A detailed experimental study on flow maldistribution from port to channel of a plate heat exchanger is presented. In general, flow maldistribution brings about an increase in pressure drop across the heat exchanger. This increase is found to depend on flow rate, number of channels and port size. Experiments show that analytical predictions of pressure drop including maldistribution effect are quite accurate for practical purposes. The results indicate that under identical conditions, maldistribution is more severe in Z-type plate heat exchanger compared to U type. Experiments are also carried out under non-isothermal realistic operating conditions, which show increased flow maldistribution at elevated temperature. Finally predictions are made for industrial plate heat exchangers, which show the limitation of adding additional plates beyond a certain limit. An insight to the physical aspects of maldistribution and its possible reduction through proper design strategy is also indicated.
An Experimental Study on the Influence of Flow Maldistribution on the Pressure Drop Across a Plate Heat Exchanger
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Fluids Engineering Division February 21, 2003; revised manuscript received March 4, 2004. Associate Editor: M. V. O¨tu¨gen.
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Rao , B. P., and Das, S. K. (September 10, 2004). "An Experimental Study on the Influence of Flow Maldistribution on the Pressure Drop Across a Plate Heat Exchanger ." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. July 2004; 126(4): 680–691. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1779664
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