Surface Condenser

In surface condensers there is no direct contact between the steam, cooling water and the condensate can be reused in the boiler: In such condenser even impure water can be used for cooling purpose whereas the cooling water must be pure in jet condensers. Although the capital cost and the space needed is more in surface condensers but it is justified by the saving in running cost and increase in efficiency of plant achieved by using this condenser. Depending upon the position of condensate extraction pump, flow of condensate and arrangement of tubes the surface condensers may be classified as follows:

  1. Down flow type condensor
  2. Central flow condenser and
  3. Evaporation condenser.

we will see about each of the following type below.

(i) Down flow type condensor: Fig. 1 shows a sectional view of dawn flow condenser. Steam enters at the top and flows downward. The water flowing through the tubes in one direction lower half comes out in the opposite direction in the upper half Fig. 2 shows a longitudinal section of a two pass down-flow condenser.

down flow type condensor

(ii) Central flow condenser. Fig. 3 shows a central flow condenser. In this condenser the steam passages are all around the periphery of the shell. Air is pumped away from the centre of the condenser. The condensate moves radially towards the centre of tube nest. Some of the exhaust steams while moving towards the centre meets the undercooled condensate and pre-heats it thus reducing undercooling.

central flow condensor

(iii) Evaporation condenser. In this condenser (Fig. 4) steam to be condensed is passed
through a series of tubes and the cooling waterfalls over these tubes in the form of spray. A steam of air
flows over the tubes to increase evaporation of cooling water, which further increases the condensation
of steam.

evaporation condensor

Advantages and Disadvantages of a surface condenser:

The various advantages of a surface condenser are as follows:

  1. The condensate can be used as boiler feed water.
  2. Cooling water of even poor quality can be used because the cooling water does not come in direct contact with steam.
  3. High vacuum (about 73.5 cm of Hg) can be obtained in the surface condenser. This increases the thermal efficiency of the plant.

The various disadvantages of’ the surface condenser are as follows:

  1. The capital cost is more.
  2. The maintenance cost and running cost of this condenser is high.
  3. It is bulky and requires more space.

Requirements of Modern Surface Condensor:

The requirements of ideal surface condenser used for power plants are as follows:

  1. The steam entering the condenser should be evenly distributed over the whole cooling surface of the condenser vessel with minimum pressure loss.
  2. The amount of cooling water being circulated in the condenser should be so regulated that the temperature of cooling water leaving the condenser is equivalent to saturation temperature of steam corresponding to steam pressure in the condenser.
  3. This will help in preventing under cooling of condensate. The deposition of dirt on the outer surface of tubes should be prevented. Passing the cooling water through the tubes and allowing the steam to flow over the tubes achieve this.
  4. There should be no air leakage into the condenser because presence of air destroys the vacuum in the condenser and thus reduces the work obtained per kg of steam. If there is leakage of air into the condenser air extraction pump should be used to remove air as rapidly as possible.
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All Comments

  • The advantages of the evaporative condenser are: water saving, low cost, simple structure, easy to clear scale, and small size.

    Rachel May 10, 2021 7:17 am Reply

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