Research Update: Thermal Performance of New Welded-plate Heat Exchanger
In an experimental, sponsored research program, HTRI investigated the thermal and hydraulic characteristics of a welded plate heat exchanger (WPHE). We conducted liquid-phase, flow boiling, and condensation experiments in a WPHE provided by Hisaka Works, Ltd.
These data, together with single-phase and phase-change data from other commercially available chevron-type plate heat exchangers, provide us a strong foundation for developing generalized heat transfer and pressure drop methods for corrugated crisscross channels.
In this presentation, we discuss our analysis of the data. We demonstrate thermal stratification of liquid flow and liquid-vapor and temperature maldistribution of horizontal flow boiling in vertical channels. Because software specific to modeling cross flow of hot and cold streams in WPHEs was not available, we used Xphe to estimate thermal predictions. Using a countercurrent arrangement—and without accounting for the impact of cross flow or maldistribution—Xphe predicts most of the data within reasonable ranges. However, the current phase-change methods in Xphe do require some improvement before they apply to all plate heat exchangers with corrugated crisscross channels.