Simulation of Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchanger as a Vapor Control Unit with different baffle angle

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Nattadon Pannucharoenwong
Nattha Kanlayaprasit
Phadungsak Rattanadecho
Ponthep Vengsungnle


The transient behavior of heat exchangers has a dominant impact on the effectiveness of heat transfer in time-dependent thermal systems, especially in financial-limited scenarios and rapid heat sources. The present paper provides computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation for 2D model of shell-and-tube heat exchanger (STHE) in Ansys rendered environment. The tested 1200 mm in length STHE prototype consists of 2 baffles, 14 tubes with shell inside and tube outside diameter of 600 mm and 51 mm. In this simulation, the effect of baffle angles on outlet temperature of cold flow (TC,out), log mean temperature, pressure drop in the cold domain and hot domain were examined. Simulation of three different baffle angles (70, 80, 90˚) revealed that the TC,out was slightly changed and pressure drop in cold and hot domain were quite significant. The log mean temperature difference resulted from alteration of baffle angles from 90 to 70˚ were 91.26, 91.27, and 91.31 K, respectively. From this log mean temperature difference, the overall heat transfer coefficient at baffle angles of 90, 80 and 70˚ were 0.8678, 0.8680 and 0.8700 kW/m2K, respectively. The results demonstrated that using 70o baffle angle can achieve the highest heat transfer efficiency from the largest the LMTD and the overall heat transfer of the heat exchanger. The thermo-hydraulic performance of modeled heat exchanger from the simulation suggested that it can be used instead of the vapor recovery unit (VRU) that is currently employed in petroleum refineries.

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