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International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy    

E-Proceedings ISBN: 978-1-912532-05-6

St Cross College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom



Application of Liquid-separation Condensation in Plate Condenser



Jianyong Chen, Kangda Zhu, Chen Ying and Xianglong Luo

School of Material and Energy, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, China



Paper Abstract

Plate heat exchanger is characterized by compactness, flexible thermal size, small temperature difference between fluids and high heat transfer performance, and therefore has been used in a wide variety of applications. Nowadays, it is receiving increasing attentions in two-phase flow applications. When it is used as a condenser, vapor is converted to liquid and normally flows downwardly. One issue has to be pointed out is that the condensate unaviodably accumulates at the lower part of the channel where the liquid film is rather thick, leading to very high thermal and hydraulic resistance, i.e. lower heat transfer coefficient and larger pressure drop. Although enhancements of plate condenser have been proposed by changing chevron types and corrugation patterns to facilitate the condensate flow passing through, the condensate is still in the flow channels. Thus these proposals could not effectively solve the inherent problems related to the condensate accumulation and the worsen performance at the plate end.

Liquid-separation condensation is a technology that is able to improve the condenser performance by removing the condensate through liquid-vapor separators. Its ability of improving heat transfer coefficient and reducing pressure drop simultaneously has been demonstrated in fin-and-tube condenser. The objective of this paper is to employ liquid-separation condensation in  plate condenser. A conceptual liquid-separation plate condenser (LSPC) is proposed. The whole plate is divided into two segments. In other words, the condensate is drained out only once via the vapor-liquid separator during the entire condensation. In the first segment, the vapor is partially condensed. Then the liquid is removed, leaving the vapor to be continuingly condensed in the second segment where the gap between the plates is narrowed to ensure the reasonable mass flux within. Since the vapor quality and mass flow rate are not continuously changed, a mathematical model is developed for performance assessment of LSPC. R410A is used in the calculation. The results are compared to the conventional plate condenser with identical heat transfer area but without liquid separation. It is found that the performance of LSPC is superior to the conventional one. The working characteristics are significantly relevant to the location of the vapor-liquid separator.

The further work and challenges can be addressed on how to design of the liquid-vapor separators in the narrow channels to only remove the liquid efficiently, and how to integrate into the entire plate. 

Paper Keywords
Plate condenser; Liquid-separation condensation; R410A, performance.
Corresponding author Biography
Dr. Jianyong Chen got his Ph.D at Royal Institute of Technology-KTH, Stockholm, Sweden in 2015. After that, he has been working as a lecturer and researcher at Guangdong University of Technology, Guangdong, China. His research interests include ejector applications, energy saving in thermal systems, heat transfer enhancement technologies, etc. His recent research is more focusing on applying vapor-liquid separation in the condenser and evaporator in terms of fin-and-tube, tube-and-shell, plate heat exchanger, for performance improvements.

The International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’18)