Prediction of effective heat transfer coefficients for vapour condensation inside horizontal tubes in stratified phase flow

  • Volodymyr Sereda
  • Volodymyr Rifert
  • Vadym Gorin
  • Petro Barabash
Keywords: condensation, heat transfer, heat exchanger, plain tube, stratified flow


In modern condensers of air conditioning systems, heat pumps, evaporators of seawater desalination systems, and heaters of power plants, the process of vapour condensation is carried out mainly inside the horizontal tubes and channels. Heat transfer processes occurring in condensers have a significant effect on the overall energy efficiency of the mentioned systems. In this paper, the experimental investigation of heat transfer during condensation of freons R22, R406a, and R407c in the plain smooth tube with d = 17 mm were carried out with the following parameters: ts = 35–40°C, G = 10–100 kg/(m2s), x = 0.8–0.1, q = 5–50 kW/m2, ΔT = 4–14 K. The unique measurements of circumferential heat fluxes and heat transfer coefficients were carried out with the thick wall method during different condensation modes. It can be inferred that with the increase of the heat flux, at the top part of the tube the thickness of the condensate film increases, which leads to the decrease in heat transfer. At the bottom of the tube, the increase in the heat flux enhances heat transfer coefficient, that is characteristic of the turbulent liquid flow in the tube. The obtained results allowed improving the prediction of effective heat transfer coefficients for vapour condensation, which takes into account the influence of condensate flow in the lower part of the tube on the heat transfer. This method generalises with sufficient accuracy (error ± 30%) the experimental data on condensation of freons R22, R134a, R123, R125, R32, R410a, propane, isobutene, propylene, dimethyl ether, carbon dioxide, and methane under stratified flow conditions. Using this method for designing heat exchangers, which utilise such types of fluids, will increase the efficiency of thermal energy systems.