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Fin Efficiency and the Optimisation of X-Shaped Louvered Fins

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC15.hex.009085
pages 3633-3642

Bernd Ameel
Ghent University - UGent, Department of Flow, Heat and Combustion Mechanics

Joris Degroote
Ghent University - UGent

Henk Huisseune
Ghent University– UGent, Department of Heat, Mass and Combustion Mechanics

Jan Vierendeels
Department of Flow, Heat and Combustion Mechanics, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Michel De Paepe
Ghent University-UGent, Department of Flow, Heat and Combustion Mechanics, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, B-9000 Gent, Belgium

KEY WORDS: Heat exchanger, Numerical simulation and super-computing, CFD, fin efficiency, optimisation


During the optimization of fin geometries, the flow in the heat exchanger is changed to obtain better performance. This change in fin geometry also impacts the heat transfer problem in the fin material itself. As a result, both the average heat transfer coefficient and the fin efficiency change as the fin geometry varies. The X-shaped louvered fin geometry is investigated for different Reynolds numbers using computational fluid dynamics. The louver angle, the number of louvers and the louver pitch are changed. A multi-objective optimization with respect to required fan power and volume is performed under the constraint of constant mass flow rate and constant hydraulic diameter. The heat transfer coefficient and the fin efficiency is calculated for each of the geometries and compared to the often used Schmidt correlation. The fin efficiency is found to be consistently lower than predicted using the correlation, from 3% to up to 17%. The effect of the improvement in heat transfer coefficient is shown to be more important than the reduction in fin efficiency for the investigated modifications to the fin geometry.

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