The thermo-hydraulic performance of two shell and tube condensers was investigated with an experimental approach. The experiment is conducted in a water cooled centrifugal chiller test rig. The condensers are made of three-dimensional (3-D) and high fin density integral-finned (2-D) tubes. 2-D and 3-D tubes all have the diameter of 3/4 inch (19mm). The 2-D tube has external fin density of 56fpi (fins per inch), fin height 1.023mm and 48 internal ribs per circle. The 3-D enhanced tube has the external fin density of 45fpi, fin height of 0.981mm and 45 internal ribs per circle. The 3-D tube is widely used in the water cooled chillers. 2-D tube is a newly designed surface with enhanced external fin density. Condensing heat transfer coefficient of R134a outside single horizontal tube is firstly tested at saturate temperature of 40°C. At the internal water velocity of 2.2m/s, the overall heat transfer coefficients of 2-D tube is in the range of 10364.7 to 12420.9W/m2K, 4.2% ∼ 9.0% higher than 3-D tube. External condensing heat transfer coefficient is 16.3% ∼ 25.2% higher than 3-D tube. The condensers are manufactured with these two types of tubes. Both condensers have the same geometric parameters except the tubes and tube bundle space. The length of tube in the condenser is 4000mm. The tube bundles are arranged in a staggered mode. For the integral-fin tube condenser, the longitudinal tube pitch of tube arrays is 23mm in rows and the transverse is 20mm. At the same power input and cooling water inlet temperature of 32°C, the cooling power of 2-D tube condenser are respectively of 1755.4kW and 1769.4kW; 3-D tube condenser is 1727.5kW and 1770.5kW. The pressure drop increased about 11.2% ∼ 15.9% for the 2-D tube condenser compared with 3-D tube condenser. Generally, the two condensers have the same heat transfer performance, while the integral-fin tube condenser saves 15% of copper material consumption.

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