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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: June 2012

7 - BOILING AND CONDENSATION

Summary

Introduction

Chapters 4 through 6 discuss convection involving single-phase fluids. The thermodynamic state of single-phase fluids is sufficiently far from their vapor dome so that even though temperature variations may be present, only one phase exists (vapor or liquid). In this chapter, two-phase convection processes are examined. Two-phase processes occur when the fluid is experiencing heat transfer near the vapor dome so that vapor and liquid are simultaneously present. If the fluid is being transformed from liquid to vapor through heat addition, then the process is referred to as boiling or evaporation. If vapor is being transformed to liquid by heat removal, then the process is referred to as condensation.

Chapter 6 showed that temperature-induced density variations in a single-phase fluid may have a substantial impact on a heat transfer problem because they drive buoyancy induced fluid motion. However, the temperature-induced density gradients that are present in a typical single-phase fluid are small and so the resulting buoyancy-induced fluid velocity is also small. As a result, the heat transfer coefficients that characterize natural convection processes are usually much lower than those encountered in forced convection processes. The density difference between a vapor and a liquid is typically quite large. For example, saturated liquid water at 1 atm has a density of 960 kg/m3 while saturated water vapor at 1 atm has a density of 0.60 kg/m3. Large differences in density lead to correspondingly large buoyancy-induced fluid velocities and heat transfer coefficients.

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