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First Thermal and Fluids Engineering Summer Conference

ISSN: 2379-1748
ISBN: 978-1-56700-430-4


Gregory S. Heinlein
Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Ahmad Fakheri
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, USA

DOI: 10.1615/TFESC1.tia.013227
pages 2083-2097

KEY WORDS: Natural Convection, Heat Rejection, Air Cooled Condensers, Computational Fluid Dynamics


Air cooled condensers (ACC's) are environmentally sustainable heat transfer units for power plants requiring fewer permits for installation. However, these essential components of a power plant are expensive to install and operate, needing large structures to be effective and require significant power to run cooling fans. The current study investigates the feasibility of a natural convection induced ACC which would reduce the detrimental aspects of current ACC's. The design involves having a horizontal steam supply line connected to a vertical steam supply line feeding a condenser assembly set near the top. The condenser tube assembly consists of ducts, whose cross section is rectangular with rounded ends, evenly spaced radially around the vertical supply pipe. Thin fins span the gap between the ducts creating small channels through which air flows. The tubes are patterned in a conical helical spiral that decreases in height with circumferential progression. The air currents produced by natural convection from the horizontal and vertical supply pipe pass through these channels and condenses the steam flowing through the ducts. CFD simulations were completed on the design in order to approximate the heat rejection capabilities of the new design. The results show that air currents produced by natural convection could offer heat transfer of 2-3 kW/m. Significant benefits in initial and operating costs, as well as, a smaller footprint could be achieved over current ACC designs.

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