Atkins, M. J., Neale, J. R., Walmsley, M. R. W., Walmsley, T. G., & De Leon, G. (2014). Flow maldistribution in industrial air heaters and its effect on heat transfer. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 39(Special Issue), 295–300. http://doi.org/10.3303/CET1439050
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8896
Flow maldistribution in cross-flow heat exchangers used for industrial air heaters or recuperators is fairly common and can lead to a number of undesirable effects, one of which is deterioration in the thermal performance. The effect of gross flow maldistribution and the improvement in the thermal performance of flow correction guide vanes is investigated using a laboratory heat exchanger apparatus. The thermal performance deterioration from maldistribution was up to around 30 %. Modest improvements in the overall heat transfer coefficient and heat exchanger effectiveness when vanes were used was found for the range of air-side Reynolds numbers tested. Vanes were found to reduce the deterioration in thermal performance by up to 60 % compared to a perfectly uniform flow situation. Based on the ε-NTU correlations the thermal performance deterioration is predicted to decrease as the number of tube rows (i.e. NTU) increases. The effective heat transfer area and therefore thermal performance of industrial air heaters and recuperators can be improved by using flow correction devices, such as guide vanes.
This article has been published in the journal: Chemical Engineering Transactions. Copyright © 2014, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.. Used with permission.