PurposeThe purpose of this study is to find the thermo-hydraulic performances of compact heat exchangers (CHE’s), which are strongly depending upon the prediction of performance of various types of heat transfer surfaces such as offset strip fins, wavy fins, rectangular fins, triangular fins, triangular and rectangular perforated fins in terms of Colburn “j” and Fanning friction “f” factors.Design/methodology/approachNumerical methods play a major role for analysis of compact plate-fin heat exchangers, which are cost-effective and fast. This paper presents the on-going research and work carried out earlier for single-phase steady-state heat transfer and pressure drop analysis on CHE passages and fins. An analysis of a cross-flow plate-fin compact heat exchanger, accounting for the individual effects of two-dimensional longitudinal heat conduction through the exchanger wall, inlet fluid flow maldistribution and inlet temperature non-uniformity are carried out using a Finite Element Method (FEM).FindingsThe performance deterioration of high-efficiency cross-flow plate-fin compact heat exchangers have been reviewed with the combined effects of wall longitudinal heat conduction and inlet fluid flow/temperature non-uniformity using a dedicated FEM analysis. It is found that the performance deterioration is quite significant in some typical applications due to the effects of wall longitudinal heat conduction and inlet fluid flow non-uniformity on cross-flow plate-fin heat exchangers. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) program FLUENT has been used to predict the design data in terms of “j” and “f” factors for plate-fin heat exchanger fins. The suitable design data are generated using CFD analysis covering the laminar, transition and turbulent flow regimes for various types of fins.Originality/valueThe correlations for the friction factor “f” and Colburn factor “j” have been found to be good. The correlations can be used by the heat exchanger designers and can reduce the number of tests and modification of the prototype to a minimum for similar applications and types of fins.
International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 5, 2018
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