Thermal Design Of Evaporators

Heat duties of evaporator heating surfaces are usually determined by conventional heat and material balance calculations. Heating surface areas are normally, but not always taken as those in contact with the material being evaporated. It is the heat transfer A T that presents the most difficulty in deriving or applying heat-transfer coefficients. The total A T between heat source and heat sink is never all available for heat transfer. Since energy usually is carried to and from an evaporator body or effect by condensible vapors, loss in pressure represents a loss in AT. Such losses include pressure drop through entrainment separators, friction in vapor piping, and acceleration losses into and out of the piping. The latterloss has often been overlooked, even though it can be many times greater than the friction loss. Similarly, friction and acceleration losses past the heating surface, such as in a falling film evaporator, cause a loss of A T that may or may not have been included in the heat transfer A T when reporting experimental results. Boiling-point rise, the difference between the boiling point of the solution and the condensing point of the solvent at the same pressure, is another loss. Experimental data are almost always corrected for boiling-point rise, but plant data are suspect when based on temperature measurements because vapor at the point of measurement may still contain some superheat, which represents but a very small fraction of the heat given up when the vapor condenses but may represent a substantial fraction of the actual net A T available for heat transfer. A AT loss that must be considered in forced-circulation evaporators is that due to temperature rise through the heater, a consequence of the heat being absorbed there as sensible heat. A further loss may occur when the heater effluent flashes as it enters the vapor-liquid separator. Some of the liquid may not reach the surface and flash to equilibrium with the vapor pressure in the separator, instead of recirculating to the heater, raising the average temperature at which heat is absorbed and further reducing the net A T. Whether or not these A T losses are allowed for in the heat-transfer coefficients reported depends on the method of measurement. Simply basing the liquid temperature on the measured vapor head pressure may ignore both—or only the latter if temperature rise through the heater is estimated separately from known heat input and circulation rate. In general, when calculating overall heat-transfer coefficients from individual-film coefficients, all of these losses must be allowed for, while when using reported overall coefficients care must be exercised to determine which losses may already have been included in the heat transfer A T.

Forced-Circulation Evaporators In evaporators of this type in which hydrostatic head prevents boiling at the heating surface, heat-

transfer coefficients can be predicted from the usual correlations for condensing steam (Fig. 5-10) and forced-convection sensible heating [Eq. (5-50)]. The liquid film coefficient is improved if boiling is not completely suppressed. When only the film next to the wall is above the boiling point, Boarts, Badger, and Meisenberg [Ind. Eng. Chem., 29, 912 (1937)] found that results could be correlated by Eq. (5-50) by using a constant of 0.0278 instead of 0.023. In such cases, the course of the liquid temperature can still be calculated from known circulation rate and heat input.

When the bulk of the liquid is boiling in part of the tube length, the film coefficient is even higher. However, the liquid temperature starts dropping as soon as full boiling develops, and it is difficult to estimate the course of the temperature curve. It is certainly safe to estimate heat transfer on the basis that no bulk boiling occurs. Fragen and Badger [Ind. Eng. Chem., 28, 534 (1936)] obtained an empirical correlation of overall heat-transfer coefficients in this type of evaporator, based on the AT at the heater inlet:

In U.S. customary units

where D = mean tube diameter, Vs = inlet velocity, L = tube length, and |t = liquid viscosity. This equation is based primarily on experiments with copper tubes of 0.022 m (8/8 in) outside diameter, 0.00165 m (16 gauge), 2.44 m (8 ft) long, but it includes some work with 0.0127-m (a-in) tubes 2.44 m (8 ft) long and 0.0254-m (1-in) tubes 3.66 m (12 ft) long.

Long-Tube Vertical Evaporators In the rising-film version of this type of evaporator, there is usually a nonboiling zone in the bottom section and a boiling zone in the top section. The length of the nonboiling zone depends on heat-transfer characteristics in the two zones and on pressure drop during two-phase flow in the boiling zone. The work of Martinelli and coworkers [Lockhart and Martinelli, Chem. Eng. Prog., 45, 39-48 (January 1949); and Martinelli and Nelson, Trans. Am. Soc. Mech. Eng., 70, 695-702 (August 1948)] permits a prediction of pressure drop, and a number of correlations are available for estimating film coefficients of heat transfer in the two zones. In estimating pressure drop, integrated curves similar to those presented by Martinelli and Nelson are the easiest to use. The curves for pure water are shown in Figs. 11-18 and 11-19, based on the assumption that the flow of both vapor and liquid would be turbulent if each were flowing alone in the tube. Similar curves can be prepared if one or both flows are laminar or if the properties of the liquid differ appreciably from the properties of pure water. The acceleration pressure drop AP„ is calculated from the equation

Cooling Curve Water And Alcohol

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  • Carlo
    What is water chiller evaporator overall heat transfer coefficient?
    8 years ago

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