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Heat Convection through a Vertical Pipe

  1. Mar 6, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am trying to model the flow of steam through a vertical cylinder. Ultimately I would like to find the surface temperature as a function of the length of the pipe. I am assuming the steam cools as it moves upward along the length of the pipe and it is a steady-state process, so T only varies with position (1-dimensional).

    Doing a shell balance around a small portion of the pipe I am confused about the convection term entering in from the base and leaving through the top of the shell. I understand the cross sectional area concerning this convection term is the area of a circle. However, I am uncertain about how to determine the gradient for the surface temperature when all of the terms in the energy balance are due to convection.

    I have seen the similar process done for a solid pipe (long fin) where there was conduction through the shell and convection out of the side. But I am confused by fluid motion inside the shell.

    Any advice on this conceptually, or if you could recommend another approach, would be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    You have to determine whether you are dealing with laminar or turbulent flow to begin with. The analysis is not a plug into an equation and get the answer,

    Consider this article:
    http://people.msoe.edu/~kumpaty/courses/ME%20318/Week6_7.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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