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Case Studies in Thermal Engineering 10 (2017) 73–78

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Case Studies in Thermal Engineering


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/csite

Optimal and critical values of geometrical parameters of shell and


helically coiled tube heat exchangers
MARK

Ashkan Alimoradi , Farzad Veysi
Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

AR TI CLE I NF O AB S T R A CT

Keywords: In the present study, calculations of the heat transfer and entropy generation have been
Heat exchanger performed for the steady state forced convection heat transfer in shell and helically coiled tube
Heat transfer heat exchangers. The effect of geometrical parameters of the heat exchanger including: tube
Entropy generation diameter (dt), coil diameter (dc), diameter of the inlet of shell (dv), shell diameter (dsh), height of
Optimal
the coil (Hc), height of the shell (Hsh), pitch (p) and the distance between the inlet and outlet of
Critical
the shell (f) on the heat transfer rate and entropy generation has been investigated simulta-
neously. The critical and optimal values of these parameters have been obtained which minimize
and maximize the COD (heat transfer rate per entropy generation), respectively.

1. Introduction

Heat exchangers are one of the key components in many industrial application like: HVAC, petroleum process, refrigeration, food
preparation and etc. shell and helically coiled tube heat exchangers which usually consist of helical coiled tube and a cylindrical shell,
are one of the most widely used heat exchangers in that mentioned applications. There are numerous studies about the heat transfer
process in these types of heat exchangers. Many researchers [1–10] proposed equations for calculation of the heat transfer rates of
inner and outer side of the coil or the heat exchanger efficiency as functions of geometrical as well as operational parameters of the
heat exchanger. Also there are some studies which investigate the second law of thermodynamics and entropy generation in these
types of heat exchangers. Ko [11] studied steady, laminar, fully developed forced convection heat transfer in a shell and helically
coiled tube heat exchangers. He suggested an equation which determine the optimal curvature ratio based on the minimum entropy
generation principle. Sasmito et al. [12] numerically investigated the effect of various cross sections geometries (i.e. circular, ellipse
and square) on the heat transfer rate and entropy generation in a shell and helically coiled tube heat exchanger. Ahadi et al. [13]
analyzed combined effects of length and heat flux of the coil as well as the effects of temperature dependence of thermo physical
properties on the entropy generation rates and optimal operation in shell and helically coiled tube heat exchangers. Then, by using
the minimal entropy generation principle, the inlet Reynolds number is optimized. Also they found that the entropy generation rates
are highly dependent on the combined effects of length and heat flux of the coil. Huminic et al. [14] studied the laminar flow regime
heat transfer and entropy generation inside a helically coiled tube-in-tube heat exchanger by using two different types of nano-fluids.
Results show that, the use of nano-fluids in a helically coiled tube-in-tube heat exchanger improves the heat transfer performances
and leads to reduction of the entropy generation. Abdous et al. [15] studied the entropy generation in the helically coiled tube under
flow boiling. They found the optimum tube and coil diameters. The effect of different flow conditions such as mass velocity, inlet
vapor quality, saturation temperature, and heat flux on contributions of pressure drop and heat transfer in entropy generation was
discussed. The entropy generation analysis shows that there is a favorable region to use the helically coiled tube with respect to the


Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: alimoradi.ashkan@stu.razi.ac.ir, Ashkan_alimoradi@yahoo.com (A. Alimoradi), veysi_farzad@yahoo.com, veysi@razi.ac.ir (F. Veysi).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csite.2017.03.003
Received 19 December 2016; Received in revised form 23 January 2017; Accepted 19 March 2017
Available online 23 March 2017
2214-157X/ © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
A. Alimoradi, F. Veysi Case Studies in Thermal Engineering 10 (2017) 73–78

Nomenclature S°gen Entropy generation rate (W/K)


T temperature (K)
Q heat transfer rate (W)
c specific heat capacity (J/kg°C) Subscripts
COD Coefficient of design (K)
d diameter (m) c coil
f distance between inlet and outlet of the shell (m) in inlet
H height (m) out outlet
m°c mass flow rate (kg/s) sh shell
p pitch (m) v shell inlet

straight one. Arabkoohsar et al. [16] found the optimal geometry and operational conditions of tube-in-tube helically coiled heat
exchangers for both laminar and turbulent flows based on the second law of thermodynamics. First, they derived a dimensionless
function for entropy generation number as a function of four dimensionless variables, i.e. Prandtl number, Dean number, the ratio of
helical pipe diameter to the tube diameter and the duty parameter of heat exchanger. Then entropy generation number was
minimized to develop analytical expressions for the optimal values of that mentioned parameters.
In this study, the effect of all geometrical parameters of the cylindrical shell and helically coiled tube heat exchangers on the heat
transfer and entropy generation rate will be obtained. Then the optimum values of these parameters which maximize the heat transfer
rate and minimize the entropy generation rate will be found. According to literature review, this investigation was not performed for
these special types of shell and helically coiled tube heat exchangers. Also there are some new geometrical parameters in this study
which their effect and optimum values have not been obtained already.

2. Heat exchanger specification and applied equations

The heat exchanger with its geometrical parameters has been shown in Fig. .1. The range of change of these parameters has been
shown in Table 1. The reason for selecting these ranges is that, the most producer companies design these types of heat exchangers, in
that mentioned range. For example, SENTRY produce models (TLR and FLR) of shell and helically coiled tube heat exchanger for
cooling applications. The dimensions of these heat exchangers are as follows: dt=6.35 and 9.5 mm, dc=108 and 133 mm, dsh=124
and 143 mm, dv=12.7 and 19.05 mm, f=283 and 337 mm, p=10 and 14.92 mm, Hc=169 and 205 mm and Hsh=283 and 337 mm,
respectively [17]. As it can be seen from Table 2, most dimensionless geometrical parameters of these two models are in the range of
the present work. In the previous work [1], the heat transfer phenomena in these heat exchangers was studied by using a numerical
code with the following specification:

a) The standard K-ε model for simulation of the turbulence.


b) The SIMPLE algorithm as the pressure and velocity coupling scheme.
c) First order Upwind as discretization scheme for momentum, K-ε and energy equations.
d) Water as the working fluid with its temperature dependent properties.

Fig. 1. Geometry of the heat exchanger.

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A. Alimoradi, F. Veysi Case Studies in Thermal Engineering 10 (2017) 73–78

Table 1
Ranges of the geometrical parameters [1].

Parameters Values (m)

dt 0.007, 0.008, 0.01, 0.011, 0.013, 0.016


dc 0.06, 0.07, 0.08, 0.10
dsh 0.10, 0.12, 0.14, 0.16, 0.22
dv 0.01, 0.015, 0.02, 0.025, 0.03
Hc 0.12, 0.14, 0.16, 0.18, 0.20
Hsh 0.24, 0.28, 0.32, 0.36, 0.40
p 0.0154, 0.02, 0.022, 0.025, 0.033, 0.04
f 0.12, 0.144, 0.20, 0.22, 0.251

Also this model was validated by use of an experimental set-up for the following ranges of the geometrical parameters:
6 < dc / dt < 10

10 < dsh / dt < 22

12 < Hc / dt < 20

24 < Hsh / dt < 40

1 < d v / dt < 3

12 < f / dt < 25.1

2 < p / dt < 4

The data of that work including: mass flow rates and inlet/outlet temperatures of the both shell and coil sides, are used in the
present study for calculation of the heat transfer and entropy generation rate.

3. Calculation of the heat transfer and entropy generation rate

The heat transfer and entropy generation rate will be obtained according to the following equations:
Q = ṁ c c (Tin, c − Tout , c ) = ṁ sh c (Tout , sh − Tin, sh ) (1)

⎛ ⎞ ⎛ ⎞
̇ = ṁ c cln ⎜ Tout , c ⎟ + ṁ sh cln ⎜ Tout , sh ⎟
Sgen
⎝ in, c ⎠
T ⎝ in, sh ⎠
T (2)

The designers of the heat exchangers desire to model a heat exchanger which has the maximum heat transfer rate and minimum
entropy generation rate. Thus the definition of the following parameter as the coefficient of design (COD) is reasonable:
̇
COD = Q / Sgen (3)

The geometrical parameters can be effective on this parameter. Therefore, to investigate the effect of geometrical parameters on
the COD, they will be changed according to Table 1 while for all cases the inlet velocity of both sides was considered 1 m/s and the
inlet temperature of coil side and shell side was considered 90 and 20 °C, respectively. These parameters can be reduced to the
following dimensionless parameters (which COD is a function of them):
⎛p H d H d ⎞
COD = Function ⎜ , c , c , sh , v ⎟
⎝ dt f dt dsh f ⎠ (4)

The optimal and critical values of these dimensionless parameters will be obtained which maximize and minimize the heat COD,
respectively.

Table 2
Ranges of geometrical parameters of SENTRY heat exchangers versus the present work.

Dimensionless parameters TLR model FLR model Present work ranges Models that are in the present ranges

p/dt 1.57 1.57 1.54–5.714 Both


dc/dt 17 14 6–10 None
Hc/f 0.597 0.608 0.479–1.667 Both
Hsh/dsh 2.282 2.356 1.091–3.333 Both
dv/f 0.045 0.057 0.04–0.129 Both

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A. Alimoradi, F. Veysi Case Studies in Thermal Engineering 10 (2017) 73–78

4. Results and discussions

Figs. 2–3 show the effect of the dimensionless geometrical parameters on the heat transfer rate (Q), entropy generation rate (S°gen)
and the coefficient of design (COD). The following results can be obtained from these figures:
Fig. 2a shows that, with increase of (dsh) the heat transfer rate decreases (this is probably because, with increase of dsh, the
existing gap between coil and shell increases. This leads to decrease of the effective velocity of the fluid adjacent the outer side of the
coil which results in lower heat transfer). The heat transfer also decreases with increase of Hsh according to this figure. Also it can be
found from Fig. 2c that, with increase of the shell height, the entropy generation rate decreases while, it has not a regular changes
with increase of the shell diameter. According to these results, it seems that, an optimum point may be exists for COD as a function of
the ratio of these two parameters. As it can be seen from Fig. 3a, when Hsh/dsh is equal to 2.4, the COD is optimum.
According to Fig. 2a-b it can be found that, (dv) and (f) have a regular effect on the heat transfer rate. With increase of both of
them, the heat transfer rate increases. The reason of enhancement of heat transfer rate with increasing of dv is that, with increase of
dv, the mass flow rate of the shell side increases (because the inlet velocity has been kept constant) which leads to the higher heat
transfer rate. Also the reason of enhancement of heat transfer rate with increase of f is that, with increase of f, the fluid particles have
more time for transferring energy.
Furthermore, Fig. 2c-d show that, the entropy generation rate will generally increase with increase of (dv) while, with increase of
(f), first decreases until a minimum point (at f=0.22 m) and then increases. It can be found from Fig. 3b that, the optimum and
critical values of COD will occur at (dv/f) equal to 0.107 and 0.083, respectively.
With referring again to Fig. 2b and d, the effect of (p) and (dt) on the heat transfer and entropy generation rate can be obtained.
According to Fig. 2b, with increase of the pitch and decrease of the tube diameter, the heat transfer rate decreases uniformly. The
reason of enhancement of heat transfer rate with decrease of dt is that with decrease of dt, the mass flow rate of the coil side decreases
(because the inlet velocity has been kept constant) which leads to the lower heat transfer rate. Also increase of the pitch size results in
decrease of the effective velocity of the fluid adjacent the outer side of the coil and thus decrease of heat transfer rate.
It can be seen from Fig. 2d that, with increase of dt, the entropy generation rate increases uniformly (as mentioned with increase
of tube diameter, the mass flow rate increases and thus the entropy generation rate increases according to Eq. (2)). Also it can be
found from this figure that, the maximum entropy generation rate will occur at p=22 mm. The effect of (p/dt) on the COD has been
shown in Fig. 3c. As it can be seen, the optimum value of (p/dt) is equal to 1.54 while the critical value will occur in the following

Fig. 2. Effect of geometrical parameters on the heat transfer and entropy generation rate.

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Fig. 3. Effect of geometrical parameters on the COD.

Table 3
Optimum and critical values of dimensionless geometrical parameters.

Dimensionless geometrical parameters Lower limit Upper limit Optimum value Critical value

Hsh/dsh 1.091 3.333 2.4 1.091


dv/f 0.04 0.129 0.107 0.083
p/dt 1.54 5.714 1.54 3.077 < p/dt < 4
Hc/f 0.479 1.667 0.909 0.479
dc/dt 6 10 10 7

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A. Alimoradi, F. Veysi Case Studies in Thermal Engineering 10 (2017) 73–78

range: 3.077 < (p/dt) < 4.


A similar process is done to investigate the effect of (Hc) and (dc) on the heat transfer and entropy generation rate. Based on
Fig. 2a and c, it is obvious that, the heat transfer rate increases uniformly with increase of (dc) (this is probably because, with increase
of dc, the existing gap between coil and shell decreases, which results in higher heat transfer rate) and entropy generation rate is
maximum when (dc) is equal to 7 cm. So according to Eq. (3), the COD is probably minimum (critical point) when (dc/dt) is equal to 7
which can be seen in Fig. 3d. Also the value of optimum (dc/dt) can be obtained from this figure which is equal to 10.
A similar situation exists for (Hc). According to Fig. 2a and c, it can be seen that, the heat transfer rate increases uniformly with
increase of (Hc) (this is because, with increase of the height of the coil, the heat transfer surface area increases which leads to higher
heat transfer rate) and entropy generation rate is maximum when (Hc) is equal to 18 cm. After testing several parameters for
dimensionless out the Hc, it was found that (f) is the best parameter which results more logical optimum and critical point than
others. As it can be seen from Fig. 3e, the optimum value of COD will occur at Hc/f equals to 0.909.
These results are summarized in Table 3. In this table, the optimal and critical values of the dimensionless geometrical parameters
(for the studied ranges) can be seen. The designer of this heat exchanger can use this useful table during the designing process.

5. Conclusions

In this work, by using numerical and experimental data, the heat transfer and entropy generation rate have been calculated for
forced convection heat transfer in shell and helically coiled tube heat exchangers (which water is selected as the working fluid for its
both sides). The optimal and critical values of dimensionless geometrical parameters (i.e. p/dt, Hc/f, Hsh/dsh, dc/dt and dv/f) which
maximize the hat transfer and minimize entropy generation rate (which are desired in design process) have been obtained.

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