Proposed is the analysis of steam condensation in the presence of inert gases in a power plant condenser. The presence of inert, noncondensable gases in a condenser is highly undesirable due to its negative effect on the efficiency of the entire cycle. In general, thermodynamics has not provided an explicit criterion for assessing the irreversible heat transfer process. The method presented here enables to evaluate precisely processes occurring in power plant condensers. This real process is of particular interest as it involves a number of thermal layers through which heat transfer is observed. The analysis was performed using a simple, known in the literature and well verified Berman’s model of steam condensation in the presence of non-condensable gases. Adapted to the geometry of the condenser, the model enables, for instance, to recognise places where non-condensable gases are concentrated. By describing with sufficient precision thermodynamic processes taking place in the vicinity of the heat transfer area segment, it is possible to determine the distributions of thermodynamic parameters on the boundaries between successive layers. The obtained results allow for the recognition of processes which contribute in varying degrees to irreversible energy degradation during steam condensation in various parts of the examined device.
The internal diameter of a tube in a ‘church window’ condenser was estimated using an entropy generation minimization approach. The adopted model took into account the entropy generation due to heat transfer and flow resistance from the cooling-water side. Calculations were performed considering two equations for the flow resistance coefficient for four different roughness values of a condenser tube. Following the analysis, the internal diameter of the tube was obtained in the range of 17.5 mm to 20 mm (the current internal diameter of the condenser tube is 22 mm). The calculated diameter depends on and is positively related to the roughness assumed in the model.