Condenser Critique
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Condenser Critique 2.0
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Software for sizing and testing the performance of shell and tube cooler condensers


Save money by operating your condensers efficiently
ü Calculate condenser operating costs
ü Optimise use of cooling water
ü Calculate saturation in vapour/gas mixtures
ü Calculate condenser pressure losses
ü Test effect of any process change on condensers
Free Condenser Critique Example Spreadsheet!
Click here to download a full read only example of Condenser Critique. (Excel 97, 2000 or 2003 required)
Condenser Critique has been developed on the principles of the Colburn & Hougen method. It utilises spreadsheets to provide the user with a method for sizing and testing condensers handling vapour/gas mixtures.

Shell and tube condensers come in different sizes, are used in various applications and all require large amounts of cooling water. Their use in the vacuum field where very low pressure losses are required imposes special requirements.

Detailed insight into the performance of these condensers can lead to reduction in operating costs if cooling water can be more effectively utilised. It will also assist in predicting the behaviour of such condensers where fouling/ scale and variation in operating conditions need to be considered. At the design stage, it provides a useful aid when establishing the relationship between performance, capital costs and operating costs.

Software Specification
The software comprises a series of dedicated multi-page spreadsheets which are run under Microsoft Excel 2000 or newer.

A 30 day e-mail and fax support service is provided.
The software comes with comprehensive electronic documentation and examples.
Customisable installation via state of the art setup software.
Please note that Microsoft Excel is not supplied with Condenser Critique.

Payback on the software cost is usually achieved within days once operating parameters have been optimised!

The software comprises worksheets which provide the following functionality:

  • Composition and conditions of vapour/gas mixtures
  • Saturation in vapour/gas mixtures
  • Condensation parameters: Colburn & Hougen method using "j" factor
  • Condenser physical parameters
  • Condenser pressure losses - Kern's method for shell side
  • Cost of purchase and installation
  • Condenser operating and total costs
  • De-superheating in condensers
  • Steam condensation on horizontal tubes
  • Optimum use of cooling water
  • Condenser data summary
  • Selected parameters for vapours and gases
  • Assorted fouling factors
  • Data for some physical properties of air, selected gases, water and selected vapours

Condenser Critique comes with comprehensive documentation and examples.

Specific uses of Condenser Critique 2.0
Condenser Critique has a wide variety of uses, with some the most useful being as follows:
  • Examination of the effect of controlling parameters on performance prior to condenser purchase
  • Establishing of limits for fouling coefficients on cooling water side of condenser
  • Establishing of limits and the effect of air leakage in vacuum condensers
  • Establishing the effect of changes in cooling water temperature; seasonal or operational
  • Checking of the performance of operating condensers
  • Optimisation of cooling water usage
  • Any desired process change can be tested for effect on condenser performance without interfering with plant operation
  • When composition of the non-condensables or the vapour needs to be changed, the effect on condenser performance can be tested.
Principle of Software Operation
Stage 1

The user is invited to select between five and twelve segments for the condenser and to select vapour bulk temperatures for each segment. At this stage the thermal duty and cooling water requirements are established.

Stage 2
Estimated values for the interface temperatures are input and, using iteration procedure, the correct interface temperature is established for each segment in sequence. On completion, the surface area and length for each section, as well as the relevant parameters for each segment are available.

Stage 3
A method is provided for estimating the pressure loss for the condenser. This is crucial where condensers are used in vacuum systems, bearing in mind that the permitted limits for pressure loss are fundamental to condenser selection and design and to the feasibility of vacuum system.

N.B. This software deals with condensation of single component vapours only.

Example Condenser Data Summary Output
CND12  Condenser data summary                
Calculation reference               :   CONDCHMPA            
Calculation object                      :   Updating for presentation and costs            
If condenser  for vacuum duty  :   Standard example C & H            
Calculation date and time        :   11-Aug-03   10:13:37        
Gas/vapour composition:      kg/h Mol. Wt.
Non condensables Nitrogen 1,270.000 28.016
Condensing vapour   Water vapour   4,131.389   18.016    
Condenser physical parameters:                
              Sections: 9
Exchanger tube   Arrangement:   Triangular     Number: 88
Shell/tubesheet material   (-)   C/MS     Tube clearance: 6.350
Tube   Material   C/MS     Tube passes: 1
Baffle   % cut   45     Number: 30
Nozzle diameter, mm   Inlet:   350.00     Outlet: 150
Calc. diameter of tube bundle   mm   262.63        
Inside shell diameter - used   mm   605.63        
Shell bundle clearance allowance   mm   343.00        
Baffle spacing   mm   421.00        
Outside tube diameter   mm   19.05        
Tube wall thickness   mm   1.651        
Total length of tubes - calculated   m   13.116     Available m: 12.63
Thickness of tube sheet   mm   35.000        
Outside condensing surface - calculated   m^2   65.762     Available m^2: 66.52
Min. shell section area for flow   m^2   0.102        
Equivalent tube diameter   mm   18.542        
Pressure losses:                
Condenser total pressure loss   mbar   43.529        
Shell side pressure loss   mbar   39.847        
Nozzle pressure loss, mbar   inlet   2.233     outlet: 1.45
Condenser conditions:                
Inlet vapour/gas mass flow rate   kg/m^2.h   52,961.19        
Pressure at condenser inlet   mbar   1,013.00        
Gas/vapour inlet temperature   oC   95.02        
Gas/vapour outlet temperature   oC   40.00        
CW temp. at inlet to condenser   oC   25.00        
CW temp. at outlet from condenser   oC   60.00        
Av. temperature of condensate at exit   oC   50.00        
Cooling water requirement   m^3/h   70.495        
Total heat rejected   kW/h   2,838.704   kJ/h 10,219,333.22  
Average thermal loading calc area   kW/h.m^2   43.166   Actual 42.68  
Thermal conductivity of tube wall   W/m.K   112.645        
Thermal resistance of tube wall   m^2.K/W   0.0000147   W/m^2.K 68,228.35  
Fouling factor - condensing side   m^2.K/W   0.0001239   W/m^2.K 8,071.03  
Fouling factor - CW side   m^2.K/W   0.0001239   W/m^2.K 8,071.03  
Cooling water resistance   m^2.K/W   0.0001942   W/m^2.K 5,149.76  
Condensate film resistance   m^2.K/W   0.0000881   W/m^2.K 11,352.00  
Sum of 'constant' resistances   m^2.K/W   0.0005507   W/m^2.K 1,815.96  
CW velocity   m/s   1.200        
CW Reynolds Number   (-)   30,051.66        
CW mass flow rate   kg/m^2.h   4,282,254.85        
NC gas mole fraction         - entry   (-)   0.1650   outlet 0.93  
Vapour/gas ReN at condenser  - entry   (-)   17,538.40   outlet 3,668.91  
Sensible heat transfer coeff.- entry   W/m^2.K   150.72   outlet 51.10  
Molar mass transfer coeff.   - entry   kmol/h.m^2.bar   82.77   outlet 5.92  
Overall heat transfer coeff. - entry   W/m^2.K   642.36   outlet 225.25  
NC gas heat transfer coeff.  - entry   W/m^2.K   993.96   outlet 257.14  
Practical LMTD   oC   42.966        
HTC based on calculated surface   W/m^2.K   1,004.666        
Actual HTC based on actual surface   W/m^2.K   993.271        
Factor available from HTC difference   m^2.K/W   0.0000114     W/m^2.K     87,570.99
Condenser and condensation costs:       Purchase cost     Installed cost  
        Jan 1999     Jan-99  
        £     £  
Condenser supply source :       Specialist        
Selected CW pump       Pump in steel casing and CI impeller        
Cost of condenser - Method : A £   9,513.09     20,680.63  
Cost of CW pump   £   9,847.52     19,695.05  
Total capital costs   £   19,360.61     40,375.68  
Condenser operating costs: (Page 8)                
Total utility costs  (TUC)   £/a   88,092.07        
Total annual cost  (TAC)   £/a   95,713.54     103,967.63  
Total maintenance cost (TMC)   £/a   4,431.47        
Total (ownership)  costs  (TVC)   £/a   100,145.00        
Annual TVC for pumping kg/h suction gas   £   18.541        
Total cost for condensing kg of vapour   £   0.00328        
Total  cost of removing a kg of from the system £   0.00247     0.00  
This is one of only a dozen calculation sheets that are available within Condenser Critique.

Example Graph


Click here to download a full read only example of Condenser Critique. (Excel 97, 2000 or 2003 required)

Based on example in ‘Design of Cooler Condensers for Mixtures of Vapours with
Non-Condensing Gases’ by Colburn & Hougen


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