A Simple Device for Measuring Fouling in a Heat Exchanger Tube

[+] Author and Article Information
W. L. Owens

Gualala, Calif. 95445

J. Sol. Energy Eng 108(2), 135-139 (May 01, 1986) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3268080 History: Received December 01, 1985; Online November 11, 2009


A simple, electric-heating-tape-wrapped and insulated tube device has been developed by Lockheed Ocean Systems (LMSC) to monitor the thermal resistance of fouling (R F ) from seawater inside a simulated ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) heat exchanger tube. It is compared with another directly-heated monitor that has been used by others in many biofouling measurement programs and with an indirect method in which a secondary fluid would be electrically heated. An analysis of experimental uncertainty in R F determination is presented for the LMSC and indirect methods. Representative R F data for aluminum and copper-nickel LMSC devices are presented. The three methods are compared subjectively with respect to ten cost, use, and performance criteria, and the LMSC device has a first-place ranking for seven of the criteria.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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