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Effects of Operating Conditions on Calcium Carbonate Fouling in a Plate Heat Exchanger

Authors: K. Pana-Suppamassadu, P. Jeimrittiwong, P. Narataruksa, S. Tungkamani


The aim of this work is to investigate on the internalflow patterns in a plate heat exchanger channel, which affect the rate of sedimentation fouling on the heat transfer surface of the plate heat exchanger. The research methodologies were the computer simulation using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and the experimental works. COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS™ Version 3.3 was used to simulate the velocity flow fields to verify the low and high flow regions. The results from the CFD technique were then compared with the images obtained from the experiments in which the fouling test rig was set up with a singlechannel plate heat exchanger to monitor the fouling of calcium carbonate. Two parameters were varied i.e., the crossing angle of the two plate: 55/55, 10/10, and 55/10 degree, and the fluid flow rate at the inlet: 0.0566, 0.1132 and 0.1698 m/s. The type of plate “GX-12" (the surface area 0.12 m2, the depth 2.9 mm, the width of fluid flow 215 mm and the thickness of stainless plate of 0.5 mm) was used in this study. The results indicated that the velocity distribution for the case of 55/55 degree seems to be very well organized when compared with the others. Also, an increase in the inlet velocity resulted in the reduction of fouling rate on the surface of plate heat exchangers.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Method, plate heat exchanger, crossing angles

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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