Condensation heat transfer and pressure drop of propane in vertical minichannels
Murphy, Daniel Lawrence
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Heat transfer and pressure drop during condensation of propane flowing through minichannels is investigated in this study. Studies of condensation of hydrocarbons are important for applications in the petrochemical industry. Insights into the mechanisms of propane condensation are required for accurate design of heat transfer equipment for use in hydrocarbon processing. At present, there is very little research on vertical condensation, especially of hydrocarbons, for the tube sizes and flow conditions of interest to the present study. An experimental facility was designed and fabricated to measure the frictional pressure drop and heat transfer coefficients during condensation of propane in plain tubes with an inner diameter of 1.93 mm. Measurements were taken across the vapor-liquid dome in nominal quality increments of 0.25 for two saturation temperatures (47°C and 74°C) and four mass flux conditions (75 – 150 kg m‾² s‾¹). The data were compared to the predictions of relevant correlations in the literature. The data from this study were also used to develop models for the frictional pressure drop and heat transfer coefficient based on the measurements and the underlying condensation mechanisms. These results and the corresponding correlations contribute to the understanding of condensation of hydrocarbons in vertical minichannels.