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Hierarchical Modeling and Closure Evaluation for Fin-and-Tube Heat Exchangers Using 3-D Numerical Simulation

[+] Author Affiliations
Feng Zhou, David Geb, George DeMoulin, Ivan Catton

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. HT2012-58018, pp. 9-19; 11 pages
  • ASME 2012 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2012 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting and the ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • Volume 2: Heat Transfer Enhancement for Practical Applications; Fire and Combustion; Multi-Phase Systems; Heat Transfer in Electronic Equipment; Low Temperature Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer
  • Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, USA, July 8–12, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4478-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


A plain fin-and-tube heat exchanger was modeled based on Volume Averaging Theory (VAT) and the closure for the model was evaluated using CFD. Modeling a fin-and-tube heat exchanger as porous media based on VAT, specific geometry can be accounted for in such a way that the details of the original structure can be replaced by their averaged counterparts and the VAT based governing equations can be efficiently solved for a wide range of parameters. To complete the VAT based model, proper closure is needed, which is related to a local friction factor and a heat transfer coefficient of a Representative Elementary Volume (REV). The terms in the closure expressions are complex and sometimes relating experimental data to the closure terms is difficult. In this work we use CFD to obtain detailed solutions of flow and heat transfer through an element of a fin-and-tube heat exchanger and use these results to evaluate the closure terms needed for a fast running VAT based code, which can then be used to solve the heat transfer characteristics of a higher level heat exchanger. The objective is to show how heat sinks can be modeled as a porous media based on Volume Averaging Theory and how CFD can be used in place of a detailed, often formidable, experimental effort to obtain closure for a VAT based model.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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