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A Simplified Thermodynamic Analysis of a LiBr-H2O Vertical Tube Absorber

[+] Author Affiliations
E. D. Rogdakis, V. D. Papaefthimiou

National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Paper No. IMECE2002-39118, pp. 455-462; 8 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advanced Energy Systems
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3626-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


One of the most important components of an absorption air-conditioning/heat pump system is the absorber, where the refrigerant water vapour is absorbed into the liquid solution. While absorption systems have been in use for several years, the complex transport phenomena occurring in the absorber are not fully elucidated yet. Thus, an attempt is made to model the absorption process of water vapour in aqueous solutions of lithium bromide considering a falling-film, vertical-tube absorber. The proposed analysis is based on the formulation of four differential equations describing the spatial variation (parallel to the tube-axis) of solution mass, temperature, mass fraction and coolant temperature. The system of ordinary differential equations is numerically solved using a non-stiff numerical method. Thermophysical properties and especially, heat and mass transfer coefficients are calculated using widely-accepted and reliable relationships, which are extracted from the literature using recently published information on wavy-laminar flows. In the present study, the questionable assumption of treating the water vapour as an ideal gas is heavily modified utilizing. Consequently, the hypothesis of saturated water vapour at the steam-solution interaction surface is revised by introducing an energy difference between the superheated steam and the liquid water within the binary solution. The last correction encouraged us to compare theoretical results for solution temperature, mass fraction and mass flow rate, which were obtained using both assumptions. It was proved that the initial treatment causes an underestimation of the absorbed steam mass and correspondingly, an underestimation of solution temperature and mass fraction at the mass exchange interface. An attempt is made also to identify the effect of mass transfer coefficient on the effectiveness of the absorption process and on the energy differences between the superheated steam and the liquid water either as pure substance or as component of the binary mixture. It was shown that the increase of mass transfer coefficient leads to an increase of steam mass transfer rate and to a corresponding decrease of solution temperature slope at the entrance of a tube. Correspondingly, the increase of mass transfer coefficient results in an increase of heat of absorption and heat of dilution at the same variation range of the solution mass fraction.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Water



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