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NUMERICAL INVESTIGATION OF PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS OF PLATE AND WAVY FIN TUBE HEAT EXCHANGERS IN TRASITIONAL FLOW REGIME

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC13.p18.20
12 pages

M. Ruhul Amin
Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Montana State University, 220 Roberts Hall, Bozeman, Montana, USA

S. P. Panse
Caterpillar Inc., Montgomery, Illinois, USA

Abstract

The plate fin and wavy fin tube heat exchangers are used in a variety of engineering applications such as heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration industries. The present investigation is focused on the evaluation of the thermal-hydraulic characteristics for the sub-critical or transitional flow regime (1300 ≤ ReH ≤ 2000). It was concluded that for this investigated range of ReH, turbulent model is more appropriate than a laminar model. The performance of different fin configurations for the transitional flow regime is investigated by using three different eddy viscosity based turbulence models, namely, k-ε model, nonlinear RNG k-ε model and k-ω model. It was established that the k-ω model is the most suitable model for the current problem. It is shown that decrease in fin pitch causes the flow to be more streamlined and as such decreases the Colburn factor (j) and friction factor (f). However, the fin efficiency (j/f) goes up with the decrease in the fin pitch. For a given flow length, increasing the wavy angle or decreasing the wavy height, keeping other geometrical parameters constant, increases the number of wavy corrugations. It is observed in this study that increased number of wavy corrugation results in higher heat transfer performance accompanied by higher pressure drop.

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Measurement of fluid temperature with an arrangement of three thermocouples