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Opening the Door for Improved Designs of Heat Exchangers

Spotlight On:

Scott Ormiston
University of Manitoba
Mechanical Engineering

Better designs of heat exchangers in the power system, refrigeration, and chemical processing industries are on the horizon, thanks to new modelling experiments developed by University of Manitoba Professor Scott Ormiston. Ormiston’s research is focused on developing new solution methods for modelling film condensation from gas-vapour mixtures for heat exchanger applications.

These methods will have an interface tracking algorithm that accurately predicts the location of the liquid film, thereby accurately predicting the local heat and mass transfer. Current methods cannot achieve this level of accuracy because they rely on simplified governing equations or empirical correlations that are not sensitive to some design parameters.

"WestGrid and Compute Canada’s computing resources are critical to this research because of the significant effort needed to solve the heat, mass, and momentum conservation equations for many time steps for large numbers of nodes while re-computing the liquid-gas interface and computational mesh," says Ormiston.

The results of this research have the potential to improve future designs of heat exchangers used in many basic energy conversion systems. Improved designs would increase productivity and reduce overall energy consumption.

"This research would not be possible without WestGrid and Compute Canada's infrastructure," says Ormiston. "If we didn’t have access to these powerful shared resources, we estimate one simulation using the full, advanced model for a heat exchanger application would take at least six weeks on a local server, rather than days using the national platform."

For more information on Ormiston's research, click here.