You are on page 1of 10

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

EXPERIMENT B2
PERFORMANCE OF A TUBULAR CONDENSER
INTRODUCTION
In a modern industrial plant, many heating processes require steam. Key ingredients are
heated to a desirable temperature required for efficient processing. Reactions usually require
a definite operating temperature and more importantly, final products must be set to
conditions that are most convenient for handling and selling. More often that not, heat
exchange among various plant process streams transpire in heat exchanger equipment such
as a tubular condensers. It is therefore essential that future plant engineers be exposed to this
key industrial equipment, be learned of the concepts and theories of condensation and most
importantly be trained with the operation of this type of heat transfer equipment.
OBJECTIVES
1. To determine the capacity of the tubular condenser as a function of the flow rate of the
cooling water used.
2. To determine the experimental overall heat transfer coefficient for a vertical tubular
condenser.
3. To calculate theoretical surface coefficients of steam condensing inside the tubes and of
the cooling water flowing upwards the shell side of the condenser.
4. To compare experimental and theoretical values of the overall heat transfer coefficients
as obtained in (2) and (3).
5. To determine the heat lost to the surroundings.
THEORY
The capacity of the tubular heat exchanger may be expressed in terms of the amount
of steam condensed per unit time which is dependent upon the conditions of the cooling
water supplied. The maximum capacity, however, can be considered as the amount of steam
condensed when an infinite flow rate of cooling water is supplied. This also means that there
is practically no heat transfer resistance in the cooling water side such that its temperature
throughout the operation remains constant.

B - 15

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

To determine the experimental heat transfer coefficient, one measures first the
amount of steam condensed per unit time, (mh )measured . In order to account for the losses in
the amount of steam condensed due to the flashing of steam when the condensate leaves the
steam trap due to sudden reduction in pressure, a correction known as the flashing
effect, (mh )correction correction is added.
The total amount of steam is therefore
mh = (mh )measured +

(mh )correction .

By applying heat balance, the total heat given off by the steam is

q s = m h s + c p (Th Tc )

where

(1)

qs = Total amount of heat transferred by steam, Btu/hr

s = Latent heat of vaporization, Btu/lbm


mh = Total amount of steam used, lbm
cp = Specific heat, Btu/lbm -F
Th = Condensing temperature of steam, F
Tc = Temperature of condensate, F
The amount of heat absorbed by the water is given by
qw = mwc p (Tw1 Tw 2 )

where

(2)

qw = Amount of heat gained by the water, Btu/lb


mw = Mass flow rate of cooling water, lbm /hr
Tw1 = Outlet temperature of cooling water, F
Tw2 = Inlet temperature of cooling water, F
cp = Specific heat, Btu/lbm-F

The heat lost to the surroundings, qL, is the difference between the two which is expected
to be small since the cooling water is flowing through the shell side. Hence,
qL = qs qw

B - 16

(3)

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

Based on the heat transferred by the steam, the experimental Uo is calculated by

(U o )exp erimental

mh
Ao To

(4)

Ao = Total heat transfer area of the tubes

where

N = Number of tubes
The determination of the surface coefficients of steam condensing inside the tubes is
done by assuming that film type condensation occurs. This is most likely since the
condenser is old and the tubes are positioned vertically. The heat transfer coefficient hi for
the tube side fluid is estimated by

k f f gc
3

hi = 0.943

0.25

(6)

T L f
O

The subscript f refers to the average film temperature evaluated by (MS 13-11)
T f = Th

3
(To ) = Th 3 (Th Tw )
4
4

(7)

Tf = Film temperature of condensate, F

where

Th = Temperature of condensing vapor, F


Tw = Assumed temperature of the tube wall, F
However, Equation (5) is derived on the assumption that the condensate flow is laminar.
This limits its use to cases where 4 is less than 2100. For long tubes, the condensate film
becomes sufficiently thick and its velocity sufficiently large to cause turbulence. Even when
the flow becomes laminar, coefficients calculated are increased by 20%. This is due to the
effect of the ripples on the surface of the falling film. For turbulent flow, the coefficient h
increases with an increase in the Reynolds number. Refer to Figure 13-2 (MS) in case such a
condition is encountered.
The heat transfer coefficient of water flowing in the shell side may be estimated using
Equation 15-4 (MS).
ho Do
DG
= 0.20 o o
k

where

GO =

0.66

mw
S min

B - 17

Cp
k

0.33

0.14

(8)

(9)

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

S min =

(Dis NDot )

(10)

N = Number of tubes
Dis = Inside diameter of the shell
Dot = Outside diameter of the tube
The theoretical Uo is calculated using
1
1 Do Do
= +
+
U o ho kDL hi Di

(11)

Check for the assumed Tw using resistance form of heat transfer,

Th Tc Th Tw
=
1
1
U o Ao
ho Ao
Compare the theoretical Uo with the experimental Uo.

B - 18

(12)

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

EQUIPMENT
A. Schematic Diagram of the Equipment

Figure 2: Tubular Heat Exchanger

B - 19

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

Figure 3 Cross-Sectional View of a Tubular Heat Exchanger

B - 20

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

B. Description of the Equipment


The equipment used for this experiment is a vertical tube condenser. The tubular
condenser has 38 tubes within the shell. These tubes are 85 inches long and made of
steel. Consequently, the tubes have outside diameters of 18 mm or 0.7086 inch. The
inside diameter of these tubes are 0.4375 inch each.
The shell is also made of steel with the outside diameter measuring 8.52 inches.
Moreover, the shell's thickness is 0.332 inch with the computed inside diameter
measuring 7.856 inches.
The steam enters the bottom of the condenser through the header then rises inside
the tubes where the steam condenses on the inside surface of the tubes. The condensate
flows downwards as thin film and collects at the bottom where it is discharged through
the steam trap then to the condensate collection tank.
The cooling water is introduced at the bottom of the shell and rises outside the
bundle of tubes and exits on top, flows through the double pipe heat exchanger and is
discharged to the hot water collection tank. This tank gives a direct reading in pounds of
water.
PROCEDURE
Note: This experiment should be performed in close coordination with Experiment B1.
1. Drain the residual steam condensate by opening the drain valve.
2. Allow cooling water to flow through the condenser by opening fully the water supply
valves.
3. Stabilize the equipment by allowing small amount of steam inside to escape (this will
also remove residual condensate). Close the drain valve and make sure that the
condensate line with the steam trap is fully open. Then increase pressure to the desired
level (say 30 psig). Allow equipment to heat to a stable temperature. Read temperature
occasionally until the system has reached an almost steady state condition. The
condensate collected must already be clean.
4. Operate the system for about 10 to 15 minutes at constant steam pressure. Within this
interval determine temperature and pressure readings, flow rates of condensate and
cooling water used. Note that the condensate collection tank has a gauge for direct
reading of mass collected. Since the amount of condensate is usually small, it is
suggested that one measures the total condensate collected within the time interval of the
run. For the cooling water, (used as the hot fluid in the experiment involving double pipe
heat exchanger), the flow rate is measured in the collection tank of Experiment No. 1.

B - 21

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

5. Repeat the procedure making use of various water flow rates and various steam
pressures. The water pressure gauge may be used as a guide in varying the water flow
rate. It is suggested that three different steam pressures (say 30, 40, & 50 psig) and three
water flow rates for a total of nine runs be conducted to complete the experiment.
DATA SHEET
A. Shell and Tube Specifications
Shell Outside Diameter

__________

Tube Sheet Outside Diameter __________

Shell Inside Diameter

__________

Tube Length __________

Shell Thickness

__________

Test Pressure __________

Shell Length

__________

Number of Tubes __________

Tube Outside Diameter

__________

Number of Baffles __________

Tube Inside Diameter

__________

Tube Thickness

__________

B. First Run
Steam Pressure

__________

Water Pressure

__________

Time
(min)
0
3
6
9
12
15

Temperature (C)

Steam

Flow Rate (kg/s)


Cooling
Hot Water Condensate Cold Water Condensate
Water

B - 22

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

C. Second Run
Steam Pressure

__________

Water Pressure

__________

Time
(min)

Temperature (C)

Steam

0
3
6
9
12
15

Flow Rate (kg/s)


Cooling
Hot Water Condensate Cold Water Condensate
Water

D. Third Run
Steam Pressure

__________

Water Pressure

__________

Time
(min)
0
3
6
9
12
15

Temperature (C)

Steam

Flow Rate (kg/s)


Cooling
Hot Water Condensate Cold Water Condensate
Water

ANALYSES AND CALCULATIONS


1. For each run, calculate the heat supplied by the steam, the heat absorbed by the cooling
water and the difference. This difference should indicate the heat lost to the
surroundings. Present results as Table 1.
2. For each run, calculate the heat transfer coefficient of steam condensing inside the tubes,
hi; the coefficient of water outside the tubes, ho; and the theoretical Uo. Compare the
experimental Uo and determine the percentage deviation. Present as Table 2.

B - 23

Experiments in Chemical Engineering,2nd ed

Performance of a Tubular Condenser

by Servillano S.B. Olao, Jr.

3. For the six runs, plot the value of h f k f 2f g 3 versus N Re = 4 f for the
condensing steam and compare this with Fig. 13-2 (MS).
4. For the six runs, plot the mass of steam condensed versus the mass flow rate of water
used. Is there any correlation obtained?
GUIDE QUESTIONS
1. With the aid of a diagram, describe the operating principles of at least four types of
steam traps.
2. Using data gathered, determine theoretically the maximum capacity of the condenser.
Compare this with the capacity obtained using the maximum flow rate of cooling water.

B - 24