MINIMUM ENERGY DESIGN OF SEAWATER HEAT EXCHANGERS
Luckow, Patrick Wass
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Industrial cooling with seawater, particularly natural gas liquefaction in arid environments, places large strains on existing heat exchanger designs. High temperature, high salinity water damages metals and leads to devices with a short useful life. Cost effective, corrosion resistant heat exchangers are required to fully utilize available saline water resources. Thermally conductive polymer composites, using carbon fiber fillers to enhance conductivity, are a promising material. This Thesis provides a characterization, analysis, and optimization of heat exchangers built of anisotropic thermally conductive polymers. The energy content of such polymers is compared to several other materials, and the required content of carbon-fiber fillers is studied for optimum conductivity enhancement. A methodology for the optimization of low thermal conductivity fins, and subsequently heat exchangers, is presented. Finally, the thermal performance of a prototype thermally enhanced polymer heat exchanger is experimentally verified, and compared to numerical and analytical results.