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Modeling heat exchanger by FDM and FEM in

C# and Comsol Multiphysics

Article September 2011

DOI: 10.1109/ETFA.2011.6059213


0 117

4 authors, including:

Stepan Ozana Radovan Hajovsky

VB-Technical University of Ostrava VB-Technical University of Ostrava


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Modeling Heat Exchanger by FDM and FEM in C# and Comsol Multiphysics

Stepan Ozana VSB-Technical University of Ostrava

Martin Pies 17. listopadu 15/2172
Lukas Skovajsa 708 33, Ostrava-Poruba
Radovan Hajovsky

Abstract surface of wall per unit of length in

x direction for steam
The paper deals with modeling and simulation of the Surface of wall per unit of length
heat exchanger by means of finite difference method in x direction for flue gas
(FDM) and finite element method (FEM) in C# and Velocity of the steam in x
m s1
Comsol Multiphysics environments. direction
It refers to previously published papers on this Velocity of the flue gas in x
m s1
problematic while introducing new approaches. The direction
paper brings a short introduction of solution of above Heat transfer coefficient between J m2
1 1
mentioned particular approaches in Comsol the wall and the steam s K
Multiphysics and C#. Heat transfer coefficient between J m2
1 1
the wall and the flue gas s K

1. Mathematical model 2. Modeling the Heat Exchanger in Comsol

In the basic form, the thermal model of a superheater
is described by a set of the following partial differential Comsol Multiphysics is first-class modeling and
equations (1)-(5), see [1]: simulation environment for solving systems of time-
1 1 dependent or stationary second order in space partial
1 = 1[ 1 + ] (1)
differential equations in one, two, and three dimensions.
2 2
2 = 2[ 2 + ] (2) There exist predefined so-called application modes
1 2 which act like templates in order to hide much of the
+ = (3)
1 2 complex details of modeling by equations. There are two
where forms of the partial differential equations available, the
= , = 1 1
(4) coefficient form and the general form.
1 1
1 1 1 1| 1|
and 2.1. Preparing the equations for Comsol Multiphysics
2 = , 2 = 2 2
(5) The equations (1)-(3) can be rewritten into basic form
2 2| 2|
2 2
and it determines required coefficient of PDE (6)-(8) :
List of parameters: + =0 (6)

J + =0 (7)
heat capacity of steam
kg K1
heat capacity of flue gas (8)
kg1 K1
heat capacity of superheaters wall 2.2. Solution of the project in Comsol Multiphysics
kg1 K1
material The definition and solution of the task in Comsol
weight of wall per unit of length in x kg Multiphysics consists of the following steps:
direction m1 a)selecting space dimension (1D,2D,3D)
active length of the wall m b)adding physics, see Figure 1
steam flow mass rate kg s1 c)selecting study type (eigenvalue, stationary, time
kg s1 dependent)
flue gas flow mass rate d)defining geometry
e) defining coefficients of PDE
f)meshingg, computing, postprocessinng

Figure 1. Defining th
he physics

2.3. Coefficiient form of the


The taskk defined in this paper requires usee of

coefficient foorm of PDE (99) as follows:
+ + + +
+ = (9)

0 0 0
= 0 0 0 =
0 0 0
1 0 0 0 0 0
= 0 1 0 = 0 0 0
0 0 1 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
= 0 0 0 = 0
0 0 0 0
0 0 0
= 0 0 = 0
0 0 0 0

= 0 (10)

If we substitute thhe matrices (10)
( into genneral
form of equuation (9), wee get:

1 0 0 0 0
0 1 0 + 0 0 +
0 0 1 0 0 0

0 = 0 (111) Fig
gure 2. Enttering matriices to defiine general
0 form of diffe quation for the heat
erential eq
2.4. Plotting the results
Comsol Multiphysics offers a wide range of graphical
outputs. We can display 2D plot of particular state
variables over time or over x-axis or 3D graphs.

Figure 6. 3D steam temperature distribution

along x-axis and time by Comsol Multiphysics
Figure 3. Steam temperature along the
x-axis of the superheater in different times
3. Modeling in C#

3.1. Heat Exchanger Utility

Within the frame of this project, the Heat Exchanger
Utility has been created under C#. Besides standard
functions of C#, it also uses a specialized library for
solving a set of ODEs (ALGLIB).

Figure 4. Output steam temperature over the


Figure 5. Steam temperature for x=20m over

the time
For example, as it can be seen from Figure 3, the
heat exchanger is being heated by hot flue gases with
time. We can also display time dependencies in a
certain point, see Figure 4 and Figure 5. Figure 7. Heat exchanger utility
Based on given parameters, it computes output heat transfer in heat exchangers. However, the license
temperature of the steam, flue gas and the wall. policy, prices of the products and portability make are
the main drawbacks to spread these solutions into
3.2. ALGLIB Package commercial field.
At this moment, Heat Exchanger Utility makes it
ALGLIB [5] is a cross-platform numerical analysis possible to enter the number of blocks connected in
and data processing library. It supports several series. The main goal of its further development is to
programming languages (C++, C#, Pascal, VBA) and supply this product with graphical capabilities similar
several operating systems (Windows, Linux, and to Simulink. Blocks will be connected by the lines, and
Solaris). ALGLIB features include: it will be possible to connect the blocks not only in
series, but in arbitrary way, including feedbacks. The
ALGLIB package implement Runge-Kutta-Cash- functionality of Heat Exchanger utility has been
Karp adaptive integrator to solve ordinary differential verified by comparison with the same model in Comsol
equations. Cash-Karp method uses six function Multiphysics.
evaluations to calculate 4-th and fifth-order accurate
solutions. One of them is used to advance solution, Acknowledgment
another is used as the error estimate.
Use of ALGLIB functions regarding solution The work was supported by the grant Simulation of
requires rewriting a set of PDEs into a set of ODES, as heat exchangers with the high temperature working
it is introduced in [1]. media and application of models for optimal control of
Heat Exchanger utility computes the dynamic of the heat exchanger', No.102/09/1003, of the Czech
heat exchanger very effectively, using powerful Science Foundation.
graphical capabilities of ZedGraph, see [6].

[1] NEVIVA, Pavel, OANA, tpn,

VILIMEC, Ladislav. The Finite Difference
Method Applied for the Simulation of the Heat
Exchangers Dynamics. In MASTORAKIS, Nikos
Proceedings of the 13th WSEAS International
Conference on SYSTEMS. [s.l.] : WSEAS Press,
2009. s. 109-114. July 22-24, Rhodes Island,
Greece. ISBN 978-960-474-097-0. ISSN

[2] OANA, tpn, PIE, Martin. Using

Simulink S-Functions with Finite Difference
Method Applied for Heat Exchangers. In
ADVANCES IN SYSTEMS : Proceedings of the
Figure 8. Output steam temperature 13th WSEAS International Conference on
computed by Heat Exchanger utility. SYSTEMS. [s.l.] : WSEAS Press, 2009. s. 210-
215. July 22-24, Rhodes Island, Greece. ISBN
4. Conclusion 978-960-474-097-0. ISSN 17902769.
[3] Nevriva, P., Ozana, S., Pies, M., Vilimec, L.
The paper introduced new approaches to simulation Dynamical Model of a Power Plant Superheater.
of the dynamics of the heat exchanger described by a In WSEAS Transactions on Systems 9 (7), pp.
set of partial differential equations. Further 774-783. Issue 7, Volume 9, 2010, dostupn z
development of the project will be devoted to low-cost WWW:
solution using C# and extension of the Heat Exchanger library/transactions/systems/2010/89-878.pdf
utility. ISSN: 1109-2777
The Comsol Multiphysics and Matlab&Simulink [4] Pryor, R. Multiphysics Modeling Using
environment, stated in [1], [2], [3], [4] are professional COMSOL: A First Principles Approach. Jones
tools for modeling and simulation. They are especially and Bartlett Publishers, 2011.
efficient during development and tuning of the [5]
algorithms regarding modeling and simulation of the [6]

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