The transverse velocity of the condensing phase during dehumidification is analogous to the transverse velocity at the wall when exercising boundary layer control by fluid extraction through a permeable wall. Wet and dry pressure drop and heat transfer rates are analyzed for correlation using boundary layer suction theory. Data are presented for flat-plate finned-tube heat exchangers during air heating and dehumidification operations and the data show a significant effect of transverse velocity correlated by the boundary layer suction formulation. The condensate film is considered isothermal in this analysis and the results indicate that an improved modeling of the condensate film is required. We find that the transverse velocity of the condensing phase has an important effect on transport phenomena during dehumidification and that the validity of the Chilton–Colburn heat and mass transfer analogy in describing dehumidification is supported by these results. It should be noted that the dry data form the beginning of a plate fin heat exchanger data base. The present data show the effect of tube diameter and, independently, fin density variation on the Colburn and friction factors with all other geometric parameters held invariant.

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