ESG-10 Parametric Study of Air-Cooler Finned Tube Bundles

S. S. Tung and A. Ganguli

The current HTRI pressure drop and heat transfer correlations for air-cooler finned tubes have been tested against a large data set collected over the past several years. Finned tubes with root diameter or bare tube OD of 0.734 to 2.134 in. were correlated, covering the practical range of industrial applications. A new pressure drop correlation has been developed in this study, while the previous heat transfer correlation was again recommended.

Effects of various finned tube design parameters on the thermal-hydraulic performance of a tube bundle were studied through an example of an isothermal condenser. In general, it was found that a higher thermal efficiency is possible if the exchanger is operated at a lower air face velocity. However, the gain in thermal efficiency will be offset by an increase in the required exchanger size for a given heat duty. Economic considerations, which are outside the scope of the present study, will eventually dictate the final selection of an air-cooled heat exchanger.