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International Heat Transfer Conference 12

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

Miniaturized Shell-and-Tube Heat and Mass Exchangers for Absorption Heat Pumps

J. Mark Meacham
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University 2030 H. M. BlackE ngineering Building Ames, IA 50011 USA

Srinivas Garimella
Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory, The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC12.3060
6 pages


A shell-and-tube heat exchanger with small diameter tubes was experimentally investigated as an absorber for a residential ammonia-water heat pump. This configuration has a high surface/volume ratio, and low thermal resistances compared to conventional geometries. It was demonstrated that an extremely compact absorber (76.2 mm outside diameter, 0.508 m long) with 253 tubes of 2.54 mm inside diameter with the solution flowing vertically downward through the tubes can transfer the absorption duty of a 10.55 kW cooling load absorption heat pump. Experiments over a wide range of solution and coolant flow rates and vapor fractions were used to deduce overall and tube-side absorption heat transfer coefficients. High performance was achieved without any surface enhancement, and with very low solution and coolant pressure drops. This geometry offers considerable versatility to address a wide range of heat load and pressure drop requirements, and can be used for almost all absorption heat pump components (absorbers, desorbers, condensers, and evaporators).

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