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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery

An Immersed Particle Heat Exchanger for Externally Fired and Heat Recovery Gas Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
Luciano Andrea Catalano

Department of Mechanical and Management Engineering, Polytechnic of Bari, Italycatalano@poliba.it

Fabio De Bellis

Department of Mechanical and Management Engineering, Polytechnic of Bari, Italydebellis@imedado.poliba.it

Riccardo Amirante

Department of Mechanical and Management Engineering, Polytechnic of Bari, Italyamirante@poliba.it

Matteo Rignanese

Department of Mechanical and Management Engineering, Polytechnic of Bari, Italyme1810@hotmail.it

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 133(3), 032301 (Nov 15, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002157 History: Received April 13, 2010; Revised April 27, 2010; Published November 15, 2010; Online November 15, 2010

Designing and manufacturing high-efficiency heat exchangers is usually considered a limiting factor in the development of gas turbines employing either heat recovery Joule–Brayton cycles or external combustion. In this work, an innovative heat exchanger is proposed, modeled, and partially tested to validate the developed numerical model employed for its design. The heat exchanger is based on an intermediate medium (aluminum oxide Al2O3) flowing in countercurrent through an hot stream of gas. In this process, heat can be absorbed from the hot gas, temporarily stored, and then similarly released in a second pipe, where a cold stream is warmed up. A flow of alumina particles with very small diameter (of the order of hundreds of microns) can be employed to enhance the heat transfer. Experimental tests demonstrate that simple one-dimensional steady equations, also neglecting conduction in the particles, can be effectively employed to simulate the flow in the vertical part of the pipe, namely, to compute the pipe length required to achieve a prescribed heat exchange. On the other side, full three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics simulations have been performed to demonstrate that a more thorough gas flow and particle displacement analysis is needed to avoid a bad distribution of alumina particles and, thus, to achieve high thermal efficiency.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Operation principles of the CFS heat exchanger

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Figure 2

Pipe length versus gas velocity

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Figure 3

Pipe length versus particle size

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Figure 4

Grid-convergence analysis

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Figure 5

(a) Velocity vectors and (b) temperature contours of the gas stream for a nonoptimal configuration of the sand inlet section

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Figure 6

Uniformity function versus dsand at two pipe heights

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Figure 7

Uniformity function versus dsand for two values of dinlet

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Figure 8

Uniformity function versus dinlet

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Figure 9

Uniformity function versus eccentricity

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Figure 10

Uniformity function versus h

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Figure 11

Comparison among predicted and measured outlet gas temperatures

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