HC Deb 01 July 1958 vol 590 cc1047-8
8. Mr. Braine

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, in what way the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is helping to improve the efficiency of condensers for power stations and other heat-exchange equipment.

Mr. H. Nicholls

For some years, the Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory has sponsored at universities, and itself carried out, research on heat transfer under various conditions of steam condensation. It has been demonstrated that the condensation of steam on cooling surfaces as separate drops has great advantages in speed over the normal film condensation.

Mr. Braine

That is all very technical and very interesting. Can my hon. Friend say whether there is as yet any practical application of this knowledge?

Mr. Nicholls

Chemicals have been developed which when applied to brass or copper surfaces will produce what I call "drop" condensation. This method has been tried out in the laboratory and to some extent in industry. The practical consideration which I think will interest my hon. Friend is that if the method proves to be really successful it will mean that condensers need be only half the size they are at present.