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Published: Kem. Ind. 70 (11-12) (2021) 639–650
Paper reference number: KUI-76/2020
Paper type: Original scientific paper
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A Contribution to the Modelling of Fouling Resistance in Heat Exchanger-Condenser by Direct and Inverse Artificial Neural Network

A. Benyekhlef, B. Mohammedi, S. Hanini, M. Boumahdi, A. Rezrazi and M. Laidi


The aim of this study was to predict the fouling resistance (FR) using the artificial neural networks (ANN) approach. An experimental database collected from the literature regarding the fouling of condenser tubes cooling seawater of a nuclear power plant was used to build the ANN model. All models contained 7 inputs: dimensionless condenser cooling seawater temperature, dimensionless inside overall heat transfer coefficient, dimensionless outside overall heat transfer coefficient, dimensionless condenser temperature, dimensionless condenser pressure, dimensionless output power, and dimensionless overall thermal efficiency. Dimensionless fouling resistance was the output. The accuracy of the model was confirmed by comparing the predicted and experimental data. The results showed that ANN with a configuration of 7 input neurons, 7 hidden neurons, and 1 output neuron presented an excellent agreement, with the root mean squared error RMSE = 3.6588 ∙ 10–7, average absolute percentage error MAPE = 0.1295 %, and high determination coefficient of R2 = 0.99996. After conducting the sensitivity analysis (all input variables had strong effect on the estimation of the fouling resistance), in order to control the fouling, an inverse artificial neural network (ANNi) model was established, and showed good agreement in the case of different values of dimensionless condenser cooling seawater temperature.

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heat exchanger-condenser, fouling, modelling, artificial neural network, graphical user Interface, inverse artificial neural network