A one-fluid, two-dimensional flow simulation model for a kettle reboiler

David A. McNeil, Khalid Bamardouf, Bryce M. Burnside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A one-fluid, or algebraic slip, model has been developed to simulate two-dimensional, two-phase flow in a kettle reboiler. The model uses boundary conditions that allow for a change in flow pattern from bubbly to intermittent flow at a critical superficial gas velocity, as has been observed experimentally. The model is based on established correlations for void fraction and for the force on the fluid by the tubes. It is validated against pressure drop measurements taken over a range of heat fluxes from a kettle reboiler boiling R113 and n-pentane at atmospheric pressure. The model predicts that the flow pattern transition causes a reduction in vertical mass flux, and that the reduction is larger when the transition occurs at a lower level. Before transition, the frequently-used, one-dimensional model and the one-fluid model are shown to predict similar heat-transfer rates because similar magnitudes of mass flux are predicted. After transition, the one-dimensional model significantly over-predicts the mass fluxes. The average heat-transfer coefficient predicted by the one-fluid model is consequently about 10% lower. The one-fluid model shows that tube dryout can be expected at much lower heat fluxes than previously thought and that the fluid kinetic energy available to induce tube vibrations is significantly smaller. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-835
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Heat exchangers
  • Kettles
  • Pressure drop
  • Reboilers
  • Two phase
  • Two-dimensional


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