1. Key Laboratory for Thermal Science and Power Engineering of Ministry of Education, Department of Thermal Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2. Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
Biofouling on heat exchanger surfaces reduces the heat transfer rate and the system security. Thus, more investigations are needed on biofouling growth mechanisms and the forces acting on the biofouling. This study uses a three dimensional cellular automata model to simulate biofouling growth. Reciprocal inhibition between different bacteria strains is also simulated. A shape factor concept is then used to describe the various biofouling shapes to analyze the forces on the biofouling. The cellular automata model simulates Bacillus subtilis and Aeromonas ichthiosmia as typical heat exchanger bacteria strains. The model simulates the biofouling growth and reciprocal inhibition to show that the heat exchanger biofouling inhibition should focus on Bacillus subtilis. The shape factors for three typical shapes used in this work accurately model the biofouling shapes. The shape factors simplify the force analyses and are useful for comparing different biofouling shapes.
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