Heating and cooling without dehumidification Present chapter is concerned with humid atmospheric air, being either heated or cooled without condensation of water vapour. In this case the temperature of the air side surface of the heat exchanger is higher than air dew temperature. Air at atmospheric pressure flowing normally to a bank of smooth tubes, having low thermal conductivity (equal 0.025 W/(m K)) at 20°C), presents low heat transfer coefficients (<100 W/(m2 K)) at usual velocities. On the contrary, liquids flowing in the tubes present heat transfer coefficients, varying with velocities and thermophysical properties, around 500-9000 W/(m2 K). If the mass flow rates, specific heats and heat transfer coefficients of air and of the liquid are constant, the heat flow rate exchanged is given by the following equation [1], [2]: Ft ∆Tm,ln q= (1) ln(re / rin ) Rs ,in Rs ,e 1 1 + + + + α e Ae α in Ain 2πLλtubo Ain Ae If one of the terms in the denominator on the right hand side is larger than the others it is called the controlling heat transfer resistance, because it fixes the value of the overall heat transfer coefficient U.


Ft ∆Tm,ln ln(re / rin ) Rs ,in Rs ,e 1 1 + + + + Ain Ae α e Ae α in Ain 2πLλtubo

= U e Ae Ft ∆Tm,ln = U in Ain Ft ∆Tm ,ln


In the case of clean smooth tubes Ae≅Ain, Rsi=Rse=0 and negligible tube wall resistance, αe =50 W m-2 K-1, αin = 5000 W m-2 K-1, Ue =Ui = 49.5 W m-2 K-1. One way to minimize the adverse effects of the low heat transfer coefficient on the air side is to use an extended surface. Equation 2 becomes: q= Ft ∆Tm,ln ln(re / rin ) R s ,in R s ,e 1 1 + + + + * 2πLλ tube Ain Ae α e Ω Ae α in Ain = U e Ae Ft ∆Tm,ln = U in Ain Ft ∆Tm ,ln(3)

Where the finned surface efficiency can be calculated as: A fins Ω* = 1 − (1 − Ω ) Ae


Efficiency Ω of circular fins can be obtained from Figure 1, as a function of the ratio fin tip diameter divided fin root diameter D/d and m L with m= [α/( λfin δ) ]0.5 and L=0.5 (D-d). α is the air side mean heat transfer coefficient, λfin is the thermal conductivity of fin material and δ is half of fin thickness. Efficiency Ω of continuous fins can be obtained from figure 1 with


D = 2 (pt pR /π)0.5 being pt the tube pitch and pR the tube rows pitch. Temperature factors in equations 1 and 2 are reported in [3].… .


Fin efficiency

0,8 0,6 0,4 0,2 0 0 0,5 1 1,5 2

D/d=2 D/d=3 D/d=4



Figure 1 Fin efficiency (D fin tip diameter, d fin root diameter)

Air pT



Figure 2


Cooling and dehumidification When the temperature of the coil surface is lower than air dew temperature, water vapor in the air condenses and a liquid film is formed. In this case latent heat and sensible heat are exchanged. If the number of Lewis is considered equal one and neglecting condensate enthalpy flux, on a small surface of area dA the heat flow rate dqT exchanged is:
dq =


[(h − hS )]dA


where α is the air side heat transfer coefficient, h air enthalpy, hS the enthalpy of saturated air at the temperature of the surface, cS is the humid air specific heat.

∂h cS =   = cP,dry air + cP, water vapour x    ∂t  x


If air is cooling and dehumidifying on a finned surface, finned surface efficiency is calculated with equation 3 and fin efficiency can be obtained using figure 1 when

 α b   ∂h   where b =  S ,air  m=  ∂t  λ δ c   P  fin S  where hS,air is the enthalpy of humid saturated air, given in figure 3.



For small temperature range (5-6°C) hS,air can be interpolated with the equation of a straight line, as a function of temperature for a fixed atmospheric pressure

hS,air = a + b t


Coefficient b is reported in figure 4. When calculating fin efficiency b is evaluated at the mean fin temperature. When cooling and dehumidifying humid air, the heat flow rate exchanged on a small heat transfer area dAe becomes

dq = K e' ⋅ dAe ⋅ (hair − hS ,insidefluid )




where hS,inside fluid is the saturated air enthalpy at the temperature of the fluid flowing inside the tubes, hair is enthalpy of air and

K e' =

 Ae cS Ae re  + b  α A + 2πLλ ln r   α air Ω *  in in tube in 


Coefficient b is evaluated at the mean temperature between tube outside wall temperature and temperature of fluid flowing inside the tubes. When heat transfer coefficients are constant and wall, fin, inside fluid temperatures do not vary more than 6 °C, supposing counter or parallel flow:


q = K e' ⋅ Ae ⋅

∆h2 − ∆h1 = K e' ⋅ Ae ⋅ ∆hml ∆h ln 2 ∆h1


where enthalpy differences
∆h = (hair − hS ,insidefluid )

are calculated at the sides 1 and 2 of the heat exchanger.

Saturated air enthalpy (kJ kg )


P= 1 atm

250 200 150 100 50 0 0 10 20 30 40 50

Temperature (°C)
Fig.3 Enthalpy of saturated air as a function of temperature and at atmospheric pressure.


18 16

(dh/dT)s (kJ/ kg K)

14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50

P =80000 Pa P=101325 Pa

Temperature (° C)
Fig. 4 Derivative of saturated air enthalpy with respect of temperature at pressures P=101325 Pa and P=80000 Pa

A cP cS D d Ft h L p, P pt pR q r RS t T U x

α δ


surface area [m2] specific heat at constant pressure[ J kg-1 K-1] specific heat humid air[ J /(kgdry air K)] fin tip diameter [m] fin root diameter [m] mean logarithmic temperature correction for flow different from counter flow enthalpy [J/kg] tube length [m] relative to surface area A pressure [Pa] tube pitch [m] tube rows pitch [m] heat flow rate [W] tube radius [m] fouling factor [m2 K W-1] temperature [°C] temperature [K] overall heat transfer coefficient [W/(m2 K)] humidity ratio [kg of water vapour / kg dry air in the same volume] heat transfer coefficient [W/(m2 K)] half fin thickness [m] difference thermal conductivity [W/(m K)]


ρ τ Ω Ω*

viscosity [kg/(m s)] density [kg/m3] shear stress [N/m2] fin efficiency finned surface efficiency

Subscripts e external in inside ln logarithmic m mean S saturation REFERENCES [1] Bonacina C., Cavallini A., Mattarolo L., Trasmissione del Calore, CLEUP Padova, 1985. [2] Hewitt, G.F., Shires, G.L., Bott, T.R., Process heat transfer, CRC Press and Begell House, Boca Raton, 1994. [3] Taborek J. Chapter 1.5, Heat Exchanger Design Handbook, Hemisphere Publ. Corp. And Begell House, 1983. [4] Kays, W.M., London, A.L., Compact heat exchangers, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1984. [5] VDI Wärme Atlas, Springer, 2006. [6] Threlkeld, J.L., Thermal enviromental engineering, Prentice –Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1970.


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