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WL 230 Condensation process



  • Visualisation of different condensation processes1
  • Software for data acquisition


Technical Description

Condensation forms when steam meets a medium with a lower temperature than the saturation temperature for the existing partial pressure of the steam. Factors such as the material and surface roughness of the medium influence the heat transfer and thus the type of condensation. In practice, it is usually film condensation. Dropwise condensation only forms when the cooling surface is very smooth and poorly wettable, e.g. Teflon. Knowledge of condensation processes is applied e.g. in steam power plants or at distillation processes.

The WL 230 experimental unit can be used to demonstrate the different condensation processes using two tubular shaped water-cooled condensers made of different materials. Dropwise condensation can be demonstrated by means of the condenser with a polished gold-plated surface. Film condensation forms on the matt copper surface of the second condenser, thus making it possible to examine film condensation.

The tank can be evacuated via a water jet pump in order to vary the pressure in the tank together with the heating temperature and to set the boiling point. Sensors record the temperature, pressure and flow rate at all relevant points. The measured values can be read on digital displays. At the same time, the measured values can also be transmitted directly to a PC via USB. The data acquisition software is included. The heat transfer coefficient is calculated from the measured values. The influence of non-condensing gases, pressure and the temperature difference between the surface and steam can be examined in further experiments. The well-structured instructional material sets out the fundamentals and provides a step-by-step guide through the experiments.

Learning Objectives / Experiments

- dropwise and film condensation
- determination of the heat transfer coefficient
- effect of pressure, temperature and non-condensable gases on the heat transfer coefficient


[1] visualisation of the condensation process of water in a transparent tank
[2] two water-cooled tubes as condensers with different surfaces to realise film condensation and dropwise condensation
[3] controlled heater to adjust the boiling temperature
[4] water jet pump to evacuate the tank
[5] pressure switch and safety valve for safe operation
[6] sensors for temperature, pressure and flow rate with digital display
[7] GUNT software for data acquisition via USB under Windows Vista or Windows 7

Technical Data

- output: 3kW, freely adjustable
- 1x tube with matt copper surface
- 1x tube with a polished gold-plated surface
Water jet pump
- flow rate: 4...12L/min
- max. pressure: 16mbar
Safety valve: 2200mbar absolute

Measuring ranges
- pressure: 0...10bar absolute
- flow rate: 0,2...6L/min
- temperature:  4x 0...100°C, 3x 0...200°C

Dimensions and Weight
LxWxH: 1000x550x790mm
Weight: approx. 85kg Required for Operation 230V, 50/60Hz, 1 phase or 230V, 60Hz/CSA, 3 phases
Water connection: 1bar, max. 1000L/h, drain

Scope of Delivery

1 experimental unit
5L distilled water
1 set of hoses
1 GUNT software CD + USB cable
1 set of instructional material

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