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ChE 3020. Project 4.

Transport Phenomena II Countercurrent Heat Exchanger Erin Shin Cousens, 11/21/16

Introduction: In this project, heat transfer in a countercurrent heat exchanger a topic covered in Transport
Phenomena II was analyzed using Python. The countercurrent heat exchanger studied in this project consists
of one hot stream and one cold stream of fluid flowing past each other. Through convection, heat is exchanged
between the two streams, resulting in differences between the inlet and outlet temperatures for both streams[1].
When designing the heat exchanger (i.e., determining the heat transfer area, A), it was assumed that the heat
transfer coefficients, hcold, hhot, and hoverall, are all independent of temperature. Furthermore, it was assumed that
the exit temperature of the hot stream (Thot,out) is 40C and the exit temperature of the cold stream (Tcold,out) is
80C. Using these assumptions, the values given in Table A1[1], and the following three equations[1]:
C p,hot whot
( (
) ln T
T )(
-Tcold ,out - Thot ,out -Tcold ,in )
Tcold ,in +
C p,cold wcold
(T
hot ,in ) ( ) (
-Thot ,out =Tcold ,out C p,hot whot Thot ,in -Thot ,out = hoverall A Thot -Tcold ) ln
Thot -Tcold =
((
ln
hot ,in

) / (T
-Tcold ,out -Tcold ,in ))
hot ,in hot ,out

the mass flow rate for the cold stream (wc) and A were determined to be 2.048 kg/s and 27.793 m2, respectively.
In the equations above, Cp represents the heat capacity of the (hot or cold) stream.

Python Code Validation: In the second part of the project, Python was used to numerically calculate A through
integration. While there are numerous integration methods, the one used for this project was trapezoidal
1

integration . This method was first practiced by performing it on ynumerical = exp(-5t )dt . Note that this
[2]

0
integral can be solved analytically (-0.2(e-5 1)), but by comparing the analytical solution to the numerical
solutions obtained through trapezoidal integration, the python code was validated, as shown in Table 1. Table 1
shows that as the number of discretization points is increased, the difference between the analytical and
numerical solutions decreases i.e., the trapezoidal method produces more accurate results as the number of
discretization points is increased. The trapezoidal method was subsequently used for performing numerical
integration for A (assuming that hoverall is constant), and as shown by Table 2, as the number of discretization
points increased, the difference between the design area and numerically determined area decreased.

Results: In the final part of the project, all of the heat transfer coefficients were assumed to vary with
temperature, where = 0.8(1 + 0.015( 80)) and = 3.0(1 + 0.02( 50))[1], TH and TC being the
temperatures of the hot and cold streams, respectively. Subsequently, hoverall varied throughout the heat
exchanger, as shown in Figure 2. Furthermore, because hoverall was no longer a constant, the exit temperature of
the cold and hot streams varied from that of the original design. Figure 1 shows that when hoverall varies, the
temperature of the cold stream is greater and the temperature of the hot stream is less throughout the heat
exchanger.

Impact of wc on Exit Temperatures: As indicated by Figure 3, the larger wc (i.e., wcold/wcold,design) is, the lower
the exit temperature is for both the hot and cold streams.
Number of = yanalytical ynumerical Number of = Adesign Anumerical
Discretization Points Discretization Points
10 -0.00412 10 -8.60
100 -4.14e-05 100 -0.477
1000 -4.14e-07 1000 -0.0465
10000 -4.14e-09 10000 -0.00632

Table 1: This table shows the difference () between Table 2: This table shows the difference ()
1 between the design area and the numerical solution
the analytical solution for ynumerical = exp(-5t )dt , Tcold ,out
C p,cold wcold dTcold
for A = . The first column
( )
0
which is (-0.2(e-5 1), and the solution that was 20 hoverall Thot -Tcold
numerically calculated using trapezoidal integration. shows the number of discretization points used to
The first column shows the number of discretization produce the value.
points used to produce the value.

3 2

Figure 1: The calculated value of the hot stream temperature (TH) and that of the cold stream (TC) is plotted as a
function of dimensionless distance from point 1 to point 2. 1 and 4 represent TC and TH, respectively, when
hoverall varies with temperature. 2 and 3 represent TC and TH, respectively, when hoverall is constant.
Figure 2: hoverall is plotted as a function of dimensionless distance from point 1 to point 2. The ordinate has
units of kWm-2K-1.

100

90

80
Temperature (C)

70

60

50

40

30

20
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Hot Exit Temperature
wcold/wcold,design
Cold Exit Temperature

Figure 3: The hot stream and cold stream exit temperatures are plotted as a function of the ratio between the
actual mass flow rate of the cold stream and the design mass flow rate (wcold/wcold,design).
References:

1) Alan West, Transport Phenomena II. Countercurrent Heat Exchanger.

2) "Numpy.trapz." Numpy.trapz NumPy V1.11 Manual. The Scipy Community, 29 May 2016. Web. 19 Nov.
2016. I used the trapezoidal integration function thats part of the Numpy module.

3) Carlos Andres Ortiz Campo. Carlos helped me figure out how to implement Thot from the energy balance
equation into my Python code.

4) Sevahn Vorperian. Sevahn provided me with advice on how to modify my bisection function. She also
explained to me what the dimensionless distance from point 1 to point 2 is.

5) Mary Bourque. I gave her advice on how to solve Problem 1 and 3.

6) "Pyplot Tutorial." Pyplot Tutorial Matplotlib 1.5.3 Documentation. Matplotlib Development Team, 20
Sept. 2016. Web. 19 Nov. 2016. Provided me with information on how to make a plot in Python.

7) Kiusalaas, Jaan. Numerical Methods in Engineering with Python 3. N.p.: n.p., 2013. Provided me with the
basis for my bisection code.