As natural gas is compressed, the temperature increases significantly and must be cooled before it can be processed further. Current heat exchangers for this application are large and inefficient. The goal of this project was to design a more efficient and compact heat exchanger to be used in conjunction with OsComp's rotary, positive-displacement natural gas compressor. The design incorporated heat pipes as a means to improve the efficiency of the overall heat transfer. The design has a total footprint of 0.871 m^2, which is 21.5% smaller than an industry standard heat exchanger of the same specification (1.1 m^2). To demonstrate the feasibility of a heat-pipe forced convection cooler; a scaled-down test stand was manufactured and tested.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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