Simulation of heat transfer and effectiveness in a helical heat exchanger made from thermally enhanced polymer material for use in absorption cooling
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 810107, Nigeria
J Ther Eng 2023; 3(9): 602-613 DOI: 10.18186/thermal.1297545
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Heat exchangers in absorption chillers are usually made of copper material. However, prob-lems of corrosion are usually encountered, especially in the solution heat exchanger. In this study a numerical investigation of the heat transfer effectiveness in a double pipe helical heat exchanger made from a thermally enhanced polymer material was conducted. The material consists of a Liquid crystal polymer (LCP), (Vectra A950) as the matrix material, while carbon fibre is the filler material. The resulting composite has a carbon fibre weight fraction of 74%. The heat exchanger was modelled as a counter flow solution heat exchanger to be used in a lithium bromide – water absorption chiller of 3 kW capacity. The numerical software ANSYS fluent (version 14.5) was used for the modelling and simulation. Thermal and mechanical properties of the thermally enhanced polymer were used in the modelling and simulation. The viscous laminar model was used, while employing a second order upwind solution method. Results indicate that the heat exchanger was able to perform the required duty by reducing the strong solution temperature from 90oC at inlet to 57oC at outlet, while increasing the weak solution temperature from 40oC at inlet to 67oC at outlet. The effectiveness of the heat ex-changer was 77.4%. Results were numerically compared to a corresponding heat exchanger of same geometry and flow conditions, made of copper. It was observed that the polymer heat exchanger attained 89.2% effectiveness of the copper heat exchanger.