Abstract

Coiled finned-tube heat exchangers, also called Collins type heat exchangers, are frequently used in small to medium scale cryogenic systems to improve design packaging (compactness) while maintaining high thermal effectiveness. A typical heat exchanger assembly of this kind consists of an inner cylindrical shell, called the mandrel, with helical finned-tube coils wrapped around it, and then enclosed by an outer shell. One flow paths is through the helically wrapped tube, and the other flow path through annular flow region of the tubes. These are also known as tube and shell streams, respectively. An accurate description of the shell-side thermal-hydraulic flow characteristics is a necessary part of the heat exchanger design. In this paper, these characteristics for cryogenic gaseous nitrogen, between 300 to 100 K, are numerically investigated. A computational fluid dynamics model of the shell-side geometry is developed and validated. Simulations are carried out for a wide range of flow conditions. Data obtained from the numerical simulations are used to form correlations between the shell-side Reynolds number (Re), Fanning friction factor (f), and Chilton-Colburn factor (j). In addition, the effect of geometrical variance on the correlation was investigated. The results from this study show reasonable agreement with experimental data.

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