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An efficient correlation for heat and mass transfer effectiveness in tumble-type clothes dryer drums

Gluesenkamp, Kyle R., Boudreaux, Philip, Patel, Viral K., Goodman, Dakota, Shen, Bo
Energy 2019 v.172 pp. 1225-1242
air, air flow, clothing, dryers, drying, heat, heat pumps, mass flow, mass transfer, models, vapors
A heat and mass transfer effectiveness definition relevant to clothes dryers is developed in this work. A correlation is presented for determining the effectiveness of heat and mass transfer in a horizontal-axis, tumble-type clothes dryer drum with axial airflow. The correlation is a function of four measurable quantities: air mass flow rate, cloth mass, air mass in the drum, and the fall time experienced by a cloth falling the full height (i.e. diameter) of the drum. The Buckingham Pi Theorem is applied to the problem in order to derive dimensionless terms upon which the effectiveness depends. Empirical data from several dryers are used to derive an empirical correlation as a function of the dimensionless variables. Three cloth types were investigated, and a separate empirical correlation is proposed for each. Together, the drum effectiveness concept and the correlation presented provide a new, more accurate, computationally efficient, and readily implemented framework for modeling and simulating clothes dryers. It is relevant to conventional gas and electric clothes drying appliances, vapor compression heat pump dryers, and thermoelectric heat pump clothes dryers. With appropriate empirical inputs, the framework is extensible to any thermal-evaporative cloth drying systems, including radial-flow horizontal axis tumble drying drums.