On a Predictive Condenser Performance Model

Harpster, J.W.
“On a Predictive Condenser Performance Model” EPRI Condenser Technology Seminar & Conference, San Diego, CA, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2005.


A review of historical condenser design methodology is presented from the perspective of using average tube performance behavior. Conditions are described showing that assumed average values should not be employed to quantify measured performance indicators, since the cause of performance degradation can be masked.  Plant measurement data will be provided to demonstrate how performance computations can have significant error.

A new predictive condenser theory and analytical model, having patented and patent pending methods and condenser design features, is described that anticipate causes for condenser performance losses and how they may be circumvented. It is shown that this approach does not depend on special operating condenser measurement results to establish boundary conditions and condensation rate patterns, as has been the case for the currently employed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method. This new approach permits the application of computer modeling, employing the new comprehensive and predictive model and theory, along with normal performance data, to reproduce, as close as possible, measured performance results. Pleasing portrayals of velocity profiles generated by Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is presented showing the fineness of this new, predictive, method and its utility.

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