Abstract

Empirical/semi-empirical correlations are available in the literature to quantify the effect of several major parameters, like bulk pressure, non-condensable gas mass fraction, and wall subcooling, on condensation heat transfer coefficient (HTC). However, despite numerous applications of condensation on inclined flat plates, there is a lack of understanding of the effect of surface inclination on condensation heat transfer. Accordingly, a dedicated experimental program was undertaken to investigate the effect of surface inclination angle on filmwise steam condensation. Experiments were performed at different bulk pressures (1.7–4.2 bar absolute) and steam-air mass fractions (ranging from pure steam, i.e., 0% to 40% w/w air), with the steam-air mixture flowing over a flat test plate (Re range, 4200–4800). In each run, the inclination angle of the test surface was varied from −90 deg (condensation underneath the horizontal surface, facing downward) to +90 deg (condensation over the horizontal surface, facing upward) in increments of 15–20 deg (inclination angle θ measured from vertical). The results reveal an intriguing trend: for pure steam condensation, the HTCs decrease as the plate is inclined in either direction from the vertical, and the variation is nearly symmetric for both upward- and downward-facing configurations. On the other hand, for steam condensation in the presence of air, the HTCs decrease monotonically for upward-facing configurations, while they increase slightly (10–20%), and decrease subsequently (for θ < −70 deg) for downward-facing cases. Finally, the HTCs for inclined orientations are compared with the HTC in the standard vertical configuration to quantify the effect of inclination angle.

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