Prediction of condenser bundle performance is of great interest to chiller design engineers and tube developers as well. Depending on their locations in a condenser bundle, tubes are subjected to inundation or flooding of condensate coming from those above them. The tubes located in the top portion of the bundle are not or slightly inundated whereas the tubes located deep in the bundle experience larger degree of inundation; those in the bundle bottom are the most severely inundated. For a condenser bundle to have good performance, it is necessary for the tubes to perform well in both non-inundated and inundated conditions. In this paper, the outside condensation heat transfer coefficient and its sensitivity to inundation for a condenser tube of enhanced 3-dimensional (3D) outside fins were measured. Based on the single tube measurements, shell side condensation performance of a condenser bundle was predicted. The predicted bundle outside heat transfer coefficient has a reasonable agreement with that of a condenser tested in a 500-ton chiller.

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