An Assessment of Transport Property Estimation Methods for Ammonia–Water Mixtures and Their Influence on Heat Exchanger Size

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Transport properties of fluids are indispensable for heat exchanger design. The methods for estimating the transport properties of ammonia–water mixtures are not well established in the literature. The few existent methods are developed from none or limited, sometimes inconsistent experimental datasets, conducted for the liquid phase only. These datasets are usually confined to low concentrations and temperatures, which are much less than those occurring in Kalina cycle boilers. This paper presents a comparison of various methods used to estimate the viscosity and the thermal conductivity of ammonia–water mixtures. Firstly, the different methods are introduced and compared at various temperatures and pressures. Secondly, their individual influence on the required heat exchanger size (surface area) is investigated. For this purpose, two case studies related to the use of the Kalina cycle are considered: a flue-gas-based heat recovery boiler for a combined cycle power plant and a hot-oil-based boiler for a solar thermal power plant. The different transport property methods resulted in larger differences at high pressures and temperatures, and a possible discontinuous first derivative, when using the interpolative methods in contrast to the corresponding state methods. Nevertheless, all possible mixture transport property combinations used herein resulted in a heat exchanger size within 4.3 % difference for the flue-gas heat recovery boiler, and within 12.3 % difference for the oil-based boiler.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Thermophysics
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1468-1497
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Ammonia–water
  • Heat exchanger design
  • Heat transfer
  • Kalina cycle
  • Modeling
  • Transport properties
  • Zeotropic mixture

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