Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Evaluation of Heat and Mass Transfer Models for Sizing Low-Temperature Kalina Cycle Microchannel Condensers

[+] Author and Article Information
Brian M. Fronk

School of Mechanical, Industrial
and Manufacturing Engineering,
Oregon State University,
204 Rogers Hall,
Corvallis, OR 97331
e-mail: Brian.Fronk@oregonstate.edu

Kyle R. Zada

School of Mechanical, Industrial
and Manufacturing Engineering,
Oregon State University,
204 Rogers Hall,
Corvallis, OR 97331
e-mail: zadak@oregonstate.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received October 23, 2015; final manuscript received June 28, 2016; published online August 17, 2016. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(2), 022002 (Aug 17, 2016) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-15-1398; doi: 10.1115/1.4034229 History: Received October 23, 2015; Revised June 28, 2016

Waste heat driven ammonia/water Kalina cycles have shown promise for improving the efficiency of electricity production from low-temperature reservoirs (T < 150 °C). However, there has been limited application of these systems to utilize widely available, disperse, waste heat streams for smaller scale power production (1–10 kWe). Factors limiting increased deployment of these systems include large, costly heat exchangers, and concerns over safety of the working fluid. The use of mini- and microchannel (D < 1 mm) heat exchangers has the potential to decrease system size and material cost, while also reducing the working fluid inventory, enabling penetration of Kalina cycles into these new markets. However, accurate methods of predicting the heat and mass transfer in microscale geometries must be available for designing and optimizing these compact heat exchangers. In the present study, the effect of different heat and mass transfer models on the calculated Kalina cycle condenser size is investigated at representative system conditions. A detailed heat exchanger model for a liquid-coupled microchannel ammonia/water condenser is developed. The heat exchanger is sized using different predictive methods to provide the required heat transfer area for a 1 kWe Kalina system with a source and sink temperature of 150 °C and 20 °C, respectively. The results show that for the models considered, predicted heat exchanger size can vary by up to 58%. Based on prior experimental results, a nonequilibrium approach is recommended to provide the most accurate, economically sized ammonia/water condenser.

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Fig. 1

Kalina cycle schematic

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Fig. 2

Schematic of coupled heat and mass transfer resistances during zeotropic condensation

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Fig. 3

Kalina cycle simulated efficiency versus bulk ammonia mass fraction at different evaporator pressures

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Fig. 6

Nonequilibrium model inputs and outputs

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Fig. 5

Schematic of segmented model

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Fig. 4

Schematic of (a) single microchannel heat exchanger slab and (b) concept of multislab microchannel heat exchanger

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Fig. 7

Heat exchanger area versus condensation modeling approach

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Fig. 8

Comparison of (a) Fronk and Garimella [39] heat transfer coefficient with and without Silver–Bell–Ghaly correction factor and (b) local heat flux of nonequilibrium and equilibrium condenser design model



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