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CL351: Chemical Engineering Lab II

Semester 1, 2014-2015

IIT Gandhinagar

Pradeep Diwakar (Group G)

Roll no. 12110063



The aim of this experiment is to determine the overall and individual heat
transfer coefficients in a plate heat exchanger. We were provided with a
stainless steel plate heat exchanger with the facility to measure inlet and
outlet temperatures of both hot and cold fluids. The flow rate was
measured for the hot fluid using the glass section. Six set of readings were
taken after keeping the cold fluid flow rate constant and decreasing the
hot fluid rate in each set.
The heat transfer coefficient of hot fluid was found to be 803.87 kCal/ hr-
m2-0C which has some significant error as compared to the theoretical
value of 645 kCal/hr-m2--oC.


The conventional PHE consists of a stack of cold pressed, corrugated
metal plates clamped together in a frame. Sealing of gaps between plates
is accomplished by means of gaskets. These gaskets are designed with a
double seal that prevents the intermixing of the fluids.

The corrugated patterns produce a three dimensional flow passage of
almost constant cross-sectional flow area. The corrugations increase the
plate rigidity, increase effective surface area and promote turbulence.

Heat exchange takes place between the hot fluid and cold fluid through
Standard correlations for the heat transfer coefficient like Seider-Tate and
Dittus-Bolter for circular pipes are not available for non-corrugated PHE’s
however we used a similar correlation for determining the heat transfer
coefficient here.
The following formulae were used:
1. Q = �̇ Cp (T1-T2)
Q = Amount of heat transferred
2. log(ℎ)=log(�′′)+� ���(�̇)
�̇ = mass flow rate
Cp= Specific heat
h=heat rate coefficient


We were provided with a stainless steel plate heat exchanger, an
insulated steel tank with a heater at the bottom, and temperature
indicator cum controller for controlling the hot fluid temperature in the
heater. The power supply was switched on after all the necessary
connections were made. The suction line of the cold fluid circulation was
then connected to the cold water supply line. The cooling water flow rate
was then adjusted to the maximum in order to make the cooling water
side resistance to heat transfer negligible. This flow rate was kept
constant throughout the experiment. We then started the hot fluid
circulation pump and slowly increased its speed. Now, we set the flow rate
initially to high value and then waited for the flow to reach steady state.
The inlet and outlet temperatures of hot and cold fluid was noted down.
We measured the flow rate by noting the time taken by the hot fluid to fill
up a certain volume in glass section. We then decreased the flow rate of
hot fluid and took the next set of readings when it was steady. Total 6
readings were taken down in the experiment.


1. Number of channels (N) = 6
2. Number of parallel channels for test fluid flow (Nh) = 3
3. Number of parallel channels for cooling water flow (Ne) = 4
4. Height of plate = 12.8 cm
5. Width of plate (w) =4.4 cm
6. Gap between the plates (b) = 0.09 cm
7. Volume of liquid collected each time = 416 cc (small) and 778 cc
8. Density of test fluid = 0.835 g/cc
9. Specific heat (Cp) = 0.626 kCal/kg-oC
10. Thermal conductivity (K) = 0.113 kCal/hr-m-oC
Table 1: Calculation of flow rate and inlet and outlet temperatures of hot
and cold fluids:

Ob Time Flow
ric Flow
s. Requir Hot Fluid Cold Fluid rate
No. ed (s) (kg/h
Outl Outl
Inlet Inlet
et et
Tem Tem
Tem Tem
p. T1 p. T1
p. T2 p. T2
1 10.38 40.08 58.5 52.7 29.9 31.5 41.60
2 5.37 77.47 58.2 54.4 30.0 80.41
31.9 101.3
3 4.26 97.65 58.3 55.0 30.2
5 6
32.2 119.6
4 3.61 115.24 58.4 55.2 30.4
0 1
32.4 137.8
5 5.86 132.76 58.5 55.6 30.6
5 1
32.7 152.0
6 5.31 146.52 58.7 55.9 30.8
5 8
Table. 1

2.95 f(x) = 0.42x + 2.06
R² = 0.97






1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2 2.3

Figure 1-Plot of log(U) vs log(�̇).

Since this was an approximate graph so we used the best line fitting
function to get the equation of best fit line.

The Equation of line in Figure 1 comes out as y = 0.4155x-2.058
The Slop of plot Log (Ui) vs Log (m) gives, a=0.4155

Using this a=0.4155, we get figure 2

f(x) = 0.01x + 0
0.0016 R² = 0.97
0.1000 0.1200 0.1400 0.1600 0.1800 0.2000 0.2200

Figure 2. Plot of 1/U vs 1/ma

Now, the Equation of line in Figure 2 comes out as y = 0.0085x-0.00004
Which gives the intercept as 0.00004

Now, ho = 1/intercept =1/0.00004 = 25000 kCal/hr-m2-0C

Using ho value we calculate the average of hi values using Table. 2.

Amount of Overall heat
Obs. heat 0
C, transfer hi, (Kcal/hr-m2-
No. transferred LMTD coefficent(Ui), 0
(Q), Kcal/hr Kcal/ hr-m2-0C
1 461.81 24.72 552.81 565.31
2 584.85 25.32 683.28 702.48
3 640.23 25.49 743.06 765.82
4 732.61 25.42 852.74 882.85
5 764.93 25.45 889.19 921.98
6 815.05 25.45 947.45 984.77
Table. 2

hi = 803.87 kCal/ hr-m2-0C

The heat transfer coefficient on the oil side is found to be 803.87 kCal/hr-
m2-0C which has some significant error as compared to the theoretical
value of 645 kCal/hr-m2--oC.


Plate heat exchangers are called compact heat exchangers as they occupy
less space compared to the conventional shell and tube heat exchanger.
Though PHE’s are flexible, compact, thermal efficient and have low
investment cost still they suffer from some limitations like high pressure
drop plugging in the case of services involving slurries and maximum
permissible temperature which is indicated by the gasket material. With
the increase in hot fluid flow rate the amount of heat transfer was
increased as the heat transfer coefficient is directly proportional to the
velocity of fluid. LMTD and Overall heat transfer coefficient were increased
with the increase in mass flow rate.

We can say that the Plot of log(U) vs log(�̇) must be linear from the
definition but we came to know that from experimental data it was not
completely linear. There were some errors that make this difference like
the instrumental and human errors as we know the temperature of the
fluids is indicated by using temperature indicators and the flow was
assumed to be at steady state. So the apparatus is needed to be
calibrated and we should take each readings only after the steady state is
achieved. The Rate of hot fluid measure was also not accurate as the flow
of the fluid was not steady.


Sample Calculations for Set 1:

1. Volumetric flow rate of hot fluid = 416/10.38 = 40.08 cc/s
2. Mass flow rate per plate (�̇) = 40.08*(3600/1000)*0.865/3 = 41.60
3. Amount of heat transferred (Q) = �̇* Nh*Cp*(T1-T2)

= 41.60*3*0.638*(58.5-52.7)

= 461.81 kCal/hr

4. Logarithmic mean temperature difference
(Δ�lm) = Thi−Tci = 24.72
Th 0−Tco
5. Overall heat transfer coefficient (U) = Q/(Ai (���))
= 461.81/(0.0338*24.72)

U = 552.81 kCal/hr-m2-oC

6. 1/hi = 1/Ui - 1/ho
1/hi = 0.001769
hi = 565.31 kCal/hr-m2-oC