Internal, shellside heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics for a shell and tube heat exchanger

E. M. Sparrow, J. A. Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Per-tube heat transfer coefficients and per-compartment and intracompartment pressure drops were measured on the shell side of a shell and tube heat exchanger. The main focus of the work was to determine the response of these quantities to variations in the size of the baffle window; the Reynolds number was also varied parametrically. The pressure measurements showed that the fluid flow is fully developed downstream of the first compartment of the heat exchanger and that the per-compartment pressure drop is constant in the fully developed regime. Within a compartment, the pressure drop in the upstream half is much larger than that in the downstream half. The per-tube heat transfer coefficients vary substantially within a given compartment (on the order of a factor of two), giving rise to a nonuniform thermal loading of the tubes. Row-average and compartment-average heat transfer coefficients were also evaluated. The lowest row-average coefficients were those for the first and last rows in a compartment, while the highest coefficient is that for the row just upstream of the baffle edge. It was demonstrated that the per-tube heat transfer coefficients are streamwise periodic for a module consisting of two consecutive compartments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1985


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