., Bangalore, for the support ex-
tended for this work. The rst author wishes to thank the Manage-
ment and the Principal, P.E.S. Institute of Technology, Bangalore,
for providing study leave, which was utilized for this study, leading
to this publication. The authors also wish to thank Miss Spoorthi S.
and Prof. Babu Reddy, Department of Mechanical Engineering and
Prof. N. Narahari, Department of Science and Humanities, P.E.S.
Institute of Technology, for their assistance.
Appendix A
A.1. Details of the matrices in Eq. (18) for the Galerkins Method, for
the ow arrangement Case (2) are as follows
References
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Fig. 10c. Effect of h
i,in
on the hot uid degradation factor for a three uid HX with
ambient heat in leak, values of other non-dimensional parameters: NTU = 1,
H
1
= 1.5, H
2
= 2, R
1
= 2, R
2
= 1.25. h
h,in
= 1, h
c,in
= 0, h
1
= 1.
K

1
2

NTU
6R
2

NTUH
2
6R
2
_ _
NTUH
2
6R
2
_ _
NTU
6R
2
_ _
1
2

NTU
3R
2

NTUH
2
3R
2
_ _
NTUH
2
3R
2
_ _
NTU
3R
2
_ _

NTUH
2
R
1
6R
2
_ _

1
2

NTUH
1
R
1
6R
2

NTUH
2
R
1
6R
2
_ _

NTUH
1
R
1
6R
2
_ _

NTUH
2
R
1
3R
2
_ _
1
2

NTUH
1
R
1
3R
2

NTUH
2
R
1
3R
2
_ _

NTUH
1
R
1
3R
2
_ _

NTU
6
_ _

NTUH
1
6
_ _

1
2

NTU
6

NTUH
1
6

NTUH
3
6
_ _

NTU
3
_ _

NTUH
1
3
_ _
1
2

NTU
3

NTUH
1
3

NTUH
3
3
_ _

1
2

NTU
3R
2

NTUH
2
3R
2
_ _
NTUH
2
3R
2
_ _
NTU
3R
2
_ _
1
2

NTU
6R
2

NTUH
2
6R
2
_ _
NTUH
2
6R
2
_ _
NTU
6R
2
_ _

NTUH
2
R
1
3R
2
_ _

1
2

NTUH
1
R
1
3R
2

NTUH
2
R
1
3R
2
_ _

NTUH
1
R
1
3R
2
_ _

NTUH
2
R
1
6R
2
_ _
1
2

NTUH
1
R
1
6R
2

NTUH
2
R
1
6R
2
_ _

NTUH
1
R
1
6R
2
_ _

NTU
3
_ _

NTUH
1
3
_ _

1
2

NTU
3

NTUH
1
3

NTUH
3
3
_ _

NTU
6
_ _

NTUH
1
6
_ _
1
2

NTU
6

NTUH
1
6

NTUH
3
6
_ _
_

_
_

_
fhg
h
h;out
h
i;in
h
c;in
h
h;in
h
i;out
h
c;out
_

_
_

_
ff g
0
0
NTU H
3
h
1
h
i;in
h
c;in
h
h;in
_

_
_

_
V. Krishna et al. / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 55 (2012) 54595470 5469
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