Unsteady Flow Modelling in Plate-Fin Heat Exchanger Channels
Volume 1: Aerospace Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer; Education; Environmental Heat Transfer; Fire and Combustion Systems; Gas Turbine Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer in Electronic Equipment; Heat Transfer in Energy Systems
A B S T R A C T A Concept Heat Exchanger (HE) design manufactured using the Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) technique Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is proposed and numerically evaluated. It is composed of a HE corrugation which introduces inter-layer flow conduits between the parallel HE layers of the same fluid. These pathways are provided by hollow elliptical tubes which serve several functions: to disturb the flow to promote heat transfer, to provide additional heat transfer area and to
... nsfer area and to minimise flow maldistribution inside the HE core. The corrugation is incorporated into a counter-flow prototype HE unit model meaning to exploit the installation volume and design freedom made possible via ALM. Three Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models are utilised to evaluate the performance of the proposed HE unit. Firstly, a traditional two step HE design methodology is utilised which works by initially evaluating a fully symmetric channel of the proposed HE corrugation (termed single channel). Then the results this model are incorporated into a simplified HE unit model. The second approach evaluates the HE unit performance based on a fully detailed CFD analysis that fully resolves flow and heat transfer inside the HE core. The third modelling approach involves splitting the inter-layer HE unit model into parts, which results in HE header models and allows simplification of the HE core into a single corrugation period width HE core model (termed superchannel). The results of these models are then compared to a conventional pin-fin HE unit model, formed by blocking the elliptical inter-layer conduits. It was found that in all the HE unit models the pressure drop is similar whilst the heat transfer was enhanced by between 7% and 13% in terms of the overall T Δ by the inter-layer channels (increasing with the Reynolds number). All simulations were completed using a CFD package OpenFOAM.