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The Experimental Investigation of Fouling Phenomenon in Heat Exchangers by Heat Transfer Resistance Monitoring (HTRM) Method

[+] Author Affiliations
M. Izadi, D. K. Aidun, P. Marzocca

Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY

H. Lee

GE Energy, Houston, TX

Paper No. IMECE2009-12524, pp. 1213-1221; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B and C
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4382-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The aim of this paper is to describe a monitoring system for fouling phenomenon in tubular heat exchangers. This system is based on a physical model of the fouling resistance. A mathematical model of the fouling resistance is developed based on the applied thermal heat, the inside heat transfer coefficient, and geometrical characteristics of the heat exchanger under consideration. The resulting model is a function of measured quantities such as water and tube wall temperatures, fluid flow velocities, and some physical properties of the fluid flowing inside the tubes such as viscosity, conductivity, and density. An on-line fouling evaluation system was prepared and the heat transfer resistance for selected solutions was measured in real time by this system. The effect of concentration and chemical reactions on fouling is studied experimentally by using different contaminants such as sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride, and their mixture. Accelerated corrosion was observed for the calcium chloride-0.4g/l solution due to the presence of chlorine ions. This corrosion-fouling can be mitigated by adding sodium bicarbonate. However, calcium carbonate is formed as the result of the chemical reaction between calcium chloride and sodium bicarbonate which activates two other fouling categories, particulate fouling and crystallization. The inside surface of the tube is analyzed by analytical microscopy after the experiment to investigate different fouling categories. Experimental results provide quantitative information of liquid-side fouling on heat transfer surfaces, and its effects on the thermal efficiency. Experimental data is significantly important for the design, and for formulating operating, and cleaning schedules of the equipment.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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