Manual for the thermal and hydraulic design of direct contact spray columns for use in extracting heat from geothermal brines Page: 5 of 49
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This report outlines the current methods being used in the
thermal and hydraulic design of spray column type, direct contact heat
exchangers. It provides appropriate referenced equations for both
preliminary design and detailed performance. The design methods are
primarily empirical and are applicable for use in the design of such
units for geothermal application and for application with solar ponds.
Methods for design, for both preheater and boiler sections of the
primary heat exchangers, for direct contact binary powers plants are
The spray column has been widely studied in the chemical industry
for many years due to its inherent simplicity as a counter-current
device for heat or mass transfer. Developments were enhanced in the
1960's due to increased interest in desalination systems.^1) More
recently, in the 1970Ts, Jacobs and Boehm^) suggested their use for
extracting heat from moderate temperature geothermal brines. They and
a number of other investigators have carried out a wide range of
studies under U.S. Department of Energy funding for nearly ten years.
This work culminated in the construction of the 500 KWe Geothermal
Direct Contact Binary Cycle Power Plant at East Mesa, California, by
Barber-Nichols Engineering under U.S.D.O.E. funding.*3) The 500 KWe
direct contactor was designed by the present author as a combined
working fluid preheater-boiler. The working fluid was isobutane with
the continuous fluid being the immiscible geothermal brine.
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Jacobs, H.R. Manual for the thermal and hydraulic design of direct contact spray columns for use in extracting heat from geothermal brines, report, June 1, 1985; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1069762/m1/5/: accessed April 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.