Proposed is the analysis of steam condensation in the presence of inert gases in a power plant condenser. The presence of inert, noncondensable gases in a condenser is highly undesirable due to its negative effect on the efficiency of the entire cycle. In general, thermodynamics has not provided an explicit criterion for assessing the irreversible heat transfer process. The method presented here enables to evaluate precisely processes occurring in power plant condensers. This real process is of particular interest as it involves a number of thermal layers through which heat transfer is observed. The analysis was performed using a simple, known in the literature and well verified Berman’s model of steam condensation in the presence of non-condensable gases. Adapted to the geometry of the condenser, the model enables, for instance, to recognise places where non-condensable gases are concentrated. By describing with sufficient precision thermodynamic processes taking place in the vicinity of the heat transfer area segment, it is possible to determine the distributions of thermodynamic parameters on the boundaries between successive layers. The obtained results allow for the recognition of processes which contribute in varying degrees to irreversible energy degradation during steam condensation in various parts of the examined device.
Heat transfer is an irreversible process. This article defines the entropy increment as a measure of energy degradation in heat transfer realized in typical surface heat exchangers. As an example of the proposed entropy increase method, presented below are the calculations for heat exchangers working in a typical Clausius-Rankine cycle. The entropy increase in such exchangers inevitably leads to increased fuel consumption and, as a further consequence, to increased carbon dioxide emission.