Thermoeconomic Optimization of an Air-Cooled Tube-Bank Condenser
Mendoza Munoz, D.F.
Guzman Reyes, G.
Lopez De Haro, M.
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How to Cite

Mendoza Munoz D., Guzman Reyes G., Lopez De Haro M., 2015, Thermoeconomic Optimization of an Air-Cooled Tube-Bank Condenser, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 43, 1171-1176.
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A model of an air-cooled condenser consisting of a tube bank in different flow conditions is analyzed. The phase change of the condensing fluid inside the tubes, in this case refrigerant R-134a, is explicitly considered in the heat transfer process. Use is also made of existing correlations to estimate the pressure drop at the interior and the exterior of the tube bank and the heat transfer coefficients both between the fluid and the tube wall and between the tube wall and the surrounding air. The entropy generation minimization method is applied to this system leading to an optimal thermodynamic design. This involves the air speed, the tube bank configuration (either in line or staggered), the spacing between adjacent tubes, the tube diameters and the area required for a specific condensation duty. The previous design is subsequently combined with a cost analysis to construct an objective function for the final thermoeconomic optimization of the condenser. The results suggest that the major source of irreversibility is in the air at the exterior of the tubes and that the most influential variables on the performance of the system are the air speed and the configuration of the bank.
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