The Overall Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Double Pipe Heat Exchanger: Comparison of Experimental Data with Predictions of Standard Correlations


1 , Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman

2 Mechanical Engineering, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman

3 Mechanical, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman


The single-phase flow and thermal performance of a double pipe heat exchanger are examined by experimental methods. The working fluid is water at atmospheric pressure. Temperature measurements at the inlet and outlet of the two streams and also at an intermediate point half way between the inlet and outlet is made, using copper-constantan thermocouple wires. Mass flow rates for each stream are also measured using calibrated rotameters. Heat is supplied to the inner tube stream by an immersion heater. The overall heat transfer coefficients are inferred from the measured data. The heat transfer coefficient of the inner tube flow (circular cross section) is calculated using the standard correlations. The heat transfer coefficient of the outer tube flow (annular cross section) is then deduced. Higher heat transfer coefficients are reported in the laminar flow regime in comparison to the predictions of standard correlations for straight and smooth tubes. The reasons for this discrepancy are identified and discussed. Experimental errors in measuring temperatures and mass flow rates are studied and their effects on the heat transfer coefficients are estimated. Experimental results for the range of operating conditions used in this work show that the outer tube side heat transfer coefficients are smaller than the inner side heat transfer coefficients by a factor of almost 1.5 and 3.4 in counter flow and parallel flow arrangements, respectively. The agreement with predictions is very good for the counter flow arrangement, but not very good for the parallel flow arrangement.