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Page d'accueil ICHMT DL Année en cours Archives Comité de direction Centre international pour le transfert de chaleur et de masse


DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2009.CONV.160
19 pages

Avram Bar-Cohen
Laboratory of the Thermal Management of Electronics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455; and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Microsystems Technology Office, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

P. Luckow
Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA

P. Rodgers
Department of Mechanical Engineering The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE


The present study explores the thermofluid characteristics of a corrosion-resistant, thermally-enhanced polymer composite, seawater-methane heat exchanger module for use in the liquefaction of natural gas on offshore platforms. A 1 m2 finned-plate heat exchanger geometry with a height of 1 cm is used. In an industrial setting, several such modules would be stacked together to provide sufficient heat exchange capacity. Attention is focused on attaining the minimum mass design to achieve the optimum heat transfer rates for a range of pumping powers. An array-based least material relation is used to minimize the fin mass required. Several metrics, including the heat transfer rate, the mass-specific heat transfer rate, and the total Coefficient of Performance (COPT), are used to compare the thermal performance of polymer composites having a range of thermal conductivities with that of corrosion resistant metals. The operating conditions considered are typical of the natural gas liquefaction industry in the Persian Gulf, namely hot gas at 90°C cooled by 35°C seawater. In addition, the gas flow rate is varied from 0.01 to 0.1 m3/s, while the coolant velocity is held constant at 1m/s. For the design and operating conditions examined, a 10 W/m-K polymer composite is found to provide nearly identical heat transfer rate to that of a corrosion-resistant titanium heat exchanger. Furthermore, at 200 W pumping power, the polymer composite provides 3.2 kW/kg of mass-specific thermal performance, which is almost 50% higher than for titanium. Polymer composites also show COPT values approximately twice that of a least-material titanium heat exchanger. The results contribute to establish the viability of using polymer composites for gas-liquid heat exchanger applications involving seawater and other corrosive fluids.

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