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W. H.

Parken1
Center for Building Technology,
National Bureau of Standards,
Washington, DC 20234

L. S. Fletcher
Thomas A. Dietz Professor.
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843-3123
Fellow ASM E

V. Sernas
Professor.
Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
Rutgers University,
Piscataway, NJ 08855-0909
Mem. ASME

J.C.Han

Heat Transfer Through Falling


Film Evaporation and Boiling on
Horizontal Tubes
Evaporation and boiling heat transfer coefficients are presented for thin, distilled
water films flowing over the outside of horizontal, electrically heated brass tubes.
Tests were conducted with a thin-slot water distribution system for 2.54- and
5.08-cm-dia smooth tubes. Both local and average heat transfer data were obtained
for nonboiling and boiling conditions corresponding to feedwater temperatures
ranging from 49 to 127C and heat-flux values ranging from 30 to 80 kW/m2. Feedwater flow rates ranged from 0.135 to 0.366 kg/s per meter length per side of the
tube. Both nonboiling and boiling correlations of the average heat transfer coefficients were developed and compared.

Professor.
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843-3123
Mem. ASME

Introduction
Heat transfer through thin liquid films has been used in
distillation and desalination processes. Falling film evaporation on horizontal tubes has also been considered one of the
heat transfer processes appropriate for ocean thermal energy
conversion systems. In such systems, the liquid is introduced
through distributors to the top of a bundle and falls from tube
to tube with the thin liquid films flowing and evaporating on
the outside of the tubes. Fletcher et al. (1974, 1975) studied
boiling heat transfer coefficients on horizontal tube systems
with a perforated-plate water distribution system for 2.54- and
5.08-cm-dia horizontal, 90/10 Cu-Ni smooth tubes. The heat
transfer coefficients increased with increasing feedwater flow
rate in the turbulent regime, with feedwater saturation
temperature, and tube-wall heat flux for boiling conditions.
They also found that heat transfer coefficients were higher for
sea water films than for fresh water films.
Liu (1975) investigated nonboiling water heat transfer coefficients in the turbulent regime for 2.54- and 5.08-cm-dia
horizontal, stainless steel tubes. Owens (1978) and Conti
(1978) measured nonboiling ammonia heat transfer coefficients in both laminar and turbulent regimes for a 5.08-cm-dia
horizontal, stainless steel tube. The data of Owens were
similar to those of Liu in that the heat transfer coefficients increased with increasing feedwater temperature, but were independent of flow rate in the turbulent regime and independent of heat flux for nonboiling conditions. Lorenz and Yung
(1979) developed a model for combined boiling and evaporation of liquid films on horizontal tubes. Predictions agreed
favorably with the boiling data of Fletcher et al. (1974). Largebundle test results were compared with single-tube test results
Formerly with the Mechanical Systems Section.
Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF
HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received by the Heat Transfer Division October
28, 1988; revision received September 18, 1989. Keywords: Boiling,
Evaporation.

by Lorenz and Yung (1982). For Reynolds numbers greater


than 300, the average heat transfer coefficient of the bundle
was equal to that of a single tube.
As mentioned earlier, Fletcher et al. (1974, 1975) indicated
that heat transfer coefficients of thin liquid films increased
with increasing feedwater flow rate for boiling conditions.
They did not, however, investigate the nonboiling conditions.
Liu (1975) and Owens (1978) reported that heat transfer coefficients were independent of feedwater flow rate for the nonboiling situation, but did not study the boiling case.
Therefore, it is important to clarify whether or not heat
transfer coefficients depend on feedwater flow rate (in the turbulent regime) for both boiling and nonboiling conditions.
Another parameter that was thought to affect heat transfer
coefficients was the water distribution system at the top of the
horizontal tube. Instead of the "perforated-plate" water
distribution system used by Fletcher et al. (1974, 1975), the
more accurately controlled "thin-slot" water distribution
system was deemed more appropriate. Recently, Mitrovic
(1986) has shown that the water-feed system geometry does indeed affect the heat transfer coefficient on a horizontal tube.
The present investigation is involved with the evaporation
and boiling heat transfer coefficients in the turbulent regime
with a thin-slot water distribution system for thin water films
flowing over the outside of horizontal, electrically heated
brass tubes. A well-controlled systematic study was conducted
with 2.54- and 5.08-cm-dia smooth tubes. Both local and
average heat transfer data were obtained for boiling and nonboiling conditions corresponding to feedwater temperatures
ranging from 49C (0.012 MPa) to 127C (0.246 MPa) and
heat-flux values ranging from 30 to 80 kW/m2. Feedwater
flow rates ranged from 0.135 to 0.366 kg/s per meter length
per side of the tube, which corresponded to the turbulent flow
regime over most of the tube surface. Correlations of average
heat transfer coefficients for boiling and nonboiling conditions were developed and compared.

744 / Vol. 112, AUGUST 1990

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STEAM TO
CONDENSER

0.1 cm WIDE x 0.09 cm DEEP


THERMOCOUPLE GROOVES

TUBE SUPPORT
AND SEAL PLATE

FEEDWATER
INLET

FEED
DISTRIBUTION
TRAY

BRASS
TEST
SECTION
5.08 cm OD
4.44 cm ID

15 AWG NICHROME V
HEATER WIRE
HEATED LENGTH

FALLING

FILM
THERMOCOUPLES
IMBEDDED IN
TUBE WALL
5.08 cm DIAMETER TUBE

EXCESS WATER
RETURN TO PUMP
Fig. 1 Schematic of the feedwater distribution in the evaporation
chamber

Additional information on the investigation is provided by


Parken and Fletcher (1977, 1982) and Han and Fletcher (1985,
1987).
Experimental Program
Test Facility. The experimental facility consists of an
evaporation tube and surrounding chamber, a steam condenser, a recirculating feedwater system, and associated control systems. Figure 1 is a schematic of the feedwater distribution on the evaporation tube. Feedwater was distributed to the
top of the tube by a thin slot at the bottom of the constant
head feed tray, as shown in Fig. 1. The slot was about 0.63 cm
(0.25 in.) above the heated tube. The feedwater flow rate,
temperature, and tube-wall heat flux were controlled for independent variation over a wide range. To have the same feed
rate over each side of the tube, the feed tray was carefully
aligned with the tube.
Two electrically heated evaporation tubes were assembled
and instrumented for testing, as shown in Fig. 2. The 15.2-cmlong test section consisted of a 25.4-cm brass tube with eight
axially milled, thermocouple grooves around the circumference. The ends of the grooves were sloped toward the
surface so that the 30-gage, copper-constantan, thermocouple
junctions were located as close to the surface as possible. The

2.54 cm DIAMETER TUBE

Fig. 2 Schematic of the electrically heated evaporation tube and thermocouple locations

test section and a 15.2-cm-wide, 0.010-cm-thick, brass shim


stock were tinned with silver solder. The shim stock was
wrapped tightly around the test section, and the two were
soldered together in a furnace. The heating element was a
spirally wound, Nichrome V wire designed to provide an approximately uniform circumferential heat flux. Circumferential conduction was estimated to be very small. To compensate
for temperature error from tube wall thickness and thermocouple conduction, each evaporation tube was completely
calibrated after it was assembled.
Test Procedures. The tube surface was rubbed extensively
with number 3/0 steel wool and wiped with acetone. The tube
was then placed into the evaporator, and preliminary runs
started the next day. To "age" the surface, these runs continued intermittently for about ten hours before data were
taken. Initial rms surface roughness, as indicated by a Brush
indicator, was 5 to 15 /tin. After aging, the surface stabilized
at a much smoother value of 2 to 4 /*in. A day's testing was accomplished at a set saturation pressure. The parameters varied
during a day's tests were feed rate and heat flux. Sufficient
time was allowed to reach equilibrium at each condition.
The characteristics of the thin film flowing around the
horizontal tubes were visualized during the tests through
Pyrex windows at the sides and front of the test chamber.
Photographs were taken for both subcooled (inlet feedwater

Nomenclature
Cp = specific heat of the liquid
film at constant pressure
D = tube outside diameter
g = acceleration due to gravity
H = distance between distribution
system and tube
he = local heat transfer coefficient
(equation (1))
h = average heat transfer coefficient (equation (2))
k = thermal conductivity of liquid film
Journal of Heat Transfer

Nu = average Nusselt
number = h(p2 /gk3)'n
Prandtl number = {\iCp/k)
Pr
tube wall heat flux
q"
Re
Reynolds number = (4T/ix)
inlet feedwater temperature
for subcooled nonboiling
conditions
T = inlet feedwater saturation
*

temperature for boiling


conditions
sat

TWt 9 = local wall temperature


T = mass flow rate per axial unit
length flowing over one side
of the horizontal tube
6 = angular location measured
from the top of the tube
IJL = dynamic viscosity of liquid
film
v = kinematic viscosity of liquid
film = jxjp
p = density of liquid film
AUGUST 1990, Vol. 112/745

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temperature) and saturated (inlet feedwater temperature) conditions. For a majority of the subcooled tests, bubble nucleation was not visualized. For the slightly subcooled case of
^sat - 2", =6C, incipient nucleation was observed at the bottom surface of the 5.08-cm-dia tube (Parken and Fletcher,
1977, pp. 44-45). For all tests at saturated conditions,
however, bubble nucleation was observed (Parken and Fletcher, 1977, pp. 64-66). Bubble population density was less at
low heat flux values and for the smaller tube diameter. A majority of the nucleation sites appeared first at the lower portion of the tubes. As the heat flux increased, nucleation sites
were seen to be distributed over the entire tube surface. The
nucleated bubbles grew very rapidly to approximately 1 mm in
diameter while attached to the heating surface. They were then
detached from the surface and carried downward with the falling film. While moving downward the bubbles continued to
grow, sometimes reaching diameters as large as 10 mm
(Parken and Fletcher, 1977).
Because of the intermittent nature of the boiling process,
the tube wall temperature fluctuated sharply. Fifteen to twenty temperature recordings were made over 5-s intervals for
each thermocouple. The average of these readings for each
thermocouple was reported. Several runs were duplicated on
different days to check the data repeatability.
Data Analysis. The local heat transfer coefficients were
calculated from the tube-wall heat flux (q"), the local circumferential wall temperature (Twfi), and the inlet feedwater
temperature (!T,-) as follows:
he=Q"/(TWi6-Ti)
(1)
where the inlet feedwater temperature was at subcooled conditions (T; = Ti) for nonboiling tests and the inlet feedwater
temperature was at saturated conditions (Tt = r sat ) for the
boiling tests. The feedwater temperature was measured in the
bottom of the distribution tray shown in Fig. 1. The heating
by heat transfer from the vapor in the enclosure, possibly occurring by the time the water impinged upon the tube surface,
was estimated to be negligible.
The average evaporation heat transfer coefficients were
calculated by

transfer coefficients was observed with variations in the degree


of subcooling. Consequently, the subcooled nonboiling results
did not list the degree of subcooling.
Typical results to demonstrate the effects of feedwater
temperature, flow rate, and tube-wall heat flux on local (subcooled) nonboiling heat transfer coefficients are shown in
Figs. 3 and 4 for 2.54- and 5.08-cm-dia tubes, respectively. For
the 2.54-cm-dia tube, local heat transfer coefficients are
highest at the top of the tube and decrease steadily around the
tube. For the 5.08-m-dia. tube, local heat transfer coefficients
decrease steadily from the top of the tube until about the 90
deg location and tend to increase as the flow approaches the
bottom of the tube. For both tubes, local heat transfer coefficients increase with increasing feedwater temperature and flow
rate, but local heat transfer coefficients are almost independent of tube-wall heat flux for the nonboiling condition. It
is noted that a laminar analysis involving both an integral approach with a cubic polynomial velocity profile and a finite
difference scheme were used to determine the film thickness
and nonboiling heat transfer coefficients (Parken and Fletcher, 1982). Results of these analyses were found to be in excellent agreement with the reported data similar to those in
Figs. 3 and 4.
Typical results to demonstrate the effects of feedwater
temperature, flow rate, and tube-wall heat flux on local
(saturated) boiling heat transfer coefficients are shown in Fig.
5 for the 2.54-cm-dia tube. Local heat transfer coefficients
decrease from the top of the tube until at the 45 deg location,
and then tend to have a relatively uniform distribution with
periodic fluctuations as the flow approaches the bottom of the
tube (0 = 45 to 180 deg). These fluctuations may be caused by
local boiling around the tube. Local heat transfer coefficients
increase with increasing feedwater temperature, flow rate, and
tube-wall heat flux for boiling conditions.

8000 -

B
6000

7T

JO

hd8

(2)

The average heat transfer coefficients (h) were the averages of


all the local heat transfer coefficients measured on the tube.
The averaging of the tube-wall local heat transfer coefficients
was area-weighted.
The maximum uncertainties in feedwater flow rate were
estimated to be 3.5 percent. The maximum uncertainty in
the tube wall heat flux was estimated to be 1.4 percent for
the lowest heat flux condition of 15,800 W/m 2 . The largest
uncertainty in the wall temperature difference was estimated
to be 11 percent for the lowest heat flux condition. In summary, the maximum uncertainties in the heat transfer coefficient due to uncertainties in heat flux and wall temperature
difference were estimated to be 11.1 percent and 3.7 percent for q" = 15,800 W/m 2 and <?" =78,800 W/m 2 ,
respectively.
Experimental Results and Discussion
The detailed raw data for all of the 207 test runs were
tabulated by Parken and Fletcher (1977). Only the most
representative results are presented here.
Local Heat Transfer Coefficient. The tests were conducted with various degrees of subcooling for the inlet feedwater, ranging from approximately 55C to just short of visible nucleation (6C). No systematic variation of the heat
7 4 6 / V o l . 112, AUGUST 1990

4000

8000 -

6000 -

4000

8000

q"= 78800 W/m 2


A q"= 63100 W/m2
a q"= 47300 W/mZ

T, = 82 "C
T = 0. 168 hg/sm

B
6000

4000
135

90

45

45

90

135

180

9 , DEGREE
Fig. 3 Local nonboiling heat transfer coefficient for a 2.54-cm-dia
smooth tube

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/ f ^ ^
If

W/m z

p
8000

q " = 78800 W / m 2
r = 0 . 1 6 8 kg/sm
_

^,

J/^\y//^\

- A

$ ^ ^ ^ , = 127^^^^**T B a ,=100C
*Tsat=48C

<x>
6000
i

^*<
__* -

q " = 78800 W / m 2

10000

Tsat = 100C

E
8000
CD

I r = 0 . 2 8 4 kg/sm
A r = 0.168 kg/sm
T = 0 . 1 3 5 kg/sm
J
I
I

6000

10000
a q'= 78800 W / m 2
. * Q"= 63100 W/m 2
q"= 47300W/m2j

r = 0.297 kg/sm
T, = 100 C

8000 -

6000

4000

180

115 90 45

65 90

4000

135 180

135

e, DEGREE
Fig. 4 Local nonboiling heat transfer coefficient for a 5.08-cm-dia
smooth tube

Average Heat Transfer Coefficient. Typical results to


show the effects of feedwater temperature, flow rate, and
tube-wall heat flux on average nonboiling heat transfer coefficients are presented in Fig. 6 for 2.54- and 5.08-cm-dia tubes.
As noted in Fig. 6, the data indicate an increasing average
nonboiling heat transfer coefficient with increasing feedwater
temperature and flow rate, while very little discernible effect
on the heat transfer coefficient is shown with changes in heat
flux. The average nonboiling heat transfer coefficients for the
2.54-cm-dia tube are higher than those for the 5.08-cm-dia
tube. This is because the convection heat transfer coefficient
decreases with distance from the top of the tube for subcooled, nonboiling tests (Cerza and Sernas, 1988). Thus, the
longer the flow distance, the smaller the average heat transfer
coefficient. The 5.08-cm-dia tube has twice the flow distance
of the 2.54-cm-dia tube.
Selected results to show the effects of feedwater
temperature, flow rate, and tube-wall heat flux on average
boiling heat transfer coefficients are presented in Fig. 7. For
the 2.54-cm-dia tube, average heat transfer coefficients remain
about the same when feedwater saturation temperatures
change from 50 C to 100C and increase when feedwater
temperatures are higher than 100C. For the 5.08-cm-dia tube,
however, average heat transfer coefficients increase with increasing feedwater temperature until 100C and then decrease
with further increases in temperature over 100C. For a
saturation temperature at 125C, the heat flux levels of this
study may not be large enough to produce as many bubble
nucleations as those at 100C. Therefore, the average heat
transfer coefficients are reduced. For both tubes, average heat
transfer coefficients increase with increasing feedwater flow
rate and tube-wall heat flux for boiling condition. The average
boiling heat transfer coefficients on the 5.08-cm-dia tube are
higher than those on the 2.54-cm-dia tube. This is because the
boiling heat transfer coefficients increase with increasing surJournal of Heat Transfer

Fig. 5
tube

90

45

45

90

135

180

G, DEGREE
Local boiling heat transfer coefficient for a 2.54-cm-dia smooth

7000

a q " = 78800 W/m2


A a q " = 63100 W/m 2
a o q " = 47300 W/m2

_
-

6000

^iP*****"^

""
4000

7000

2.54 cm TUBE
r = 0 . 1 6 B kg/am

5.08 cm TUBE
T =0.297 kg/sm

2.54 cm TUBE

'= 47300 W/m2

r = 0 . 2 8 4 kg/sm
r = 0.16B kg/sm
6 0 0 0 ( - r = 0 . 135 k g / s m p f

5000
5.08 cm TUBE

q " = 47304 W/m2


o r = 0 . 3 6 8 kg/sm
A T = 0.297 kg/sm
r = 0.228 kg/sm

4000

40

80

120

C
Fig. 6 Average nonboiling heat transfer coefficient for 2.54- and
5.08-cm-dia tubes

face area for bubble nucleation. The falling film has to be


superheated before nucleation will occur. This requires a certain circumferential distance on the tube. For a 5.08-cm-dia
tube this might represent the top quarter of the tube, while for
AUGUST 1990, Vol. 112/747

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THIN-SLOT

12000

NON BOILING WATER

Pr = 1.3-3.4
5.08 cm DIAMETER TUBE

0.20
0.15

" ^ Of

= 0.038 Re 0 "' 5

Vh( " ^ " V r " ' "

"'

THIN-SLOT

0.30

"
-

NON BOILING WATER


Pr = 1 . 3 - 3 . 4

h (-^)"3/Pr0-53

=0.042 Ra016

0.20
0.15
0.10

_
_

o - a""
5.08 cm DIAMETER TUBE

1 1 1 1

10

Tsat'
., C

Re x 10

Fig. 7 Average boiling heat transfer coefficient for 2.54- and 5.08-cmdia tubes

the 2.54-cm-dia tube this distance would be the top half of the
tube. Thus the 5.08-cm tube boils over a larger percentage of
its surface (at a given heat flux and flow rate) and, as a consequence, exhibits a larger heat transfer coefficient.

-3

Fig. 8 Nonboiling water heat transfer correlations for 2.54- and


5.08-cm-dia tubes

(V

= 0.038 Re015Pr0-53

(5)

gk*)
where ai, a2, and a3 are empirical constants. Owens (1978) applied the same method to correlate data for turbulent ammonia film on a horizontal smooth stainless steel tube. He
found, however, that the average nonboiling heat transfer
coefficient was not Reynolds number dependent.

The deviation of equation (4) from the experimental data is


about 7 percent, and only seven data points (out of 52) deviate
from the correlation by more than 10 percent. The maximum
deviation of equation (5) from the experimental data is about
8 percent. It should be noted that in equations (4) and (5) the
thermal fluid properties were to be evaluated at the film
temperature, which was the average between the tube wall and
the inlet (subcooled) feedwater temperature. The average
Nusselt number (the average heat transfer coefficient) increases with increasing Prandtl number (feedwater
temperature) and increases slightly with increasing Reynolds
number (feedwater flow rate). The average Nusselt number
for the 2.54-cm-dia tube is about 10 percent higher than that
of the 5.08-cm-dia tube at the same Reynolds and Prandtl
numbers. Sernas (1979) reported nonboiling correlations that
were derived from the same experimental data. His correlations differ slightly from equations (4) and (5) because he used
the inlet feedwater temperature for evaluating thermal fluid
properties. It should be noted that the maximum difference
between the Nusselt number calculated from the present correlations and those of Sernas is 9 percent in the range of
Reynolds and Prandtl numbers used in this study.

Nonboiling Correlations. In the present investigation, the


average nonboiling heat transfer coefficient varies with feedwater flow rate (turbulent regime) and temperature, as noted
above. Correlations have been developed for the present data
and are shown in Fig. 8. A correlation for the 2.54-cm-dia
tube data is given in equation (4), and a correlation for the
5.08-cm-dia tube data can be represented by equation (5)

. Boiling Correlations. As mentioned earlier, the test results


show that average boiling heat transfer coefficients increase
with increasing feedwater temperature, flow rate, and wall
heat flux. Therefore, the correlation of the average boiling
heat transfer coefficient for a turbulent water film on a
horizontal tube can logically be extended from equation (3) as
follows:

Heat Transfer Data Correlations


For the results of the experimental data to be most useful,
general correlations are required for average heat transfer
coefficients over a wide range of test parameters. The
parameters include feedwater flow rate, temperature, tubewall heat flux, tube diameter, and water distribution method.
The water flow rate may be represented by the Reynolds
number, and water temperature may be represented by the
Prandtl number.
Chun and Seban (1971) proposed that the nonboiling heat
transfer coefficient for turbulent water film on a vertical
smooth tube could be correlated as follows:
*(

gk'J

= , Re 2Pr

= 0.042 Re 015 Pr

748 / Vol. 112, AUGUST 1990

(3)

(4)

* & )

-bl Re 2Pr

(6)

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- 5 . 0 8 cm DIAMETER TUBE
PERFORATED-PLATE (FLETCHER et. al., 1974)

5.08 cm DIAMETER TUBE


NONBOILING AMMONIA (OWENS , 1978)
NONBOILING WATER.EQ. (5)
TTTTT1TTT BOILING WATER, EQ. (8)
q " = 3 0 - 8 0 X 1 0 3 W/m 2

- 5 . 0 8 cm DIAMETER TUBE
THIN-SLOT

--- asags?"^""

0.002

j I O)
^ l " . 0.0

<u

h ( - ^ ) " 3 / ( P r 0 e 5 q - " ) = 0.00094 Re"'

l-c

0.5

BOILING WATER:Pr = 1.3-3.6


0.4
I

I I l I

THIM-SLOT
BOILING WATER: Pr = 1 . 3 - 3 . 6
w

q " = 3 1 . 5 - 7 8 . 8 x 10 W/m 2

0.003

-_-#>"o-

=f

5.08 cm DIAMETER TUBE


2.54 cm DIAMETER TUBE

J
0.3

0.001

I
I I I
0.5

L_L
10

Re x 10
J

I ' l l
10

Fig. 10 Comparison of
investigation

20

present

correlations with Owens' (1978)

Re x 10
Fig. 9
tubes

Boiling water heat transfer correlations for 2.54- and 5.08-cm-dia

where bx, b2, b3, and b4 are empirical constants for a given
water distribution system and working fluid.
Correlations of the present data are shown in Fig. 9. A correlation for the 2.54-cm-dia tube data is shown in equation (7),
and a correlation for the 5.08-cm-dia tube data can be written
by equation (8)
hiY)

(V

=0.00082 Reo.iopro.65^o.4

(7)

10 0.650.4
0.10p
= 0.00094 RePr-65<7

(8)

VgA:and
/ q" are varied between 1000 and 7000, 1.3
where Re, Pr,
and 3.6, and 30 and 80 kW/m2, respectively. The maximum
deviation of equation (7) is about 10 percent and that of equation (8) is about 12 percent. Again the properties in equations
(7) and (8) were evaluated at the film temperature, which was
the average between the tube wall and the inlet (saturation)
feedwater temperature. The boiling Nusselt number increases
with increasing Prandtl number and heat flux, and depends
slightly on the Reynolds number in the turbulent regime. The
average Nusselt number for the 2.54-cm-dia tube is about 13
percent lower than that of the 5.08-cm-dia tube at the same
Reynolds and Prandtl numbers and the same tube-wall heat
flux. The larger diameter tube with its longer film flow path
produces a hotter film, which tends to boil over a larger portion of the tube. Under the same operating conditions, this
produces a higher boiling heat transfer coefficient. It should
be noted that the heat flux in equations (7) and (8) has units of
W/m2. Correlations were attempted using nondimensional
heat fluxes, but it was found that it was not possible to correlate the data as well as equations (7) and (8).
The effect of the water distribution system on the average
boiling heat transfer coefficient of the 5.08-cm tube is included in Fig. 9 for comparison. The data with a perforatedplate distribution system (Fletcher et al., 1974) are about 20
percent higher than those obtained with a thin-slot distribuJournal of Heat Transfer

tion system (this study) at similar conditions. These results


suggest that the boundary layer on the tube surface resulting
from the perforated-plate distribution system is thinner than
the boundary layer resulting from the thin-slot distribution
system; therefore, the heat transfer coefficient is higher at the
same conditions.
Comparison With Other Investigations. Figure 10 shows a
comparison of the present correlations with another investigation. The Nusselt number for nonboiling conditions on the
smooth tube (equation (5)) is lower than Owens' (1978) ammonia data in the turbulent flow regime, but the discrepancy
decreases with increasing Reynolds number. Although the
Nusselt number for nonboiling conditions is independent of
the Reynolds number in Owens' correlation, the Nusselt
number increases slightly with increasing Reynolds number in
this analysis. Similar conclusions regarding the sensitivity of
the average heat transfer coefficient with Reynolds numbers in
some Reynolds number ranges can be reached from a recent
paper by Cerza and Sernas (1988), who reported solutions to
the thermal entry length problem for a falling film on a vertical cylinder, and from the paper by Mitrovic (1988) who
analytically solved the thermal entry length problem for a
bank of horizontal tubes. Figure 10 also shows that the
Nusselt number for boiling (equation (8)) is higher than the
Nusselt number for nonboiling at the same Reynolds and
Prandtl numbers. The Nusselt number increases with increasing heat flux level for the boiling conditions.
Conclusions
Falling thin-film heat transfer on horizontal smooth tubes
has been examined. The effects of the water distribution
system, tube diameter, feedwater flow rate (Reynolds
number), temperature (Prandtl number), and tube-wall heat
flux on local and average heat transfer coefficients at nonboiling and boiling conditions have been investigated. The following conclusions are drawn:
1 Local nonboiling heat transfer coefficients are highest at
the top of the tube and decrease around the tube; local boiling
AUGUST 1990, Vol. 112/749

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heat transfer coefficients show relatively uniform distribution


with periodic fluctuations around the tube.
2 Average nonboiling heat transfer coefficients increase
with increasing feedwater temperature and flow rate and remain constant with change in tube-wall heat flux; average
boiling heat transfer coefficients increase with increasing feedwater temperature and tube-wall heat flux, and increase slightly with increasing flow rate.
3 With a thin-slot water distribution system, the nonboiling
heat transfer coefficient on the 2.54-cm tube may be up to 10
percent higher than that on the 5.08-cm tube; the boiling heat
transfer coefficient is lower by 13 percent.
4 For the 5.08-cm tube, the boiling heat transfer coefficient
with the perforated-plate distribution system is about 20 percent higher than that with the thin-slot distribution system at
similar conditions.
5 Equations (4) and (5) may be used to calculate the average
nonboiling Nusselt number for 2.54- and 5.08-cm-dia tubes
with a thin-slot distribution system; equations (7) and (8) may
be used for the average boiling Nusselt number. The correlations are based on experimental data with 1000 < Re < 8000,
1.3<Pr<3.6, and30xl0 3 <<7"<80xl0 3 W/m 2 .
6 The correlations show that for boiling conditions, the
average Nusselt numbers increase with increasing tube-wall
heat flux and Prandtl number and increase slightly with
Reynolds number; for nonboiling conditions, they are independent of heat flux.
Acknowledgments
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of
the National Science Foundation through Grant No.
ENG-76-03691.
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