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Condenser A condenser is an equipment that involves the transformation of vapors to liquid by removing their latent heat by heat exchange

with a cooler liquid called coolant. Condenser types 1. Surface Condensers Surface Condenser Most surface condensers are shell and tube exchangers containing a large number of corrosionresisting alloy tubes through which cooling water flows. The vapor contacts the outside surface of the tubes and is condensed on them. They can be either vertical and horizontal. The tubes are arranged so that the cooling water flow through the tubes may be either single pass or multipass. Floating head construction is sometimes used to reduce thermal stress developed due to unequal expansion of the shell and the tubes. The condensate is removed by a condensate pump. 2. Direct contact type or spray condenser

Vertical surface condensers are used for condensing a mixture of vapour and noncondensing gas. Vapour is condensed inside the tubes so that the noncondensables are sweeped out by the vapour-gas mixture without formation of any stagnant pockets of inert gas blanketing the heat transfer surface. Cooling medium flows through the shell. The condensate collects at the bottom from where it is withdrawn. This type of condensers are sometimes called dehumidifying condensers. (For fig refer Mc Cabe & Smith) The limitations of a surface condenser are that 1) It is very bulky and as such requires more floor space. 2) Its manufacturing, running and maintenance costs are high. However it has an advantage in power plants as steam condensers as the condensate can be utilized as boiler feed water. Because most condensers operate at subatmospheric pressures, air leaking into the apparatus or system becomes a common cause for vapor contamination, and a variety of designs have been

developed to reduce such problems. Accumulation of noncondensable gases seriously affects heat transfer, and means must be provided to direct them to a suitable outlet. Most surface condensers are arranged with an external steam jet ejector system that uses steam as the motive fluid to remove any non-condensable gases that may be present in the surface condenser and also provides the internal vacuum on the condensing vapour side.

Diagram of a typical modern injector or ejector In a steam jet ejector, high pressure steam (motive fluid) is introduced through nozzles to a suction chamber located at one end of the device. While passing through these nozzles, pressure energy of steam is converted to kinetic energy. Therefore the steam expands and emerges at a high velocity from the nozzles to the suction chamber. Since pressure energy of steam is converted to kinetic energy, the pressure at the suction chamber is very low and therefore vapour and non-condensables are drawn into the suction chamber. The gasvapour mixture moves through a venturi shaped converging-diverging section. The diverging section is called the diffuser in which the velocity head is converted to pressure head so that the mixture can be discharged to atmosphere. Contact Condensers or Spray ondensers A spray condenser is a type of direct-contact condenser. One advantage of such a condenser is that it is relatively simple and inexpensive to produce. It also offers a greater efficiency than shell and tube condensers, due to a greater surface area for heat transfer produced by the droplets. The method is simple; Cooling water is sprayed directly as droplets to the vapour which condenses and the condensate along with the cooling water is withdrawn from the bottom. This type of condensers are used when the water vapour is to be condensed from a non condensable gas such as air. Also increasing efficiency, part of the exit stream of water leaving the condenser may be recycled and used as the spray for the humid air. A diagram of a typical spray condenser is shown in Figure 1.

Spray Condenser 1. Water inlet 3. Non-condensables outlet 4. Inlet of humid vapor 5. Condensates outlet 2. Spray

In the design depicted in the diagram, water is sprayed at point 1. At point 4, the humid vapor is introduced into the spray condenser so that there is counterflow of water and vapour. However, a parallel flow with vapour entering at the top can also be adopted. Point 5 is where the condensed water exits the condenser. Any noncondensable material leave the condenser at point 3. The condensate removal pump used in a surface condenser can be dispensed with in a spray condenser by the use of a barometric leg. A barometric leg is a long vertical pipe at the bottom of the condensing vessel through which the condensate and effluent coolant flows to a receiving tank called hotwell. The level of liquid in the leg automatically adjusts itself so that the difference in head between levels in leg and hotwell corresponds to the difference in pressure between the atmosphere and the vapour space in the condenser. In this way the liquid flows down the leg as fast as condensate is formed without breaking the vacuum. This type of direct contact condenser is called a barometric condenser. They are widely used to condense exhaust (containing steam and perhaps other condensible vapors) from a steam jet ejector used to create vacuum in process vessels (e.g. evaporatos). (Refer fig on Mc Cabe & Smith) Some direct contact condensers are provided with a discharge cone at the bottom. The throat of the conical discharge produes a venturi effect and the pressure regain in the downstream cone is sufficient to eliminate the need for a barometric leg. Reboilers A reboiler is used to vaporize a liquid stream in a distillation column (or sometimes in a stripping column). Most reboilers are of the shell and tube heat exchanger type and normally steam is used as the heat source in such reboilers. However, other heat transfer fluids like hot oil or Dowtherm may be used. Fuel-fired furnaces may also be used as reboilers in some cases where heat for vaporization of the liquid is supplied by convection and radiation from the furnace wall to the tube surface. Types of reboilers 1. 2. 3. 4. Kettle or gravity fed reboilers Thermosyphon reboilers Forced circulation reboilers Fired heaters

Kettle type reboiler It is the most common type of reboiler. It consists of a horizontal tube bundle with a floating head submerged in the liquid with some clearance between the lowest tubes and the reboiler shell. The diameter of the shell is considerably larger than the tube bundle diameter to provide adequate vapour space above the boiling liquid.

. Kettle Type Reboiler Vapour generated at the lower rows of tubes rises and affects the heat transfer rate from the upper tubes. In the nucleate boiling region, where T is small, the average heat transfer flux for the bundle is grater than that for a single tube because the increased vapour flow raises the velocity of the liquid-vapour mixture past the tubes. However vapour blanketing of the tube bundle occurs at lower temperature differences and the maximum heat flux is much lower than that for a single tube. Liquid droplets are formed when the vapour bubbles burst. These droplets fall back through the vapour space, thus avoiding entrainment of the liquid. After vapourization, the residual liquid flows over a weir and leaves through the liquid outlet nozzle. An impingement plate is usually provided at the vapour outlet in order to arrest any fine liquid droplet that may not settle in the vapour space Thermosyphon Reboilers They are natural circulation reboilers. They may be either vertical or horizontal. Unlike kettle reboilers, they contain no poolboiling liquid. In horizontal units (fig 2 shown below), liquid enters at the bottom of the vessel containing horizontal heated tubes and it flows horizontally under a transverse baffle towards the end of the vessel. Part of the liquid vapourizes in the shell. In vertical thermosyphon reboilers (Refer fig in Mc. Cabe and Smith/B.K. Datta) partial vaporization of the liquid occurs in the vertically mounted tubes. In both vertical and horizontal units, reduction in density causes the vapour-liquid mixture to rise and draw in additional feed liquid. The vapourliquid mixture leave the top of the unit at higher velocity and flows to the bottom of the distillation column where the phase get separated and the liquid is recycled.

Fig. 2. Typical horizontal thermosyphon reboiler The merits of a horizontal thermosyphon reboilers over vertical onesare as follows 1. Horizontal thermosyphon reboilers have a less-sensitive operation than vertical types. 2. More area can be placed in a single shell than with vertical units. Especially suited for large sizes and high duties. 3. Easier maintenance due to horizontal orientation. 4. More suitable for wide boiling mixtures. The main disadvantages: 1. Piping must be carefully designed to equalize flows in all parallel branches. 2. More expensive if fixed tubesheet construction cannot be used because of fouling on the shell-side. 3. More expensive due to the complicated nature of the piping and supporting structure. Horizontal thermosyphon reboilers are mostly used in the petroleum refining industry whereas the vertical type is more common in the chemical industry or low viscous liquids.

Forced circulation reboilers: This type of reboiler uses a pump to circulate the column bottoms liquid through the reboilers. The figure below depicts a typical steam-heated forced circulation reboiler.

Fig. 3.Forced Circulation reboiler It should be noted steam is not the only heat source that can be used. Any fluid stream at a high enough temperature could be used for any of the many shell and tube heat exchanger reboiler types (oil heated reboilers). Also, Fired heaters (furnaces) may be used as a distillation column reboiler. A pump is required to circulate the column bottoms through the heat transfer tubes in the furnace's convection and radiant sections. The heat source for the fired heater reboiler may be either fuel gas or fuel oil. The liquid is vaporized by heat transfer by convection and radiation from the hot gaseous combustion product of the fuel to the outside surface of the tubes. Figure below depicts a fired heater being used in a configuration that provides recirculation of the column bottoms liquid. However, with some relatively minor changes inside the bottom section of the distillation column, a fired heater can also be used in once-through configuration.

Fig. 4. Fired Heater