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Using a shell & tube heat exchanger as a steam generator.
Would it be safe and make sense to use an appropriately rated shell and tube heatexchanger to make steam?
The application would be as follows. The HX is designed for low pressure steam (less than 150 psi) on the shell side and used for heating the fluid in the tubes. I am thinking of running it in "reverse".
Using a concentrating solar collector to heat up a suitable heat transfer fluid, pump the HT fluid thru the tubes of the Hx and supply water to the condensate output of the shell. The generated steam would need to go thru a moisture seperature to create dry steam, and then the steam would be used to drive a small steam engine to generate electricity.
Obviously overpressure safety reliefs would be required. Yes, this is an off grid application. Intended steam pressure would be around 80-90 psi. The thought is to run the heat transfer fluid thru a phase changing salt to store heat during the day and to use the stored heat plus solar collected heat to run the boiler when there is enough energy to run the steam engine for several hours.
HX would be something like a Bell & Gossett SU85-2 or similar.
Some additional thoughts are mounting the HX vertically or tilting it up at a steep angle to maintain half of the tubes under water to maximize steam generation and modifying the shell to add an external sightglass.
Assuming the math pencils out, would there be any major issues besides the steam being generated would be wet.
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