Research Papers

Experimental Study of Fluid Phase Equilibrium Along Thermodynamically Optimized Interface of a Stored Liquid Container

[+] Author and Article Information
Dibakar Rakshit

Centre for Energy Studies,
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi,
Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016, India
e-mail: dibakar@iitd.ac.in

Ramesh Narayanaswamy

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Curtin University,
Perth, Western Australia 6102, Australia
e-mail: r.narayanaswamy@curtin.edu.au

K. P. Thiagarajan

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Maine,
Orono, ME 04469
e-mail: krish.thiagarajan@maine.edu

1Corresponidng author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received December 11, 2014; final manuscript received July 10, 2016; published online August 30, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Mohamed S. El-Genk.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 8(4), 041012 (Aug 30, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: TSEA-14-1276; doi: 10.1115/1.4034255 History: Received December 11, 2014; Revised July 10, 2016

This experimental study presents the thermal optimization of a storage container partially filled with liquid (water) with an ullage region above the liquid composed of water vapor and air. The basic purpose of this thermal optimization was to qualitatively explore the design conditions that minimize the heat leaks from the storage tank to the external environment at a lower temperature than the liquid in the storage container. Two symbiotic physical parameters—interfacial mass transfer and the entropy generated by the system—influence the thermal performance of the storage container. These two symbiotic physical parameters were simultaneously considered when optimizing the system. The mass transfer estimation involved the determination of (i) the liquid–vapor interfacial temperature, (ii) the fractional concentration of the evaporating liquid present in the gaseous state, and (iii) the surface area of the liquid–vapor interface. The entropy of the system was estimated separately by considering the entropy of the diabatic saturated liquid and the ullage vapor. A synergistic objective function was subsequently composed based on the penalty involved in deviation from the individual optima, thus determining a holistic optimum. The results show that stored liquids exhibit better second-law efficiency in open containers than in containers that are closed by a lid. The primary factor that influences this optimum is the lid condensation that occurs in closed containers at the 50% filling level.

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Fig. 1

Diffusion of water vapor through air between two planes X1 and X2

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Fig. 2

Schematic of diabatic saturated two-phase liquid in stored container

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Fig. 3

Schematic setup of the test rig: (1—thermocouples; 2—conductivity probe at various test fill levels and top; 3—humidity sensing probe; 4—pressure transducer for measuring ullage pressure; 5—cartridge heaters)

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Fig. 4

Mass transfer variation with filling levels for an open container

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Fig. 5

Mass transfer variations with filling levels for a closed container

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Fig. 6

Model of the heat and mass transfer in the tank with characteristics zone

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Fig. 7

Variation of total entropy per unit volume with temperature

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Fig. 8

Variation of entropy per unit volume in ullage with temperature

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Fig. 9

Variation of nondimensional entropy generated with temperature

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Fig. 10

Variation of NM and 1/NS with temperature for open and closed tanks



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