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Category: Heat Transfer Technology
Question: What kind of concerns are associated with temperature pinch points in condensers?
Keywords: shell,tube,heat,transfer,exchangers,condenser,pinch,point,temperature
Answer: Be extra careful when condensers are designed with a small pinch point. A pinch point is the smallest temperature difference on a temperature vs heat content plot that shows both streams. If the actual pressure is less than the process design operating pressure, there can be a significant loss of heat transfer. This is especially true of fluids that have a relative flat vapor pressure plot like ammonia or propane. For example: If an ammonia condenser is designed for 247 PSIA operating pressure and the actual pressure is 5 PSI less and the pinch point is 8 0F, there can be a 16% drop in heat transfer. Source: Gulley Computer Associates