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General Numerical Scheme for Heat Exchanger Thermal Analysis and Design

ROBERT J. RIBANDO, GERALD W. OLEARY, SUSAN CARLSON-SKALAK


Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-2442

Received 1 October 1996; accepted 26 June 1997

ABSTRACT: This article describes two personal computerbased teaching modules


designed to instruct engineering students in the more fundamental thermal aspects of the analysis and design of heat exchangers. One module applies to shell-and-tube exchangers; the other applies to cross-ow types. Enhanced numerical algorithms solve discretized forms of the governing differential energy-conservation equations. Graphical user interfaces display temperature distributions along with traditional design and performance measures.
1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ 5: 231242, 1997

Keywords: heat exchangers; engineering education; design; performance; numerical algorithms; graphical user interface

INTRODUCTION
In this article we present a numerical approach to heat exchanger thermal design and performance analysis, and we briey discuss its usage in heat transfer and thermal systems design instruction. Two fundamental and closely related algorithms are presented. The rst is applicable to those heat exchangers for which the temperature distribution may be approximated as a function of a single coordinate [one-dimensional (1-D)]. These include concentric tube heat exchangers and shell-and-tube exchangers. The second algorithm applies to designs
Correspondence to Robert J. Ribando. Contract grant sponsor: University of Virginia. 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. CCC 1061-3773/97/040231-12

such as cross-ow heat exchangers, in which the temperature of one or both uids must be considered a function of two spatial variables (2-D). Both algorithms involve a numerical solution of two coupled governing heat balance equations in discretized form. Governing equations for the 1-D heat exchangers mentioned above are two coupled ordinary differential equations. Governing equations for cross-ow heat exchangers are described by two coupled partial differential equations, which are rst order. While different in concept, the solution algorithms are in fact quite alike in the implementation described here.

Existing Analytical Approaches


The analytical solutions to similar coupled equations were used earlier in this century to generate
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the correction factor charts used with the log mean temperature difference (LMTD) approach to heat exchanger design. The LMTD method in fact solves a boundary value problem; the ows plus inlet and outlet temperatures are all known and an iterative scheme is used to nd the appropriate UA product (U is overall heat transfer coefcient and A is total heat transfer area) which in turn governs the sizing of the particular heat exchanger required. Other analytical solutions to related equations also led to the published curves now used with the effectiveness number of transfer units (NTU) method. This method is normally used to give a measure of performance for a given design by solving an initial value problem; the ows, inlet temperatures, and value of UA are known, while the outlet temperatures and heat transfer rates are the computed result. Such traditional methods generally yield a few simple parameters characterizing the capability of a particular device. In the slide rule era in which these analytical solutions were developed, it was sufcient to evaluate the bottom-line parameters for a variety of heat exchanger congurations and then to make these results readily available in graphical form for the engineering professional. Today, virtually all graduate and undergraduate heat transfer textbooks ( e.g., Incropera and DeWitt [1] and Mills [2]) present the LMTD and the effectiveness NTU methodsincluding the many accompanying graphs and descriptive equationsas the primary means of thermal analysis and design for heat exchangers. While perhaps satisfactory to the practicing designer, this somewhat routine approach does make the thermal design of heat exchangers appear to most undergraduate students as a dry cookbook exercise.

the numericalgraphical approach we present here offers enhanced insight by allowing the student to visualize the entire temperature distribution for both uids in a heat exchanger. With the complete temperature distributionplus all the conventional performance measuresimmediately available on a display monitor, the student engineer can quickly study and understand the effects of various physical parameters. Perhaps most important, students are introduced to heat exchanger thermal design as a straightforward application of fundamental physical principles: in this case, the conservation of energy. A major feature of this discrete numerical approach is its ready application to modern desktop computers, with their convenient and impressive graphical displays. The numerical algorithms we present here do not require much additional student input beyond that necessary for the calculation of parameters used in the conventional textbook methods. The algorithms can be easily implemented on a standard 486 microprocessor employing late-model 32-bit compilers. Using the standard Windows graphics library, the complete temperature proles can be provided as part of a common Windows user interface. We have developed convenient interfaces for both the 1-D and 2-D algorithms and have included samples of such interfaces for the two modules we have recently been using in our undergraduate heat transfer course at the University of Virginia.

Other Computational Approaches


In a recent survey of readily available heat transfer instructional software, we found four packages that addressed heat exchangers. All four involved the evaluation by computer of standard analytical solutions, rather than a direct numerical solution of the governing heat balance equations such as those we present here. In each case, the software provides a faster computation of the same textbook methodology, with no additional physical insight beyond what one normally achieves in using the standard analysis. A similar survey of commercial professionalgrade packages met with comparable results. We found at least one widely advertised commercial package that addresses the mechanical design of heat exchangers, without apparently addressing the thermal aspects. Another major package addresses both; however, the solution techniques employed for the thermal calculations are not made explicit, and therefore, we can fairly assume the standard analytical tools are used. Diller and Robinson [5] described their positive

Alternative Numerical Approaches


The new edition of the popular graduate text of Kays and Crawford [3] suggested the use of electronic spreadsheets to solve a discretized form of the heat balance equations for heat exchangers, particularly for the analysis of cross-ow exchangers. In addition, the power plant design textbook of Li and Priddy [4] discusses a detailed solution for an evaporative cooling tower, where, because of the phase change and the accompanying property variations, a numerical solution is not only desirable but necessary. Our alternative approach extends these suggested implementations to a more comprehensive numerical methodology. In contrast to the traditional analytical methods,

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Figure 1 Schematics of sample 1-D heat exchangers: (a) concentric tube, (b) shell and tube.

experience using the student edition of a commercial heat exchanger design code. The code was used in a senior design course (the students had already completed the fundamental heat transfer course) and proved a useful tool in learning the art of thermal and mechanical design. The thermal analysis itself is apparently based on computerization of the usual analytical solutions, with no depictions of the temperature proles within a proposed exchanger design. Certainly, most of the general, commercially available computational uid dynamics (CFD) packages could be congured to solve the problems addressed here. Such tools, however, are questionable for use in an undergraduate course for two signicant reasons: (a) they are priced a bit beyond the capability of normal engineering school budgets, and (b) they generally require a substantial training period that is well beyond the scope of undergraduates attempting to understand the fundamentals of heat transfer.

shell-and-tube arrangement as well as the simpler parallel and counterow concentric tube geometries. Figure 2 displays a schematic for a typical shelland-tube geometry having one shell and two tube passes. In this particular example, the nodalization and numbering scheme was based on the bafe arrangement; however, this is not a requirement. The checkered squares show the division of the shell into small volumes, with the larger numbers in the schematic indicating the exit and entry nodes of the shell volume. The smaller numbers indicate the inlets and outlets of the corresponding tube nodes. (Of course, only one representative tube of a bundle is shown here.)

Thermal Analysis
We begin by writing control-volume energy balances for both the hot and cold uids. Sample control volumes are depicted in Figure 3 and use notation similar to that used for the conventional analytical approaches [1]. The energy balance for the small volume comprising the shell uid (Fluid 1), which is considered to be hotter, is written as follows: C1 (T 1in 0 T 1out )
0 UAn

T 1in / T 1out T 2in / T 2out 0 2 2

(1)

ONE-DIMENSIONAL HEAT EXCHANGERS


As noted earlier, common shell-and-tube heat exchangers, as well as concentric tube exchangers, can be conveniently approximated as 1-Dthat is, the temperatures of the two uids are each approximated as functions of a single spatial coordinate. The use of this approximation is somewhat obvious from the schematics shown in Figure 1, where the internal ows are depicted for two typical designs. Conventional analytical methods also use this approximation for these particular geometries.

A similar energy balance for the tube uid (Fluid 2) becomes C2 (T 2in 0 T 2out )
0 UAn

T 2in / T 2out T 1in / T 1out 0 2 2

(2)

Nodalization
The numerical approach to the 1-D calculations involves division of the heat exchanger into a large number of nite volumes, each volume exchanging heat with a neighboring volume containing the counterpart uid. By employing pointers to indicate the relation of hot-uid volumes to associated colduid volumes, the program can readily handle any

The values C1 and C2 represent the heat capacity rates mcp ) of the shell and tube uids, respectively. g The notation UAn represents the UA product for the whole exchanger divided by N, the total number of volumes. While denitely not a requirement in this numerical approach, we are assuming for the purpose of this exposition that the small volumes are of equal size and that the overall heat transfer coefcient is uniform throughout the exchanger. For the terms representing the exchange of heat between uids, the temperature difference is evaluated using mean temperatures based on uid temperatures entering and leaving each control volume. Though not included here, it would be easy to include another term representing losses from the out-

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Figure 2

Nodalization schematic of one-shell-pass/two-tube-pass exchanger.

side walls of the heat exchanger, should such losses be deemed nonnegligible. Since the inlet temperatures for both uids are known, and since no downstream information is required, we can rearrange rst-order Equations (1) and (2) to yield the following explicit expressions for the outlet temperatures: (C1 0 0.5UAn )T 1in / 0.5UAn (T 2in / T 2out ) (C1 / 0.5UAn )

T 1out and

(3)

T 2out

(C2 0 0.5UAn )T 2in / 0.5UAn (T 1in / T 1out ) (C2 / 0.5UAn )

(4)

Nodal Connectivity
Shell-and-Tube Exchanger. To solve these equations for each cell volume, we need to keep careful

Figure 3 changer.

Sample control volumes for 1-D heat ex-

account of the relations between associated shell and tube nodes. Let us assume that we use an iterative approach for solving the heat-balance equations. If we sweep through the shell of Figure 2 in numerical sequence, then the corresponding tube nodes are not in simple ascending or descending order (as they are for concentric tube exchangers). The same problem arises if we sweep through the tube nodes in numerical sequence. We can easily solve this problem by using connectivity (or pointer) vectors to track the shell-and-tube nodal relations. Let us, for example, sweep through the shell in numerical order. We rst set up two vectors, one of which identies the inlets of the corresponding tube nodes and one which identies the corresponding outlets. Thus, for the rst cell, the shell outlet temperature Tshell (1) is expressed in terms of the shell inlet temperature Tshell (0), the tube inlet temperature Ttube (13), and the tube outlet temperature Ttube (14). With this arrangement, the rst entry in the vector of inlet identiers for this simple exchanger is 13; the rst entry in the outlet-identier vector is 14. Proceeding to the second cell, the inlet and outlet entries are 0 and 1, respectively. In this way, nodal relations can be described for everything from a simple parallel ow exchanger to a multipleshell-pass, multiple-tube-pass exchanger. In the latter case, the nodalization is tedious to do manually but really not more complicated than that shown in Figure 2. We note that in conventional analytical methods, a single x coordinate measures the location along

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the length of the shell [6]. Then, in a two-tubepass exchanger of the sort illustrated in Figure 2, the shell uid in an innitesimal length dx simultaneously exchanges heat with two tube bundles, one going either way. By contrast, in our numerical approach we have isolated the two tube passes into separate small volumes. The shell uid near the inlet now interacts alternately with tube uid nearly ready to exit the exchanger and then (in a separate small volume) with tube uid that has just entered. This aspect will be evident in plots presented later. Concentric Tube Exchanger. Nodal connectivity for a concentric tube geometry is simpler. For parallel ows, the nodes will follow the same order; i.e., for Tshell (1) the inlet and outlet identiers would be 0 and 1. For counterows, they would be N-1 and N, respectively, for the rst shell node.

Design Calculations. For design calculations where the product of the overall heat transfer coefcient (U) and the heat transfer area (A) must be determinedthe solution procedure is only slightly more complicated. Let us assume as an example that the shell tube is the hotter one and the criterion is that the shell uid be cooled to a particular value, Tshellreq . We assume an initial value of UA and do, say, ve sweeps of the two equations. Suppose the computed shell outlet temperature is higher than Tshellreq . We increment the UA by a value UAinc , which might be 20% of the initial value, and sweep through again for perhaps ve more sweeps with this value. Then we compare our computed value with the desired value. If we are still above the desired value, we increment UA by the same value and continue to sweep. If we are too low, we use a new increment given by (UAinc )new 00.5(UAinc )old (5)

Solution Methods
The resulting sparse system of linear equations arising from the application of Equations (3) and (4) at all cells could be solved readily using a direct method based on Gauss elimination. We felt, however, that it was easier to program for an iterative solution. For all cases normally covered by traditional methods, convergence is readily attained in only a few hundred sweeps. We now use this value in our iteration. Any time we change from overshooting the desired value to undershooting, or vice versa, we change the increment, using the formula given above. Applying this half-interval method, we eventually converge to the correct value [7].

Implementation for Desktop Computer


Implementation of this numerical scheme on a desktop personal computer (PC) provides a signicant enhancement to the educational environment of a student engineer. In our approach, a separate computer program was developed specically to analyze 1-D heat exchangers using the algorithm discussed above. By combining the power and speed of Watcom Fortran 77 (v. 10.6) with the convenience and attractiveness of Microsoft Visual Basic, we were able to design an educational module that can be quickly adopted by students using Microsoft Windows on 486 or Pentium PCs. A sample of the basic user interface for this module is presented in Figure 4. User Input. The upper-right quadrant of the user interface is available for student input of the problem denition and for selection of the method of calculation; the white boxes are used for text and numerical input. Heat capacity rates for the two uids are specied directly. The selection of calculation method requires an associated input of desired shell (hot-uid) outlet temperature (for a design

Performance Calculations
For performance calculations (analogous to the effectiveness NTU method), we sweep along the shell updating each nodal outlet temperature, as well as the corresponding tube nodal outlet temperature. (Note: we could sweep sequentially through the tube nodes, updating the matching shell nodes in the same sweep, or we could sweep through both separately.) This iterative process is continuously repeated until the sweep-to-sweep change in outlet temperatures is within acceptable limits. Upon termination of the temperature-eld computation, a collection of auxiliary calculations is then performed to establish the standard performance measures. These include, for verication purposes, those parameters normally used with the two traditional graph-based methods: (a) the P and R dimensionless temperature ratios used with the LMTD method, or (b) the ratio of Cmin /Cmax , the NTU, and the other data associated with the effectiveness NTU method.

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Figure 4

User interface for 1-D heat exchanger analysis.

calculation) or of UA (for a performance calculation). User denition of unique nodal-numbering arrangements are provided in separate windows, which are brought into view by clicking on the Modify button located to the right. The special userinput window for automatic numbering and display of certain shell-and-tube exchangers is depicted in Figure 5. This input form assumes a conguration based on two tube passes per shell pass. The user can select the number of shell passes (up to six) and the number of bafes per shell. Pressing the Update button initiates the computation of a new conguration and its display. The nodal numbering system itself is somewhat complex and is actually unique to this particular numerical approach; thus, its computation is performed automatically without a lot of unnecessary student involvement. The sample input window shown in Figure 5 corresponds to the three-shell-pass geometry associated with the display of Figure 4. The particular selection shown is for three shell passes with two tube passes per shell pass and 12 bafes per shell, giving a total of

78 control volumes. (As noted earlier, we have found it convenient here to use the bafes as boundaries for the small control volumes, although this is not a requirement.) A second user-input window is provided for numbering the nodes of annular ow and twin-tube exchangers, both parallel and counterow. In this case, the user simply selects the ow direction and the number of nodes. Numbering of these nodes is also done automatically, even though the process is trivial by comparison with the shell-and-tube system. A third user-input window allows the student to manually input connectivity data for any 1-D geometry not covered adequately by the other two input windows. Output Data. When the user selects the Plot button, the numerical algorithm is initiated using the input data specied by the user. The data are passed to a library of compiled Fortran routines contained in a Windows-compatible dynamic link library (DLL). The computations are performed by the Fortran subroutines and resulting numerical data are passed

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Figure 5

Sample user input window for shell-and-tube arrangement.

back to the user display, where they are quickly displayed, as depicted in the lower half of Figure 4. The color plot of temperature distributions is performed by the Fortran subroutines using standard 16-bit graphics commands from the Windows application programming interface. On a 486 PC or better, the display of plots and other output data occurs almost instantly from the moment the Plot button is selected. Subsequent calculations can be performed for new specied inputs by simply modifying the input data and reselecting the Plot button. The plot of temperatures as a function of position has some interesting features. In our display, we include a plot of the temperature distribution shown in the usual fashion. (In Fig. 4, the temperature prole is shown in the traditional counterow manner, i.e., hot shell uid running from left to right and cold tube uid running from right to left.) To this, we include an additional prole which shows the computed tube uid temperatures as seen along the path of the shell uid. In the particular geometry computed here and shown in Figure 5, the hot shell uid entering the rst shell rst sees the exiting tube uid and then encounters the colder tube uid itself just entering the shell. The shell uid then interacts with tube uid almost ready to leave, fol-

lowed by tube uid that is only slightly heated, and so on. Upon entering the second shell, the shell uid encounters the tube in the middle of its run, and here the wiggles seen along the shell-path begin small and increase in amplitude as the path proceeds through the second shell. Similarly in the third shell, the shell uid enters where the difference in temperature is large between tube legs and leaves midway along the tube pass, where it is minimal. The seemingly odd behavior depicted in the plots thus helps to promote a new insight into the internal physics of heat exchanger operation. Computational Safeguards. A number of safeguards were built into the program to help eliminate data inputs that would hinder or prevent convergence of the solutions. These checks represent necessary, but not necessarily sufcient conditions. In many cases, the cause for nonconvergence may be readily found by looking at the output graphs. For design calculations, where the desired value of UA is sought, a check is performed to determine whether the requested outlet temperature would result in an effectiveness 1; if so, the user is requested to supply a different specied outlet temperature.

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For performance calculations, input values of UA which would yield very large values of NTU are automatically rejected. (The conventional effectiveness charts typically stop at NTU values of 5.0.) Very large values are of no practical worth because they result in all the heat being transferred in only a tiny fraction of the overall areaa fraction right near the shell inlet.

2-D HEAT EXCHANGERS


The numerical algorithm we use for the typical single-pass, cross-ow heat exchangers shown in Figure 6 employs an approach similar to that of the shell-and-tube heat exchangers just discussed, with some distinctive differences. As previously noted, in shell-and-tube exchangers the temperature in each uid is considered to be a function of only one spatial coordinate; thus, it results in governing equations specied as ordinary differential equations. For a cross-ow heat exchanger, the temperature distribution in one or both of the uids is a function of two directions (although the ows themselves are both considered unidirectional), which results in governing relations expressed as partial differential equations. Using complicated integral methods, Nusselt [6] solved those partial differential equations analytically, and his results now form the basis for detailed graphs which accompany most textbook analyses of these particular heat exchangers. Unfortunately, the graphs and associated methods tend to absorb a student in a cloud of routinized problem solving, without offering much opportunity to consider the actual processes of thermal exchange within the hardware itself. As an alternative, we have developed a numerical approach for solving the coupled rst-order equations of these 2-D exchangers using an iterative technique quite similar to that described above for 1-D heat exchangers.

Figure 7 Nodalization schematic for single-pass crossow exchanger, both uids mixed.

Nodalization
With cross-ow heat exchangers, each uid ows in a single direction. There is therefore no need for the pointers used earlier to keep track of the circuitous path of the uid through the shell. A simple (i, j) numbering scheme similar to that commonly used for 2-D steady-state conduction problems is sufcient to discretize the entire temperature domain of the passing uids. We rst consider a cross-ow heat exchanger in which both uids are unmixed. Having established an algorithm for this scenario, the mixing of a uid then amounts to resetting all uid temperatures of a particular cross section equal to the mean of the original computed values each time they are updated. The exchanger is now discretized into M 1 N cells (typically 30 1 30), as shown in Figure 7. Temperatures are assumed to be dened at cell edges, so that the T2 uid coming into the rst column of cells is identied as T20, j and that leaving the same column is identied as T21, j . Similarly the T1 uid leaving the top row of cells is identied as T1i,N , while that entering the same row is identied as T1i,N01 .

Thermal Analysis
We now develop energy balances for the hot and cold uids similar to those for the 1-D exchangers. The heat balance equation for a typical T1 uid volume is given by

Figure 6 Schematics of typical 2-D heat exchangers: (a) unmixed, (b) mixed.

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C1M (T1i ,j 01 0 T1i ,j )


0 UAMN

T1i ,j01 / T1i ,j T2i01, j / T2i ,j 0 2 2


0

(C2N 0 0.5UAMN )T2i01, j / 0.5UAMN (T1i ,j / T1i ,j 01 ) T2i ,j (9) (C2N / 0.5UAMN ) (6)

Solution Methods
The resulting sparse system of linear equations arising from the application of Equations (8) and (9) at all cells is solved in an iterative manner, similar to that used for the 1-D heat exchangers. The same issues also apply with respect to the performance and design calculations. In this 2-D algorithm, the calculation consists of a number of bidirectional sweeps over the mesh, updating both T1 and T2 at each cell until convergence is reached. Mixed Fluid. For the case in which one uid is mixed, an extra step is added to the above analysis. In Figure 8, the T1 uid is depicted as mixed. Assuming an inner sweep in the i direction (horizontal), before moving on to the next j row we nd the mean of the newly computed outlet T1 temperatures for that row and replace each of those temperatures with the resulting mean value. With this additional step, all temperatures at a particular row will eventually converge to the same value. It should noted that in reality, fully mixed conditions probably do not exist. With this numerical solution, any desired partial-mixing model could be implemented readily. Convergence Criteria. For both the mixed and unmixed cases, it is logical to base criteria for stopping the iterative sweeps on the mean outlet temperature along row N, the topmost row of Figure 7. For a performance calculation, the stopping criterion is based on the magnitude of change in the computed

The similar equation for the associated T2 uid volume is written as C2N (T2i01, j 0 T2i ,j )
0 UAMN

T2i01, j / T2i ,j T1i ,j / T1i ,j 01 0 2 2


0

(7)

Here again, for the terms representing the exchange of heat between uids we use the difference in mean uid temperatures, each computed as an average of the entering and exiting temperatures for the particular cell volume. For our purposes, the heat capacity rate is assumed to be spread evenly across the cells; similarly for this analysis, the overall heat transfer coefcient is assumed to be spatially uniform. (The fact that this particular assumption is not really necessary for the numerical analysis gives our approach a major advantage over a standard analytical approach.) Thus, for each volume we have C1M (mcp )1 h M (mcp )2 h N U1A M1N

C2N UAMN

where U is the mean overall heat transfer coefcient of the entire exchanger and A is the total heat exchanger area. As with the 1-D exchanger, the inlet temperatures here are known and no downstream information is required when solving for the outlet temperatures T1i ,j and T2i ,j . We can thus rearrange Equations (6) and (7) to yield the following explicit expressions for cell outlet temperatures: (C1M 0 0.5UAMN )T1i ,j 01 / 0.5UAMN (T2i ,j / T2i01, j ) T1i ,j (8) (C1M / 0.5UAMN )

Figure 8 Schematic of cross-ow heat exchanger with mixed-uid T1.

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Figure 9

User interface for 2-D heat exchanger analysis, both uids unmixed.

mean outlet temperature between two successive sweeps. When the change is very small, the solution is considered to have converged. For a design calculation, a specic mean outlet temperature is the desired end product and the value of UA must be adjusted iteratively to attain that desired value. Here, we use the same half-interval method as with the 1-D exchanger to home in on the correct UA value.

the method of calculation. Since no geometry-specic nodalization is needed here, the input for the single-pass crossow (2-D) exchanger is easier than that for 1-D exchangers. All other input is the same as for 1-D exchangers, with the additional specication as to whether Fluid 1 is to be mixed or unmixed. Output Data. As can be seen by comparing Figures 4 and 9, the numerical data provided as output are basically the same as for the 1-D module. Similarly, selecting the Plot button initiates the numerical computations which are performed by Fortran routines contained in a separate Windows DLL. Even though a 30 1 30 grid is used, the results are returned nearly instantly. In the present case, since one or both uid temperatures are functions of two spatial coordinates, we present color contour plots displaying the temperature distributions for each uid. A third contour plot is included to display the local difference between the two uid temperatures. This latter plot provides useful insight into the general quality of a particular exchanger design. It is particularly inter-

Implementation for Desktop Computer


Implementation of this numerical scheme on a desktop PC proceeds in the same manner as for the 1D exchanger analysis. A separate standalone module was developed specically to analyze 2-D heat exchangers using the algorithm discussed above. The combination of Fortran and Visual Basic again allowed the creation of a fast and convenient user interface. Figure 9 presents the user interface along with some typical input and computed results. User Input. The midsection of the user interface is available for student input of problem denition and

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esting to note that when the computed value of effectiveness (q/qmax ) is very high, the temperature difference over much of the exchanger is generally low, resulting in considerable wasted capacity.

CONCLUDING REMARKS Enhanced Engineering Education


The implementation of these numerical algorithms into PC-based teaching modules provides a signicant enhancement to the learning of heat exchanger fundamentals. The algorithms themselves are based on the same conservation principles as the more conventional graph-based methods given in common textbooks, and so the computed results of the two approaches tend to be nearly identical. The usage and impact are, however, quite different. In a typical heat-transfer survey course, the instructor might assign a few problems illustrating one or both of the conventional methods, which is sufcient to demonstrate the technique, but without giving a true understanding of the effects of various physical parameters. In the usual approach, an LMTD correction factor or an effectiveness number is obtained from charts or an equation, a number is reported, and the student moves on without pondering the impact of possible changes to the design data. The exploration of a range of parameters can be tedious in itself (although less so using some computerized implementation of the effectiveness NTU relations), and the single parameter returned does not necessarily tell the whole story. Further experience might come in a later elective thermal systems design course, but here as well, the standard calculations generally result in only a single bottomline parameter measuring performance or physical size. Alternatively, the ease of input and the illustrative graphical output of these modules encourage the performance of repeated what-if calculations. The student is aided in seeing the physical impact of design changes. Where a high effectiveness might seem at rst desirable to the beginning student designer, a few test runs using one of our modules will often reveal that, all else being equal, a highly effective design will involve a large amount of underused exchanger area, and thus will probably be uneconomical. Such an observation might ordinarily come only later in a detailed optimization study [8]. Similarly, the effect of an unbalanced ow [9] will be immediately apparent in the relative spacing of the isotherms in a cross-ow design or in the relative

slopes of the temperature prole plots for a 1-D design. Being able to visualize the physics for a vital part of a new design encourages students to formulate hypotheses, run tests, and compare alternative designsa process unlikely to be tried by students using the cumbersome methods of conventional textbooks and software.

Limitations
Obviously, the calculations implemented in these modules are only part of the thermal uids design of a heat exchanger, not to mention the overall mechanical design. For both exchanger ows, the student designer would also need to determine the relevant heat-transfer coefcients, which for a shelland-tube exchanger would depend on geometric parameters such as tube diameter, tube wall thickness, tube pitch, number of tubes and passes, and number of bafes, as well as ow and uid parameters. These same parameters govern the pressure drops for both uids, and thus affect the operating costs of a particular system. Such additional computations, of course, must be done iteratively along with the calculations performed by the two modules discussed here. Modern PC operating systems allow this complexity to be addressed conveniently using a wide selection of standard computational tools such as equation-solving packages, spreadsheets, and high-level programming languages. As we noted earlier, the standard analytical solutions to the governing equationstogether with their normal textbook implementation, whether by manual lookup from graphical charts or by automatic evaluation using fast computers and calculatorsstill contain all the limitations associated with the original pencil-and-paper development. These assumptions include (a) a uniform overall heattransfer coefcient, (b) constant properties for both uids, (c) phase changes restricted to the full length of the exchanger, (d) no axial conduction, (e) no losses to the environment, and (f ) no partial mixing in cross-ow exchangers. We note here that while these effects are not currently included in our two existing software modules, there is no inherent mathematical reason not to incorporate them in the near future. New quantitative measures of heat exchanger performance based on the stream-to-stream temperature difference have recently been proposed by Bejan [9] and Sekulic [10]. Such proposals include the calculation of a number of entropy production units and the enthalpy exchange irreversibility norm. These new measures are also not included in

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either of our existing modules at this time. However, the exibility of the numerical methods used can readily accommodate such innovations as they gain greater acceptance in the engineering community.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Support for the development of the Visual Basic interfaces came from the University of Virginia Teaching and Technology Initiative, an internal program sponsored by the Ofce of the Provost and the Vice-President for Information Technology.

REFERENCES
[1] F. P. Incropera and D. P. DeWitt, Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer, 4th Ed. Wiley, New York, 1996, pp. 581632.

[2] A. F. Mills, Heat and Mass Transfer. Irwin, Chicago, 1995. [3] W. M. Kays and M. E. Crawford, Convective Heat and Mass Transfer, 3rd Ed. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1993, pp. 417442. [4] K. M. Li and A. P. Priddy, Power Plant System Design. Wiley, New York, 1985, pp. 292298. [5] T. E. Diller and P. S. Robinson, Design projects using a realistic heat exchanger design code, presentation for session on heat transfer education, National Heat Transfer Conference, Baltimore, MD, 1997. [6] M. Jakob, Heat Transfer, Vol. II. Wiley, New York, 1957, pp. 230245, 217227. [7] C. Y. Chow, An Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics. Wiley, New York, 1979, pp. 41 44. [8] W. F. Stoecker, Design of Thermal Systems, 2nd Ed. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1980, pp. 131145. [9] A. Bejan, General criterion for rating heat exchanger performance, Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, Vol. 21, 1978, pp. 655658. [10] D. P Sekulic, Entropy generation in a heat exchanger, Heat Transfer Eng., Vol. 7, No. 12, 1986, pp. 8487.

BIOGRAPHIES
Robert J. Ribando joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at the University of Virginia in 1979. Prior to that, he was a member of the research staff of the Engineering Technology Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he worked in liquid metal heat transfer. He holds three degrees in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. Current research and teaching interests are in computational uid dynamics and heat transfer and in computer graphics. His selection as the rst recipient of the Lucien Carr III Chair in Engineering Education in 1992 was to recognize and promote the use of technology in the classroom. In recent years he has been very active in advanced classroom development and in distance education at the university. Susan Carlson-Skalak received her BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, and her MS in mechanical engineering from Clemson University. She then worked for IBM for 6 years, both in manufacturing and marketing. She then earned a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and joined the faculty at the University of Virginia, where she teaches in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering. Her current research interests are in the development of a concurrent engineering methodology for small companies, and in providing a framework for sustainable design using concurrent engineering. Her work is supported through the National Science Foundation and an Industrial Ecology Fellowship from AT&T/Lucent Technology. Gerald W. OLeary is currently a research assistant at the University of Virginia, where he is pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering. His dissertation topic involves the numerical simulation of complex viscous ows in turbomachinery. He has served as teaching assistant and as part-time lecturer for undergraduate courses in heat and mass transfer and for aircraft stability and control. His educational background in mechanical engineering includes the degrees of BS from the University of Notre Dame and ME from the University of Virginia. He has worked as eld engineer in the aerospace industry and as a systems engineer in the defense industry.

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