Thermohydraulic Performance of a Fin and Inclined Flat Tube Heat Exchanger: A Numerical Analysis
Keywords:Compact heat exchanger, inclined flat tube, computational fluid dynamics, performance index
Proper determination of inclination angle of a flat tube may increase the overall heat transfer performance without extending heat transfer surface. In this paper, the inclined flat tube heat exchanger with plain fins is numerically investigated. The influence of flat tube inclination angle and Reynolds number on the thermo-hydraulic performance index was evaluated. Tube pitch, fin spacing and flat tube size are fixed. Solving 3D computational domain with the symmetric boundary condition is used to reduce computation time. The results show that when increasing the inclination angle of the flat tube from 0 to 45°, both heat transfer and pressure loss increase because the free area of air flow decreases leading to an increase in air velocity and impingement heat transfer. The variation of inclination angle from 0 to 15°, the increase in heat transfer is stronger than the increase in the pressure loss penalty, so the performance index reaches a maximum of 0.405 at the angle of 15°. Contours of temperature, pressure and velocity at different inclination angles are presented to clarify the thermo-hydraulic characteristics of finned-tube heat exchangers using inclined flat tubes. The current work yields heat transfer enhancement ability by adjusting inclination angle of a heat transfer flat tube.